10 Smart (and Affordable) Space-Savers for the Kitchen

Most of us probably don’t have as large of kitchens as we would like. It seems like there is always plenty – and then some – of stuff to fill the cupboards and drawers and spill into overflow storage areas. While we might need to take a step back and look at this as an Accumulation of Stuff problem (as opposed to a square footage problem), it’s also nice to know that there are some great, affordable space-saving options for our kitchens. Here are ten such smart kitchen ideas:

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Stick your sink in the corner and install a wall-mounted faucet. This is especially beneficial to tiny kitchens with very little counter space, because the sink doesn’t “chop up” what little counter space there is. As an added bonus, wall shelves above the faucet provide a great place to store cheerful décor or useful kitchen items.

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Create a sliding storage rack so you don’t waste those precious inches between your refrigerator and the wall! Although not good for much else, this is a prime space for a sliding storage rack. Vertical shelving here mimics a mini-pantry, keeping close at hand the items you need frequently while cooking or snacking.

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Add a built-in breakfast nook. If you’re short on space in your home overall, an eat-in kitchen is one way to free up space elsewhere. It’s compact and also allows personality to shine through via color and textiles. Additionally, a small wall-mount screen on the backsplash, like what you see here, is becoming more and more useful as technology becomes so integrated into our lifestyles.

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Have a wall? Throw up some floating shelves. Open shelving provides that much more storage for half the visually heavy price. This is an important psychological factor for tiny kitchens, where the feeling of having a larger, airier space is almost as important as actually having one.

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If you’ve got a cabinet to spare, consider installing something like this pull-out cutting board and waste/recycle can. While you’re preparing a meal on the cutting board, you can easily (and immediately) separate recyclables from trash. Then, when you’re done, simply wipe down the cutting board and slide it back into place.

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If your kitchen will at all allow for it, a mobile island is a must-have. Of any size, really – even tiny rolling islands provide great storage and/or extra counter space. When you stop and consider all the functions that an island can perform, this truly becomes a must-have. The piece can also double as sideboard for the dining table if necessary, which is a great perk for kitchens short on space.

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All right, so you’ve got a cupboard and three drawers full of hard-to-stack and/or space-consuming odds and ends. Mount a pegboard on your kitchen wall, and hang the stuff up! It’s like a useful display of art, really. This pegboard is painted black, which looks great in a kitchen, but you could really go with any color that works for your space. Then sit back and dream about what you could do with those newly empty cupboard + three drawers…

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If possible, consider using pedestal supports for peninsula counters. My knee-jerk reaction when I think about saving space is to attach a closeable cupboard at every possible point. While this does provide more storage space, it actually decreases the usable living space. By using a pedestal support for counters (or tables) in a small kitchen, leg room is freed up, which in turn decreases the necessary width of the counter, because you no longer need an overhang for seating. Plus, it just looks so chic.

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If you’re really hurting for storage options, consider mounting some long overhead cabinets. Suspended from the ceiling with steel rods or beams creates a more open feel than mounting them to the ceiling itself. Doors on some cabinets maximize closed storage for non-aesthetic kitchenware, while some breeze-through cabinets create more of an airy feel overall.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.