Having enough storage in the kitchen is a prime concern for homeowners no matter what the budget. Of course, it’s not just a matter of having a place to put things. Stylish design, clever solutions and different types of storage that fit the lifestyle of a household are key to a kitchen that works well. While the list of options available can be overwhelming, we’ve rounded up some nice examples of different styles of kitchen storage that can help guide your choices.
Whether you’re remodeling, building a new kitchen or just making some modest changes to your current kitchen, it’s important to consider how much and what kind of storage you need, even before considering the style. Nowhere else is planning more critical than in the kitchen. Maximizing the available space and configuring storage to fit the way you use the kitchen is essential for efficiency – and your happiness.
How Do You Use Your Kitchen?
Think about the way the kitchen is used on a daily basis. Stand there and decide where you would want certain items to be stored. Are the drawers and cabinets configured in a way that is convenient for you? Do you wish you had a cute and handy coffee station? A place for bulky small appliances? Dedicated space for large pans and cookie sheets? Good planning and forethought can help you squeeze the maximum usage out of the space you have by a considering inserts, pull-outs and slim cabinet additions.
The Biggest Complaints
Sometimes the easiest way to identify the major storage changes you need to make is to start with your biggest complaints. What bothers you most about the current kitchen storage situation? Needing more space for pots and pans? Not enough cabinet space making countertops too cluttered? Too much open storage?
Some conventional rules are best left unbroken in the kitchen. There is good reason to have the dishwasher next to the sink and the silverware drawer, and the spice rack near the stove. Locating the most commonly used things together is good common sense and the best idea for later resale. Beyond that, you need to figure out what else you want to have in reach of the sink or the stove, such as your everyday dishes and cups.
Cabinets or Drawers?
Recent trends have shifted toward wide, deep drawers rather than cabinets with doors. These let you make better use of the space and are easier to access than a cabinet where you need to get on your knees to reach the back of the bottom shelf. A secondary option is pull-outs if you prefer the look of standard cabinets. If you need to store tall stockpots or other large items, you might need at least some under-counter cabinets because they could be too tall for drawers.
Open shelving has gained popularity for opening up the visual appeal of a kitchen but it does come with a downside: Everything is on display and needs constant dusting and cleaning. The same grease that travels through the air to land on other kitchen surfaces does the same on your open shelves. This means that even decorative items need to be cleaned periodically to keep them looking tidy. Too much open shelving can also feel very cluttered if there isn’t enough closed storage space along with it.
Eliminate Dead Space
New innovations in storage can make the most of what was previously dead space in the kitchen. A flip-out sponge drawer in front of the sink is a handy addition as is a slim pull-out cabinet for spices between the oven and the rest of the cabinets. Some kitchens can turn the kickboard space into a shallow drawer for cookie sheets or other flat items. Undersink cabinets should make use of roll-out inserts and corner cabinets must have a built-in lazy Susan style element to keep them functional. Even roomy pantries benefit from better organizational additions as well as improved lighting.
Now that you know what you need to store and how, you can choose from among the different styles of storage to give your kitchen the kind of personality you
Kitchen storage ideas to take in consideration
One of the easiest options for kitchen storage is the standard closed cabin or cupboard. Whether your style tastes tend to be traditional, or if they swing to the far modern end of the spectrum, a multitude of closed storage options exists. Many homeowners favor this type because it’s easy to keep things neat and tidy looking by just keeping the cabinet doors closed an ad minimum of items on the counters. This kitchen design by Ar-Tre mainly features closed storage with just one open storage area for the wood to fuel the fireplace above.
A trend in the past couple of years has been the “hidden kitchen” which not only has an abundance of closed storage but also handle-less appliances to maintain a sleek and modern look. This Bauformat kitchen is entirely enclosed except for a couple of open units so that you can keep your most-used appliances at hand — like that coffeemaker you can’t live without every morning!
It’s not just standard cupboards behind those doors. Today’s closed storage can be customized to include entire workstations that are just as stylish when opened. This hidden unit by Elam includes appliances, shelving and a countertop. The large doors that hide the unit keep the room minimalist and sleek when you’re not working in the space. It’s a great example of using doors to hide the working parts of your kitchen and the areas of storage that would otherwise break up the desired style of the room.
Not everyone likes the look of a fully closed up kitchen and the large expanse of wood or other material that is characteristic of that style. By incorporating some glass-fronted kitchen storage, it’s possible to add display space as well as another design element into the kitchen. The look can be modern or retro and the glass can be clear or frosted, depending upon the desired result. Scavolini’s design uses some old-style glass cabinets to dress up the space while incorporating kitchen storage. The light frosting of the glass is transparent enough to generally see what’s inside, without revealing every little detail.
Kitchen storage can also double as a display space if the glass is clear. This unit from Arclinea has interior lights that allow the contents to be showcased and not just stored away. It is perfect for drawing attention to family china, special serving pieces or other items that are sentimental or important. While most people would not want this type of kitchen storage throughout for reasons of practicality, it is a lovely accent element for a kitchen.
Those who like the look of glass doors but don’t want to show off everything inside the cabinets can opt for glass that has a heavier frost pattern. Febal Casa has a kitchen idea that combines frosted glass with shelving that has LED lights along the edges. Not only does this illuminate the inside of the cabinets, but it also turns the lighted edges into a design element. The dose of soft ambient light adds to the mood of the kitchen while the storage units provide ample storage for anything you want to stash away.
Mixed storage styles
As always, mixing and matching types of kitchen storage is also an option. Today’s kitchen designs can include storage that is closed, some that is open, along with added specialized units, all in combinations that suit the way you live. This Arrex kitchen mixes finishes with all three types of storage. The open units at the end serve as display space, the center wine rack is a special feature that some homeowners will love, and the cabinets include standard doors as well as frosted glass. It’s the best of all worlds in a casual and functional space that includes multiple types of kitchen storage.
Even in a kitchen that has mostly closed-door kitchen storage, a small open unit can add extra punch if it is done in an accent color, as in this kitchen design by Martini. The accent unit includes open sections for display, space for a few wine bottles, and a few drawers to keep small items handy. Here, the cabinet next to the accent unit is open to show the ample storage space.
Although this design by Deca features mainly open kitchen storage, it also has closed cabinets on the left to hide away kitchen necessities that might not be so as attractive. The open shelving features different styles, including all wood shelves, some all metal, and others a mix of both. This arrangement and assortment of kitchen storage options will appeal to those looking for a hardworking kitchen with a professional, commercial vibe.
In annotative combinations style of kitchen storage is featured in this kitchen by Arrital. Not only is the interior of each shelf illuminated, the top half is transparent, while the bottom half is opaque, which helps mask — or at least mute — the appearance of whatever you are storing inside. It’s a good option if you need to please more than one person with the type of storage being chosen.
Open Shelving Kitchen Storage
Open shelving for kitchen storage has been popular for quite some time. While it’s a very versatile option, it is definitely not suitable for everyone. This style lets you store and display all the same time, but take note: Your dishes and. storage containers need to be worthy of being on display 24/7. Mismatched, chipped dishes or a jumble of storage containers will never look good on open shelving. However, if you are fussy about the items you display, or if you collect items that you can include, open shelving like this style from Spagnol is very attractive and helps make a kitchen feel comfortable.
Similarly, this open shelving from Asko, which includes their dishwasher, shows how you can store and display your dishes at the same time. An added bonus is that the dishwasher is right there, close at hand.
Customizable open shelf kitchen storage can also be used to accent your space. Yes, it provides a place to store plants or pots of fresh herbs, but it can also serve as a home for attractive containers of often used staples like pasta or beans. In this way, the items being stored come a design accessory. Spagnol’s small wall shelves have the added design feature of being a cube, which adds interest and helps make sure the items don’t fall off the shelves.
Snaidero offers a similar style of open kitchen storage shelving, but it is more linear and includes an options for a solid shelf on the top of the cube as well. The longer segments have a more modern feel and could be used to display and store wide variety of items. Again, accents such as the plant pots make a big difference with open shelving. It has to be considered a design element as much as a storage spot.
At the fully rustic end of the spectrum, Gatto offers a style of kitchen storage that is quite different. The casual, country vibe is played out with barn-style sliding doors that have a wire fence front, enhancing the glass shelves behind. The center of the unit features pull-out bins, reminiscent of crates in an old country store. These can be home to dry goods, bulk foodstuffs or just about anything else. The units are open on top, but not everything inside the crates will be visible.
Sometimes you want kitchen storage that is primarily a display unit. This style of shelving from Valdesign is not often seen in a kitchen, but is perfect for a wall that cannot house deep cabinets. The shelving is slim and doesn’t protrude too far out making it suitable for an area that gets high traffic. Even a shorter version of this unit would be great for accenting a smaller kitchen wall, while still providing some storage space.
In kittens that need to make the most of their space, backsplash kitchen storage is becoming very popular, albeit in a variety of forms. This type of storage is entirely customizable for the type of work you do most, or for a specific area of the kitchen. Comprex has this backsplash storage unit that is essentially a beverage prep station. With room for glasses, cups, teas, coffee and bottled beverages, this is a great unit whether you’re entertaining or just making beverages for the family.
Backsplash kitchen storage is often designed to be a functional part of the cooking prep area. This set-up from Cucina Lube incorporates space for well-used utensils, oils, spices and other kitchen necessities.
Even a standard backsplash can incorporate kitchen storage. Leicht designs can include a rail on which you add customized modules, such as shelves, paper towel holders, knife blocks and others. This is an easy way to have a backsplash you love with added storage that is very handy.
Even a small rail added to a backsplash, as in this Valdesign kitchen, adds handy kitchen storage to an existing space.
Kitchen island storage
Kitchen islands are eminently useful and they can also be home to extra storage its designed properly. New technology is also making them more functional with the addition of specialized units. This lighted storage unit by Arlinea is retractable and disappears down into the countertop when not in use. Its the same general concept as retractable kitchen hoods but this one tucks away all the spices, oils and ingredients you like to have handy when cooking.
The end of an island is the ideal spot for some display or storage space. While it could be enclosed to make a cabinet, open space here is a handy place to display cookbooks or often used dishes that are attractive. It is a wonderful way of adding interest to an island that is otherwise just a rectangular block.
Conversely, Elam’s design for this island males display space a central component. The large open-end shelf and interior lighted shelf that is offset from the middle are eye-catching design elements that break up the visual bulk of the island. These can be for functional storage or purely display space, whichever you choose.
Rustic decor styles can also make good kitchen storage in an island. Here, Gatto’s island features a railed shelf that is perfect for herb pots, putting them close at hand during cooking. Of course, anything could be featured in this shelf.
A more unusual style of kitchen storage shelving in an island is this one from Martini. While it is partially inset, it uses an accent color to draw attention to the shelf, which is great for display space. This is a particularly good option if your island won’t allow for fully inset shelving.
Organized kitchen storage
No matter what type of units you choose, organization of the interiors is key. New types of shelving and accessories are improving the way you can store items. The inside of this cabinet from Snaidero illustrates a number of the many options available, including glass fronted sliding shelves, a drink staging area, shelves if different depths and wine storage.
Rather than the usual jumble of silverware, today’s kitchen drawers include segments and lighted storage that can even safely store your large knives. This helps eliminate kitchen clutter, including the clunky knife block.
Deep drawers especially benefit from an LED light strip. Much like the light in your refrigerator, these come on when the drawer is opened and go off it is closed.
Or, there’s the ultimate in a luxury organized kitchen: This one from Toncelli is a full chef’s kitchen with everything you need in one island package. The kitchen storage is expertly design with ease of use and maximum efficiency in mind. Truly everything you need is at your fingertips with this model.
While most of us may feel that there is never enough space to store everything you need, these different styles of kitchen storage options go far beyond the basic cupboards. Incorporating just a few of these ideas can expand your storage space and make the most of the kitchen that you have.