Clever Design Features That Maximize Your Kitchen Storage

With so many things that need to be included in a kitchen, it’s understandable to want this space to be as large as possible and even part of an open floor plan. Kitchen storage is no joke. The challenge is real and the search for the perfect combination of open shelves, closed cabinets and functional layout is long and tedious. The answer is out there and in order to find you need to do some research, to see what others have done with the place and what kitchen storage solutions they found for their own homes. Perhaps the following options can offer you the necessary inspiration.

A practical kitchen pantry

Gatto wood storage
Gatto wood storage unit

Pantries are really great especially when they’re an actual part of the kitchen. They let you store a lot of things and keep them close at hand so you can easily grab them when needed and they let you organize everything using your own system. Kitchen pantries usually have a lot of drawers and shelves for storing canned goods, vegetables and other things. You can hide your pantry behind closed doors or you can keep it open.

Kitchen island storage

Industrial kitchen island with open space storage and two doors - wood countertop

The kitchen island can provide quite a bit of storage. This is where you can keep the things you usually need when you’re cooking such as your favorite pots and pans, some utensils and dinnerware.

Kitchen island pots storage

A lot of islands offer a mixture of open and closed storage compartments. You can use the shelves for the storage of things you use most often but you can also use them to display items such as a cute little planter or your collection of cookbooks.

Traditional under kitchen island storage and above

Some islands are even simpler than that. They’re basically simple tables with a shelf underneath. You can use that shelf as a rack on which to keep your pots and pans or other large items that don’t really fit inside your cabinets.

Toncelli chef center
Toncelli under counter storage

A great way to maximize storage in the kitchen is featured by this stylish Toncelli island. The interesting thing in this case is that the interior of the doors which conceal the shelves and drawers inside the island feature racks and hooks for keeping utensils and knives nice and organized and always close at hand. This is one of the most clever and practical kitchen storage ideas seen so far.

Maximized counter space

Built in compartiments for bottles and fuits to keep them fresh
Small kitchen cart with built in countertops spaces

It’s hard to have a clutter-free counter in the kitchen. Things just pile up and gather there without even realizing. Also, the counter is usually occupied by things like the cutting board, a storage tray and spices, not to mention that the sink takes up quite a bit of space. But perhaps there is a way to make things more flexible and modular.

Keep kitchen utensils in built in spaces countertop
Stainless steel countertop with built in space for bottles and fruits to keep them cold

To keep a counter clean and organized, you have to give every item its own designated place. It’s easy to do that with a customized counter that has built-in nooks for keeping utensils, a place to drain fruits and vegetables after you wash them in the sink and even a cutting board that fits just right between the sink and the cooktop.

Built-in wine racks and coolers

Modern built in wine frigde

It’s good to have a clear idea in mind of everything you want to put in the kitchen before you choose the furniture or the design for the space. So make up your mind. If you want a wine cooler in the kitchen then you can save space by having it built into the island.

Kitchen island in black with wine fridge

This strategy allows you to free up counter or floor space. In addition, the island is a great place for a wine cooler. Similarly, you can have wine rack shelves and grooves built into the island or even your kitchen cabinets or pantry.

Built-in ovens

Small wine bottles storage in kitchen

The oven, dishwasher and pretty much everything else in the kitchen looks better if it’s built-in. It’s just a cleaner look this way and you can have your kitchen storage furniture designed around these amenities.

Built in appliances flanked by wine storage spaces

Whether you have an oven, two or four, there’s always a way to have them all built-in for a cleaner and more organized look. You can have storage shelves and drawers built around them like shown here.

Kitchen islands with bar extensions

Wine bottles storage inside kithcen island

Actually, the bar extension is only one of the features that make this island special and wonderful. In addition to being able to also use it as a breakfast table, you can also make the most of this island by using all the built-in storage features.

Kitchen island with books storage

Four carved-out holes for wine bottles on one side and a series of open shelves on the other make the island very practical and very functional. Its dimensions are also reduced so you can include it even in a small kitchen.

Vertical storage

Thin space storage for books in kitchen

When you’ve used up all your floor space, look up and discover a new set of storage possibilities. Vertical storage is very efficient and very practical and can be combined with other design and storage solutions.

Kitchen furniture for built in appliacens and open shelves

Use vertical storage for things like books, spices, bottles and other accessories you usually keep in the kitchen. The great thing about vertical storage is that you can use it to put put an empty nook to good use. For example, use it in corners or between two furniture pieces.

Wood color kitchen furniture with open shelves for kitchen books

Since vertical storage doesn’t occupy a lot of space, you can add it to your existing kitchen design without much trouble. Of course, if you have a large kitchen, you can afford to add more than just a single row of vertical shelves.

Pocket doors

Kitchen with pocket doors

Pocket doors are very appreciated because they take up little space when opened and that makes them perfect for spaces such as kitchens or pantries. With pocket doors, you’ll have plenty of room to move around even when the cabinet doors are open.

Pocket doors to hide the kitchen sink and storage shelves

Use pocket doors to conceal things like your kitchen pantry or the part of the counter that contains the sink and some of the storage above it.

Poket doors to hide fridge and built in appliances

There are some great advantages to using pocket doors instead of the standard type and not all of them are related to space-efficiency. Pocket doors also look very stylish and go well with modern and contemporary kitchens, maintaining the clean and minimalist look that usually defines them.

Sliding countertops

Countertop with a secret drawer
Slinding countertop to hide the sink

This is a really clever and unusual way to make a kitchen more functional and to increase the usable counter space. A sliding countertop can hide the cooktop and other elements when you’re not using them. Slide it open to increase the counter space and to obtain and extra area for prepping food or which you can use as a bar.

Open storage

Black built in appliances and wood color kitchen

Not everything in your kitchen storage cabinets has to be hidden behind closed doors. In fact, leaving a few areas open can make the room look bigger and brighter.

Modern furniture for kitchen in two tones

Open shelves are really useful. They let you keep the things you use most often close at hand so you can grab them without having to open a door or drawer first.

Modular wall shelves for kitchen

Although most often seen in living rooms and home offices, this type of bookcase-like unit can also become an elegant part of your kitchen’s decor. Turn it into a storage and display unit for things like tea cups, coffee mugs, herb planters and other accessories.

Modern white kitchen furniture and built in appliances

A combination of open and closed storage is usually the preferred design strategy for kitchens. This combo can suit every style and can be adapted to the user’s needs in a lot of unique ways.

Floor to ceiling kitchen shelves

A system of open shelves made of wooden boards and metal pipes is a nice way to add an industrial touch to the kitchen. At the same time, it’s something simple which you can even build yourself.

Black industrial open shelves in kitchen

Open shelves are not only great because they’re practical or simple. They’re also nice because they let you put things on display and you can use this strategy to add some color to a monochrome kitchen decor.

Under-cabinet storage

Above countertop kitchen utensils storage

You can maximize the storage capacity of your kitchen with some wall-mounted rods and hooks. Use them to organize and display kitchen utensils and small containers.

Wood space to store glass wine

There’s no reason why the space under the kitchen cabinetry should remain empty when you can use it to keep things like glasses, cups and dishes nice and organized on shelves or racks.

Stainless steel bar to store pots and mugs above pit

There are many clever ways in which you can use the space under the cabinets. Turn the backsplash into a gallery for things like herb planters, napkin boxes and other useful things you keep in the kitchen.

Gray and black marble kitchen and stainless steel shelf above

The bigger the backsplash is in your kitchen, the more space you have for storage accessories such as wall-mounted knife racks, small shelves, spice racks and other things.

Vertical herb gardens

Wall spices and green storage

Having fresh herbs in the kitchen is definitely great. So how about an herb garden right there so you can grab a few fresh leaves when you’re cooking and always prepare something delicious? Consider a vertical herb garden such as this one. It occupies little space and you can add to your existing layout.

Free standing metalic kitchen shelves

If you use tray shelves like these ones you don’t have to worry about water stains and drips from your planters. Also, the shelves are practical for keeping dishes and pans because the edges don’t them fall over.

Mixed storage

Add a touch of color with open space bookshelves in kitchen

Only having open shelves or hidden storage in the kitchen can be a little bit boring and monotonous. Mix things up a little bit for a more interesting look and more storage options.

Open space kitchen storage shelves from glass

Create contrast between the closed lower cabinetry and the open shelves in the upper cabinets. To create a more open and bright look in the room, consider glass shelves.

Large Honey Comb shelves storage

A geometric honeycomb storage unit like this one would definitely make a very interesting focal point for the kitchen. The carved-out hole in the island matches the wall unit and the spot lights highlight the geometry even more.

snaidero wood details

Mixed storage is great because it offers multiple options.  Keep things you rarely use behind closed doors, small items in drawers, often-used objects on open shelves and the bottles on racks.

Boxed kitchen furniture design

Mix and match your favorite storage strategies to create your own custom kitchen design. Adapt the designs and options to the space you have available and to your own style.