5 Ways to Find More Counter Space

updated Jun 5, 2019
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Last week, I revisited some of our Kitchen Tours to look at extra counter space added by way of islands, carts, and tables. But, some of you asked, what about adding counter space to super small kitchens without room for the smallest of stands or carts?

So let’s take a look at ways to make additional counter space in really small kitchens:

1. Cutting Boards: Get a large cutting board that fits over your sink or cook top. IKEA makes one that’s inexpensive and roomy. Or, you can even have one custom made to fit your sink.

2. Appliance Storage: Do you have a microwave or stand mixer that lives on your countertop? Look into storing bulky countertop appliances elsewhere, especially if you don’t use them frequently. Freeing up that extra bit of counter space can relieve a lot of kitchen frustration. I kept a microwave in a for years.

3. Fold-Down Surfaces: Be it countertop, bar-style eating, or cutting board; fold-down surfaces (like this one under a window, or this one, which doesn’t fold down, but could be easily adapted with hinges) are great ways to add usable horizontal work space to the kitchen without taking up much room.

4. Pull-Out Surfaces: These fit snugly underneath your permanent countertops, taking up minimal cabinet space below. Here’s another terrific example of this space-expanding solution. This is also a great way to add work space at varied heights.

5. Put It on the Walls: Much like the microwave and other appliances, think of ways to move other countertop appurtenances up and out of the way. Look into a wall-mount dish drainer, for instance. The one pictured here, part of an Apartment Therapy competition from years ago, is wall-mounted and it folds up against the wall when not in use.