5 Smart Kitchen Storage Tips You Should Steal from This 800-Square-Foot Apartment in Australia

published Jan 7, 2022
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Credit: Alyssa Owens

When Alyssa Owens and Alex Matthews made the big move from New Orleans to Melbourne in 2019, they were instantly drawn to their new home’s stunning 16-foot-high ceilings. “They’re the first thing you see when you walk into the apartment,” gushes Owens about snagging the late-Victorian building in the suburb of Carlton.

While the soaring ceilings are undoubtedly gorgeous, the 800-square-foot apartment is tiny — especially the pocket-sized kitchen. But as renters, the options to make changes were limited. Says Owens: “The kitchen [has] minimal counter space. We wanted to hang utensils on the wall, but drilling the tile was off-limits.” Luckily the couple creatively devised a few smart storage strategies to maximize every inch of their kitchen space.

We took the tour and spotted five noteworthy and practical ideas worth stealing. Follow us, and we’ll tell you all about them!

1. Invest in a solid magnetic knife strip.

Make your knives easy to reach with a well-placed magnetic knife strip. Owens says the solution was adhesive screws, which allows for hanging items without drilling into the wall. Or you can also easily find an inexpensive knife strip with an adhesive backing already applied. Either way, mounting a magnetic knife strip not only gives you extra counter or drawer space, but it also prevents blades from touching each other, keeping edges nice and sharp. 

Credit: Alyssa Owens

2. Hang utensils within easy reach.

With no drawer space to spare, the couple’s everyday kitchen items — such as wooden spoons, tongs, and a spatula — are also on display along a centrally located rack with hooks placed right above the stovetop. Like the nearby knife strip, Owens says adhesive screws were used to install the bar without damaging the apartment’s existing tile backsplash.

3. Display most-used items on open shelving.

The couple used open shelving to create accessible storage space for their frequently used glassware and mugs. To avoid creating a clutter zone, the trick is to pare down the items on display. By keeping the space looking somewhat minimal, it doesn’t detract from the focal point of the kitchen.

4. Take advantage of corners.

Smartly wedged in between the top of the microwave and the bottom of the shelves, the couple selected a few books to store out in the open. The short stack is a smart strategy to put a little corner space to good use!

Credit: Alyssa Owens

5. Borrow space from adjacent areas.

As wine-lovers, Owens and Matthews put their vintage wine rack (and their growing collection!) on full display in an adjacent area. This gives the handsome rack space to shine as its own attraction, without taking up floor space in the kitchen. Purchased secondhand, the storage piece comes from Smith Street Bazaar, known for carrying plenty of finds by iconic Australian designers. “Vintage and thrifted furniture lasts longer, is more interesting to look at, and holds onto its value,” says Owens of her treasured discovery.

How do you maximize storage space in your small rental kitchen? Tell us your strategies in the comments below.