8 Ways to Fake More Kitchen Counter Space When You Definitely Can NOT Renovate

updated Jul 17, 2020
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Kitchens always seem to look way bigger before you move in — but once you start unpacking all your pots, pans, dishes, and appliances, counter space starts looking slim. Next thing you know, there’s still not enough real estate to chop an onion and cool off a casserole simultaneously. Luckily, there are plenty of other surfaces in your kitchen just waiting to be exploited — and you won’t even have to knock out a wall.

Here are eight ideas for getting the most counter space out of your kitchen, so you can have elbow room and elbow macaroni room.

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

1. Store stuff on top of your fridge.

Is there space between your kitchen cabinet tops and ceilings? How about on top of the refrigerator? If so, anything you don’t use super often can move up there. Adding a shelf over the fridge can make for even more usable room.

2. Bring in a moveable island.

If you’ve got a bit of extra floor space, bring in a freestanding island to gain some bonus surface area. Even better if you find a model with wheels and shelving underneath — like the classic (and super-hackable) IKEA Bekvam.

3. Add shelves wherever you can.

Cabinets might not be enough to keep all of your essentials out of the way. Add shelves to hold those extra canisters or dishes, or — if you have the floor space — add in a free-standing one.

4. Use your stovetop and sink.

Your sink and stove aren’t in use all the time. Attachments like a dish drying rack or cutting boards that go over the top of the sink or the range turn that unused space into counter space. Want to make your own? We can show you how to DIY a stovetop burner cover.

5. Use the bottom of your cabinets.

Anything that can hang can hang underneath your cabinets — think: wine glasses, mugs, spice jars, or cooking gear. This setup was made possible thanks to some magnetic knife strips.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani/Kitchn

6. Get organizers when they make sense.

Maximize your cabinet space with handy items like smart organizers and drawer inserts. The more you can hide away, the more you can keep off your countertops.

7. Put up a pegboard

The eternal darling of the crafty set, the pegboard, is here to help. Attach it to the wall to hold utensils, pans, kitchen tools, oven mitts … the options are endless.

Related: The Great Kitchen Pegboard: How to Build and Hang the Ultimate Kitchen Storage Solution

Credit: Samara Vise

8. Utilize window space

Take advantage of built-in storage without blocking your light by placing strategic containers on your sill — plants are an obvious choice, but you can also use it for kitchen crocks or other non-perishables that won’t be affected by exposure to sunlight. Or, look higher up and add a rod within the window frame or above it; then, use hooks to hang pots and pans, buckets for silverware, or pots of herbs.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 8 Ways to Fake More Kitchen Counter Space When Renovating Isn’t an Option