As you may already know, I love perusing Airbnb as much for the decorating and organizing ideas as I do to actually book a trip! I'm consistently impressed at how the rental property owners have all the necessary items to make sure you're comfortable and have everything you need — without jamming the drawers in a way that makes you feel just a little bit weird about being in someone else's home.
So I reached out to the Airbnb team to get a list of the most wish-listed rentals in the whole world — and then I poked around to steal the smart organizing ideas from these amazing spots.
Here's what I learned.
1. Know that even little shelves can be useful.
This mid-sized kitchen boasts loads of natural light — but not a lot of cabinet space. To create more storage, the owners hung narrow shelves (look above the sink and countertops) to hold smaller odds and ends.
2. Don't block the windows.
If you have a house with floor-to-ceiling windows — or, for us mere mortals, maybe a window — try to keep them as unobstructed as possible. If you can get away with it, go sans curtains! If you need the storage space and want to put up an open shelf in front of a window, stash clear items there, so you can still have an airy effect.
3. Opt for a table that folds out of the way.
If you're not serving a meal for multiple people every night, it might not make sense to use up limited square footage with a dining table. Instead, choose one that folds flat and can store out of the way, like they do in this home. Another smart trick: Go for a space-saving bench instead of chairs.
4. Think beyond the usual cabinet size.
Here in the States, the standard store-bought cabinet is oriented vertically: taller than it is wide. But this kitchen flips that model with wide, shallow drawers and nearly-square upper cabinets. The result is roomier storage space that makes it easier to stash awkwardly shaped items. Give it a ponder, if you're considering custom cabinets.
5. Add kitchen rails.
One key in a small kitchen: Creating flexible storage that can adapt as your needs change. That's why kitchen rails, on which you can hook anything from utensil caddies to shelves, are handy. It's a restaurant-kitchen way to make the walls way more functional.
6. Don't be afraid to leave some empty wall space.
That said, you don't have to fill every inch of wall space with hooks, shelves, or cabinets! If you only have a few things to store, revel in that fact! Just a few well-placed shelves can give you the storage you need without crowding the room.
7. Mix up your storage options.
If you're installing new cabinets, make a point to give yourself lots of different kinds of storage options, including open shelving, semi-opaque cabinets, totally closed cabinets, and wall storage. The mix gives you lots of opportunity to change up the display and conceal your less-cute kitchenware.