7 Small Kitchen Items that Make a Big Difference, According to Interior Designers

updated Feb 10, 2020
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Credit: Bev Wilson

While our dream kitchens have all the storage space (and all the counter space), our real-life kitchens are often spatially challenged. But just because your cooking space is a bit snug, doesn’t mean you can’t make it work with a few smart storage solutions. We reached out to a handful of interior designers to find out what kinds of space-savvy items they recommend for small kitchens, and they had a lot to share. From under-the-sink storage solutions to floating shelves and more, here are their best finds for organizing any size kitchen, but especially itty-bitty ones. 

1. Make the Most of Under-the-Sink Storage

“In small kitchens, don’t let a garbage disposal get in the way of maximizing the storage under the kitchen sink cabinet,” says Jean Liu of Jean Liu Design. “We love this tiered shelf at The Container Store because it allows cleaning supplies to be stored around the disposal unit.” Anytime you add stadium-style storage to a cupboard, it’ll not only let you take advantage of vertical space, but it also makes things easier to see and grab.

Buy: Chrome 2-Tier Sliding Organizer, $70 at The Container Store

Credit: Julie Soefer

2. Add a Freestanding Storage Cabinet

Have a blank stretch of wall in your kitchen? Then you can definitely pull off this idea. “A clever storage solution for a small kitchen is to use a standalone piece of furniture like this storage cabinet to house functional items and appliances,” says Marie Flanigan of Marie Flanigan Interiors. “You can create the illusion of a clean and decluttered space by hiding items but keeping them easily accessible for everyday use.” One of these would also be great to use as a pantry if you don’t have one.

Buy: Ameriwood Home Freestanding Utility Storage Cabinet, $240 at Home Depot

Credit: Tim Williams

3. Make a Storage Statement with Floating Shelves

“To maximize the space while maintaining a visually appealing aesthetic, opt for an open shelving system (similar to this wall shelf with hooks at Amazon),” says Laurie Blumenfeld-Russo of Laurie Blumenfeld Design. “This can house pots and pans, dinnerware, glassware, and more while making a beautiful design statement.”

Buy: Sorbus Wall Shelf with Hooks, $22

4. Get a Lazy Susan (or Three)

“If you have a cramped kitchen corner, then you need a lazy Susan,” says Leila Douglah of Douglah Designs. “Whether it’s a full-corner lazy Susan or blind corner style, don’t let that space go to waste.” Opt for one that allows you full access to that corner with minimal effort like this marble model. You can also use these guys in a fridge for easy access to condiments.

Buy: French Kitchen Marble Lazy Susan, $100 at Crate & Barrel

Credit: Minette Hand

5. Install Pull-Out Cabinet and Drawer Organizers

Cabinet and drawer organizers, like the ones we spotted in Kristin Ziegler’s Virginia row house, are game changers in a small kitchen with limited storage space. “Utilize cabinet and drawer space with pull-out sliding storage solutions, like Richelieu’s Magic Corner,” says Charlie Hellstern of Charlie Hellstern Interior Design

Buy similar: Rev-a-Shelf Pull-Out Corner Cabinet, $456 at Home Depot

Credit: Amazon

6. Stay Organized with Clear Storage Bins

“Staying organized is important in even the most spacious of kitchens and doubly so in a tight one,” says Maggie Griffin of Maggie Griffin Design. “These clear acrylic storage bins fit neatly in cabinets and inside your fridge and don’t look bulky.”

Buy: mDesign Deep Plastic Kitchen Storage Organizer, $15

Credit: France & Son

7. Consider a Multifunctional Island

“To maximize your space for a smaller kitchen, consider using an island on casters or an island that can double as a table,” says Drew Hoffpauir of Room Service. “The IAN Kitchen Island by Four Hands  is the perfect fix for kitchens low on space with its pull-out extension that can stow away when not in use.”

Buy: Ian Kitchen Island, $2,830.00 from France & Son

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 7 Small Kitchen Items that Make a Big Difference, According to Interior Designers