Category: Storage

Doors vs Drawers — What is Best for Your Kitchen Cabinets?

In modern kitchens, the usual choice when it comes to storage is to opt for drawers especially under the benchtop or countertop in place of base cabinets and have just a few standard cabinets with doors above the countertop. The advantages are many which are why people overwhelmingly opt for drawers under the countertops.

Drawers are Better than Lower Kitchen Cabinets

Drawers are Better than Lower Kitchen Cabinets

While upper cabinets are great for storing light items and displaying glassware, drawers for base cabinets work best as they enable the maximum use of storage space. Even if the drawers are two feet deep, nothing gets lost inside drawers as you can pull the drawer out to store and retrieve items.

When these drawers are close to the dishwasher, it is super-convenient to remove dishes from the washer and store them in an organized fashion inside the drawers.

When these drawers are close to the dishwasher, it is super-convenient to remove dishes from the washer and store them in an organized fashion inside the drawers.

For heavy items too, you are saved from doing ‘heavy lifting’ and unhealthy bending when you have drawers which can be pulled out for storage and retrieval of those heavy items.

If the drawers are placed on the island, that can be very convenient if your family likes to have meals on the island. Even kids can access their own cups and dishes which can be stored in a separate drawer.

If the drawers are placed on the island, that can be very convenient if your family likes to have meals on the island. Even kids can access their own cups and dishes which can be stored in a separate drawer.

Drawers are Best for Organizing

Drawers are Best for Organizing

You can opt for different ways to organize your plates and pans inside the drawers. Spring-loaded, wood-toned dividers can help segment the drawer into zones. You can have the dividers stacked double-high so that your stacks of bowls and plates remain in place and don’t crash or create a mess. In smaller kitchens with narrow aisles, drawers can also be preferable as they cause less of an obstacle to kitchen traffic.

Whether it’s kitchen knives, cutlery, plastic bottles, or cereals, storing them in specified drawers is the best option from an organizing perspective

Whether it’s kitchen knives, cutlery, plastic bottles, or cereals, storing them in specified drawers is the best option from an organizing perspective if you don’t want your knives and cutlery mixed up or plastic bottles taking up counter space. Extra fruits and vegetables that cannot be stored in the refrigerator can also be stored in a drawer with a wire-mesh front.

You can have separate bins for recycling and compost items and general trash inside designated drawers.

You can have separate bins for recycling and compost items and general trash inside designated drawers. Cleaning items need not all be in a mess under the kitchen sink but stay in an organized fashion inside drawers with dividers.

Recommended Reading: 9 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

Drawers offer Good Ergonomics

Nor do you have to crouch down to access the backs of cabinets that might be two feet deep.

Simple drawers can be opened with one hand which is useful when you are transferring a heavy item or if you have to access the drawers frequently or if you need to open the drawer while you are in the middle of cooking and carrying something in one of your hands. Nor do you have to crouch down to access the backs of cabinets that might be two feet deep.

Base cabinets with doors and rollout shelves are suitable for storing items that are used somewhat infrequently such as mixers and other small appliances.

Base cabinets with doors and rollout shelves are suitable for storing items that are used somewhat infrequently such as mixers and other small appliances.

Recommended Reading: 5 Nifty Kitchen Cabinet Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens with Large Appliances

Drawers are Best for Corners

Drawers are Best for Corners

Corner cabinets are often under-utilized storage spaces. If you plan your kitchen remodel so that you have specially made corner drawers, you can make the best use of that space to store items that you use infrequently.

Recommended Reading: 8 Corner Cabinets Ideas to Fix the Blind Kitchen Corners

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers offer Variety

Kitchen Cabinet Drawers offer Variety

While kitchen cabinet drawers are more expensive in general than kitchen cabinets with doors, you can decide what type of drawers you want based on your needs and preferences. The materials available include hardwood, engineered woods such as particle board or medium-density fiberboard (MDF), and laminated wood.

Drawer glides can be side, top, or corner-mounted and these are useful if your drawers are going to be frequently used and contain heavy items. Quality drawer glides can support up to 100 pounds but they come with different weight ratings and they can be a three-quarter extension or full-extension slides.

Recommended Reading: Your Go-to Guide for Buying The Best Quality Kitchen Cabinets

So, Kitchen Cabinets with Doors or Drawers?

Finally, your decision will revolve around cost and convenience as well as kitchen aesthetics. You may opt for a combination of upper cabinets and drawers under the counter. Your decision should take into consideration what type of cook you are and what cooking items you use and store in your kitchen. For storing large-sized items, you may want to have a few lower kitchen cabinets.

While drawers are the more expensive option, they can be a long-term investment and make great sense when you are seeking to own your home for a long time or if it’s your retirement home. The age of the occupants of your home also matters as older people will want to avoid crouching and bending too often so that they don’t hurt their knees or backs.

These days, there is great versatility available to choose from when it comes to kitchen cabinetry and you can explore and choose what fits your needs best.

How to Boost Kitchen Storage with Counter Depth Upper Cabinets

Typically, the base and wall kitchen cabinets are differentiated by their depth. While the standard depth of most base cabinets is 24-inch deep, the same for wall cabinets is usually between 12 to 15 inches. Moreover, the countertop on the top of the base cabinets is usually about 1-inch deeper, ie. 25-inch deep. The rationale behind this conventional design approach is to restrict the wall cabinets from encroaching upon the workspace.

However, the prevailing practice of using shallow wall cabinets means sacrificing the potential storage space in your kitchen. With modern kitchens demanding more storage space, using counter-depth or full-depth wall cabinets are finding greater acceptance among homeowners these days.

Why Use Counter-Depth Uppers?

There are several benefits of using counter-depth wall cabinets, especially in compact kitchens where every inch of storage matters. Using counter-depth wall cabinets means you get nearly 10 inches of more storage space.

So, how do you use the counter-depth wall cabinets in your kitchen? Well, it depends on the layout of your kitchen. Here are a few examples for you to draw your inspiration.

#1 – Combine Counter-depth with Standard-depth Cabinets

As shown in the example above, there are two rows of wall cabinets. The counter-depth cabinets are located well above the countertop, paired with a row of standard-depth (shallow depth) cabinets underneath.

Being located far above the countertop, the upper row of wall cabinets don’t block the view and allow you to tuck away bulky kitchen items having seasonal use. Likewise, the lower row of standard-depth wall cabinets houses smaller items for quick access.

#2 – When Your Island Serves as the Main Work Space

In most kitchens, large islands serve the purpose of the main workspace. In other words, the main countertop has minimal use, meaning the back wall acts largely as a storage space. In such kitchens, it’s a smart idea to use counter-depth wall cabinets in order to create more storage space.

In the example above, the large island works as the main work area, leaving the back wall (with counter-depth wall cabinets) to serve primarily as a storage space. Plus, the limited space between the countertop and upper cabinets accommodates the range comfortably. Overall, this lends the kitchen a clean and minimalist charm.

#3 – When You Have a Short Wall

If you have an L- or U-shaped kitchen design with a short wall, using counter-depth wall cabinets makes perfect sense. As shown in the example below, the upper counters on the short wall offer adequate storage space for small appliances and countertop items for easy access while the adjacent island offers space for prepping and cooking.

Style Ideas for Counter-Depth Wall Cabinets

So far, we have been talking about the functionality of counter-depth wall cabinets. But what about the style quotient?

In many kitchens, counter-depth wall cabinets may appear overwhelming purely because of the space they occupy. Therefore, it’s important to find some ways to lighten the appearance of your kitchen.

One of the obvious tricks is using white wall cabinets so they blend with the ceiling. Here are some examples to help you see how to make your kitchen appear airy and open and avoid counter-depth kitchen cabinets from being overwhelming.

Undercabinet Lights

Using undercabinet lights is one of the clever ways of offsetting the overwhelming counter-depth wall cabinets. The lights act as a focal point, drawing your attention away from the bulky wall cabinets.

Glass Doors

Another smart idea is to use a second row of short glass-door cabinets underneath the deep upper cabinets. For starters, the glass-door cabinets let you showcase your prized cups, bowls and mugs, apart from giving you easy access. Plus, the glass-door cabinets offer an interesting contrast to the heavy counter-depth wall cabinets, infusing a visual balance into your kitchen.

Open Shelves

If you don’t want to go undercabinet lights or for glass-door cabinets, how about using open shelves underneath the heavy upper cabinets. The open shelves offer the perfect balance to the overwhelming counter-depth cabinets. They also serve to display attractive decorative glassware or make small kitchen items easily accessible.

Two-Tone Cabinets

Using two-tone cabinets also effectively offset the heaviness of counter-depth cabinets in your kitchen. As shown in the example below, use the same finish for base cabinets as well as the counter-depth wall cabinets while using t contrasting material for standard-depth wall cabinets.

9 Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens

Cooking in a small kitchen can be stress-inducing if there is clutter in it. If random stuff is stored on the countertop, you may spill some things or you may even hurt yourself while chopping veggies if you are trying to get things done in a hurry.

Small kitchens and apartment living is a reality for millions. Luckily, you need not wait to move into your dream home with a luxurious and spacious kitchen to improve your cooking experience. You can add some smart storage space to your existing small kitchen to immediately improve your kitchen experience. So, check out these clever storage ideas for small kitchens.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Inside Cabinets

Cabinets are the mainstay of kitchen storage in kitchens of any size. You can make the most of them by using pan dividers, risers, and rolling shelves inside your cabinets. These will increase organization inside your cabinets so that you don’t risk having an ‘avalanche’ of lids when you open your cabinet door.

Here are a few specific ways you can increase your storage space inside your cabinets by just making the most of what you have.

Pullout Shelving: To make sure you actually use your cabinets to their full capacity, you can do no better than to install pullout shelving. Pullout shelving will make objects at the far back of the cabinet accessible. Pullout shelving is also advisable if the kitchen is going to be used by someone with a lower back problem. With a pullout shelf, you won’t have to bend so much. Even if you don’t have a back problem, you don’t want to develop a chronic back problem by bending constantly to retrieve items from the cabinet.

To keep your kitchen storage organized and easy to access, try adding a pullout shelf to your cabinets.

Bottom cabinets equipped with pullout shelves are particularly appropriate to store heavy kitchen items such as pots and pan.

Rollout Trash Bin: A rollout trash bin is both a functional and aesthetic enhancement of your kitchen. With a rollout trash bin placed inside the cabinet, you save some valuable kitchen space. The trash bin won’t get in your way if it’s hidden away when not in use.

a rollout trash bin concealed inside the cabinet can offer quick access.

Conversion of your bottom cabinet into a trash bin can also become a DIY project.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Behind Cabinet Doors

In fact, instead of storing plastic wrap and aluminum foil in the drawer, why not place them behind your cabinet door?

You can add hooks and caddies to the insides of your cabinet doors and make use of this often-underutilized space. You can hang pans and other kitchen items from the hooks inside cabinet doors. Similarly, the backsides of cabinet doors are the perfect storage place for plastic wrap and aluminum foil. All you will need to do is attach a magazine file at the back of your cabinet door and your plastic wrap and aluminum foil will fit snugly in it.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Above Cabinets

The tiny and somewhat inaccessible space between the top of cabinets and the kitchen ceiling is often a ‘wasted space’ in most kitchens. Put this space to use by adding some enclosed boxes to hold seasonal appliances or rarely used items.

You can also use baskets in which you store some items. When you need them, you can pull the basket down without risking creating a mess by having a bunch of items come tumbling down when you are trying to access one item.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Under Cabinets

The empty space under the kitchen cabinets need not go to waste. You can retrofit a toe-kick drawer there and store cake pans or other flat items.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Drawers

A well-organized kitchen drawer should allow you to open and close smoothly and find what you need immediately.

Randomly storing stuff inside kitchen drawers is not the optimum way to make the most of your drawer space. One way to add storage to your small kitchen is to smartly organize your drawers.

You should be able to find what you need immediately inside the drawers without having to rummage. Keep the frequently used utensils handy and put the rarely used items elsewhere.

Drawer Organizers: There are options galore in terms of drawer organizers and drawer dividers. You can buy one according to the kind of flatware, silverware, knives, or utensils that you own and which need to be kept organized inside the drawers.

Built-In Chopping Board: A cutting board built into a kitchen cabinet drawer will save precious counter space. This works even better in combination with a pullout garbage bin. With a hole in the cutting board, you can push scraps directly into the bin.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Gap Between The Fridge and The Wall

the perfect space for a slide-out pantry you can use to stock canned goods or spices.

There’s usually a small gap between the refrigerator and the wall. Why let this space go to waste? Put a slide-out pantry in the gap and store some canned goods, spices or other items there.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Wall Studs

Make up some of the lost storage by borrowing space in between wall studs for small niches.

The space between wall studs can be put to good use as a small pantry area or an appliance garage where you store occasionally used appliances.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Bottom Side of Open Shelving

Get some mason jars with metal lids and screw them into the bottom of your shelf.

When you go for open shelving instead of wall-mounted kitchen cabinets, you can use both surfaces of the shelves to store stuff. You can attach some mason jars to the bottom of the shelving and thereby create an interesting way to store additional items in clear jars. You can do with the bottoms of wall-mounted kitchen cabinets as well.

Clever Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens: Use Empty Walls

The wall-mounted pallet offers the perfect foundation where you can put your pot racks and magnetic strips in one place.

Make sure to leave no walls unused when you are starved for space in your small kitchen. You can opt for pegboards or magnetic knife racks or magnetic strips. Stick magnetic racks to the side of your fridge or hang pots and pans from the ceiling.

Final Thoughts

There are endless ways to get creative in how to make the most of the limited space in your small kitchen. Just do some research, explore friends’ and others’ kitchens when you have the opportunity and then set free your inner interior designer!

5 Kitchen Pantry Organization Ideas to Optimize Storage and Boost Productivity

Organizing kitchen pantry is one of the most important things you want to do as a part of your kitchen remodeling project. Optimizing space of your existing pantry cabinets helps you find the items quickly, which, in turn, reduces your cooking process further.

Here are five such kitchen pantry organization ideas to help you organize your kitchen pantry cabinets better and make the most of your available storage space.

Use Clear Storage Containers

The first and foremost rule of pantry organization is to get rid of the fancy packaging and store your grocery items in clear storage containers such as glass jars. Groceries such as flour, seeds and nuts look great in glass jars. Plus, they make your pantry look neat and tidy.

kitchen pantry organization ideas

Even better, make them instantly recognizable by using labels for which you can either use simple paint pens or small index cards as shown in the image above.

Install Door Storage

kitchen pantry organization ideas

The inside of a pantry cabinet door offers plenty of storage space for the creative homeowners. You can follow this DIY project to create handy storage space inside the doors for lightweight items like spices, aluminum foil and cooking tools. Make sure the door is sturdy enough and has ample clearance from the shelves.

Group Similar Items

kitchen pantry organization ideas

Apart from storage space optimization, the other objective of pantry storage organization is to spot a grocery item quickly. This is exactly why you should group similar items together. First of all, always use transparent containers so you could easily see the items at the back of the shelves. Try to group similar items together in order to find locate them easily when you’re in a hurry. For example, grouping items like tea bags, soup cans, and nut butter make perfect sense if you tend to use them together. It all depends on your cooking preferences though. Moreover, make sure to use labels on your containers — it’s super helpful.

Install a Pegboard

kitchen pantry organization ideas

Pegboard is a very useful tool when it comes to kitchen remodeling. From utensils to cleaning tools, nearly every item in your kitchen can find accommodation in a pegboard. What’s more, they not only save space but also keep all items organized. Needless to say, pegboards are also a great supplement to any kitchen pantry storage solution. They can also be used inside of your pantry door, as explained earlier in this guide.

Install Open Shelving

If you have a small kitchen that doesn’t have enough space for dedicated pantry cabinets, open shelvings can be an effective alternative. Make sure you choose the colors carefully in order to create the right feel and complement the kitchen decor. Plus, you want to use matching jars, baskets, and bins for your pantry items in order to enhance the aesthetics.

kitchen pantry organization ideas

Final Thoughts

When not organized properly, kitchen pantry can be a chaotic place, making it hard for you to locate your items. With the above kitchen pantry organization ideas, you should be able to maintain a clean and tidy kitchen pantry, resulting in better productivity in your kitchen.

Kitchen Island for Small Kitchen: How Much Room Do You Need?

Kitchen islands are a must-have for every modern kitchen remodeling project. They not only allow a smooth workflow but offer useful space for food preparation. Well, many households use multi-purpose kitchen islands as a dining table as well.

That said, consider their standard proportions, kitchen islands are usually considered ideal for standard-sized kitchens. Does that mean small kitchens can’t accommodate islands?

Here are a few tips on how to add a kitchen island for small kitchen remodeling projects.

Small Kitchen Can Accommodate Islands

Contrary to common kitchen remodeling myths, there’s always a kitchen island for small kitchens, regardless of its size. You can even order customized kitchen islands depending on your design preferences to suit the unique layout of your kitchen.

Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes
Courtesy: Pinterest

Most companies can customize the depth and height as per your space. Therefore, even if your kitchen is small, it can accommodate an island.

Recommended Reading: 8 Embarrassing Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes that Hurt Your Home’s Value

Determine Your Clearance Zone

Regardless of the size of your kitchen, you should always consider the available “clearance zone” before ordering a kitchen island.

Regardless of the size of your kitchen, you should always consider the available “clearance zone” before ordering kitchen island.

So, what is the ideal clearance zone?

Clearance zone is essentially the space between the work areas, i.e, countertop edge and island’s countertop edge. According to kitchen remodeling experts, the ideal distance for the clearance zone is about 3 feet. Therefore, before you install a kitchen cabinet, always factor in the size of your kitchen, the number of family members, and their preferences.

Consider Safety

While the aforementioned clearance zone adds efficiency to your kitchen, it’s also important to consider safety. Leave at least 3 feet between two fully extended drawers of opposing cabinet runs.

kitchen island for small kitchen

Moreover, make sure the kitchen island doesn’t obstruct the opening of all doors, drawers, ovens, and dishwashers. The last thing you want is risk tripping over any doors or drawers.

Have Your Kitchen Island Tailor-made

If you have a small kitchen and you want to maintain the safe clearance zone in your layout, consider having your kitchen island tailor-made. While you’re at it, design your island so it combines seating and storage solutions within the available space.

If you have a small kitchen and you want to maintain the safe clearance zone in your layout, consider having your kitchen island tailor-made.

In the example above, the customized island maintains a safe clearance zone of 3 feet on either side while making itself functional enough for seating and storage.

Minimum Dimensions for a Small Kitchen Island

Should you plan for a small and customized kitchen island, make sure it’s functional. The thumb rule says the minimum size of a fixed kitchen island should be 40 by 40 inches. An island of these sizes offers just about enough workspace for one person. Moreover, you need to have a clearance zone of 31½” inches for this island to make sure safe passage.

Kitchen Island-style Alternatives

What if you had a kitchen that is too small even for the smallest recommended dimensions (40 by 40 inches)? Unless you want to make structural changes in your kitchen, i.e pull down a wall, there are cost-efficient alternatives to a kitchen island.

Choose from a butcher block, moving island or trolleys, all of which can double as storage units as well.

Choose from a butcher block, moving island or trolleys, all of which can double as storage units as well.

Consider a Kitchen Peninsula

Even your kitchen is too small or the existing layout of your kitchen isn’t ideal for an island, the peninsula is a great alternative.

Even your kitchen is too small or the existing layout of your kitchen isn’t ideal for an island, the peninsula is a great alternative.

It’s fixed at one point and offers nearly the same critical functionalities you would get in a full-fledged kitchen island.

Final Thoughts

Planning a kitchen island in a small kitchen remodeling project can be tricky. They need proper planning and perfect execution to work efficiently. If you’re planning to add a kitchen island in your small kitchens, make sure you consider the kitchen layout and customize it to fit your present and future needs.

5 Nifty Kitchen Cabinet Storage Ideas for Small Kitchens with Large Appliances

The average kitchen size in the United States has swelled to roughly 200 square feet over the past few decades. However, many homeowners still find their kitchens “too small” for their growing needs. More often than not, their kitchen appears cluttered with little storage space for their utensils and appliances. Plus, unlike the yesteryears, the modern households tend to hang out at their kitchen, which requires their kitchen to be “extra large”. Regardless of the available kitchen size and storage space, it will never be enough unless your kitchen cabinets are functional enough.

In this guide, let’s talk about some unique kitchen cabinet storage ideas to maximize your kitchen cabinet storage space for a larger and more functional kitchen layout.

Install Kitchen Cabinet Pocket Doors

Storing large kitchen appliances is one of the daunting challenges in a small kitchen. From microwaves to toaster ovens to bread boxes, there is a slew of kitchen appliances that take up space in your kitchen even when they are not in use.

So, how do you tackle this problem?

kitchen cabinet pocket doors
Courtesy: Pinterest

Kitchen cabinet pocket doors and drawers are some of the nifty solutions for hiding away large appliances in small kitchens. Simply slide open the doors or drawers and slide them back in after you’re using the appliances. Not only do they keep the kitchen look sleek, clutter-free and minimalist but allow for free movement of traffic as well.

Divide and Conquer The Storage Problem

When you store all types of utensils – cooking pans, serving platters, and baking dishes – all in one door or drawer cabinet compartment, their retrieval becomes hard. One of the most effective kitchen cabinet storage ideas, in this case, to use dividers and organizers to create dedicated slots according to the size of your pots and pans.

slide out kitchen drawers with organizers
Courtesy: Pinterest

Whether you’re buying RTA kitchen cabinets or ordering some custom kitchen cabinets online, always consider measuring the dimension of your largest pot and its lid to ensure your door base or drawer base cabinet is deep enough accommodate them all.

Get Creative with Kitchen Cabinet Storage Hacks

Sometimes, the most innovative kitchen cabinet storage ideas and inspirations can come from uncommon places. Take look around your kitchen layout and get creative with kitchen cabinet storage hacks. In some cases, you may have to remodel the existing cabinets to match your needs but the investment will be worth it.

kitchen cabinet storage hacks
Courtesy: Pinterest

Consider this cabinet drawer storage solution in your kitchen. Not only does it offer a great place to sit by the kitchen window but it offers easy and quick access to bulk groceries and other stuff you might want to use occasionally.

Use Pull-out Trash Cabinets Under the Sink

In many kitchens, the storage space below the kitchen sink lies underused and wasted. In most cases, it contains cleaning supplies, trash bags, and other recycling bins. This not only looks messy but ruins the functionality of your kitchen significantly.

Pull-out Trash Cabinets
Courtesy: Pinterest

One of the most practical kitchen cabinet storage ideas is using pull-out trash cabinets and conceal them without wasting the precious storage space. These pull-out trash cabinets easily slide out of your base cabinet and offer easy access to your recycling tools, helping you to keep your recycle kitchen waste easily.

Maximize Kitchen Corner Storage Space

Installing Lazy Susan wall corner cabinets are an effective way to maximize your kitchen corner storage and store bowls, pots, and pans, and neatly stack them in your base cabinet.

spice rack base cabinet

Likewise, install pullout pantry cabinet and pullout spice rack cabinets to bring your kitchen staples into full view simply by sliding them out.

The aforementioned kitchen cabinet storage ideas are just some of the ways you can maximize the available storage space in your kitchen. However, if you put your thinking cap on, you will find numerous other ways to create storage out of the available kitchen layout. From installing pot rack above your island to creating storage space above your wall cabinets, you can easily make find enough room without sacrificing style and functionality.