5 Tips for Maximizing Space in your Kitchen

My husband and I bought our first home almost a year ago.  The biggest change, aside from the obvious (owning instead of renting), has been the major increase in living space.  Our new house is by no means palatial, but it has certainly given us some breathing room and ample storage.  While all houses have their quirks and imperfections, ours is certainly no exception.  One of the drawbacks to our new house has been the decrease in kitchen space and storage.  It is a beautiful kitchen and is certainly equipped with all of the modern appliances, however, the design is such that the kitchen ended up being outfitted with a grand total of 2 drawers (please take a moment to count the drawers in your own kitchen so you can understand the gravity of my situation).  For someone who may not cook or entertain as frequently as I do, this kitchen storage is probably more than sufficient.  I on the other hand, am not an infrequent cook and/or entertainer, so it was necessary to find a way to make this kitchen fit my storage needs.        

Of course I love a challenge and my limited kitchen storage was definitely that!  I immediately got to work researching and Pinteresting my brains out to figure out how I could maximize the storage in this space without making it feel cluttered or claustrophobic.  In the end, I found a wealth of resources, tips and tricks.  Below I have shared my 5 favorite tips that have really make the biggest impact in creating the additional kitchen storage I so desperately needed.  

Tip #1- Use a Kitchen Utensil Holder

When you are limited on drawer storage, using a crock is a great way to create additional storage space for your cooking utensils.  In addition to providing the extra storage, it's also convenient to have certain utensils readily at your disposal while cooking.  My one piece of advice here would be to try and keep the number of colors used in your crock to a minimum.  I purposefully chose to only display wood, metals and black plastic utensils in my crock, primarily because I think that having a bunch of different colored spatulas on display can make your space look like a cluttered circus.  

Tip #2- Display things that you regularly use

I cook and bake quite frequently, so there are certain staples that I like to have on hand in order to increase the convenience and functionality of my kitchen space.  The only electrics I have on display are my Kitchen Aid mixer (because of my baking) and Coffee makers (yes plural--I guess you could say I have a bit of a coffee habit).  Additional items I find useful to have on my countertops include: a cutting board, bread box, knife block, cookbook stand, salt crock, utensil crock, spoon rest, baking canisters, soaps (dish & hand), a kitchen candle, paper towels (mounted to the wall) and my fruit bowl.  

Tip #3- Repurpose Kitchen Items

I have touched on this concept in my Fruit Bowl post, but a great way to save on space is to repurpose kitchen items.  Below I have taken my salad bowl and converted it into a fruit bowl.  My pasta serving dish now doubles as shelf decor, thanks to this picture stand I found at Michaels.  In addition to those two ideas, my Larousse Gastronomique Encyclopedia has provided a decor stage for my water pitcher and orange jam jar.  

Tip #4- Baskets

Baskets have been the key to coping with my drawer situation (or lack there of).  I found these Water Hyacinth baskets at the Container Store and just love them!  I am able to store all of my baking supplies and various other cooking tools that I don't necessarily use as frequently.  These baskets have also been a great pantry alternative for extra chip bags, dry goods and other non-parishables. 

Tip #5- Look Up and Down, not just straight ahead

One of the best storage solutions I have found in this kitchen is on top of the cabinets.  I have been able to fit my baskets filled with pantry items and cooking accessories, cookbooks, serving pieces and even my wine rack!  Had it not been for this additional space, I don't think that having my 2 drawer situation would have been manageable.  

In addition to the space above the kitchen cabinets, I have found plenty of additional open real estate in my kitchen that has allowed me to house various kitchen items that typically aren't the easiest to store (ex. kitchen step stool and a variety of kitchen storage wraps and plastic bags).