When most homeowners remodel a kitchen, they want to add more space and more storage. But do you have to enlarge the kitchen in order to achieve better, more expansive storage? Not necessarily. You might be able to do this even in an existing footprint. How? By maximizing your use of the kitchen cabinetry. Here are a few key ways to do this.
1. Go Vertical.
Many kitchens fail to make full use of the upper and lower portions of their cabinet space. Underneath base cabinets, install "kick drawers" — wide, short drawers at ankle level. Above the upper cabinets, you can add shelves for less-used items.
2. Customize Cabinets.
What do you have trouble storing? Are you a baker who has a lot of oversized baking sheets and pans? Then consider designing vertical storage slots specifically for these. Do you have a collection of wine and drink glasses? Why not hang them from slots installed underneath the upper cabinet? Whatever the particular needs of your kitchen usage, you can often find a way to better tailor storage space to fit it.
3. Use Hangers.
Do you make good use of wall and door space in the kitchen? Doors and walls are blank vertical storage areas that you can harness with a few hooks and racks. Use cabinet doors for things like lid storage, utensils, cleaning supplies, and spices. Pantry doors make excellent additional storage for smaller food containers on narrow shelves.
4. Add Inside Shelves.
Many lower cabinets come with a standard of two tall shelves. Upper cabinets may come with two or three. But if you only stack items in the lower half of these shelves, you are wasting the space between shelves. One simple addition is to install removable, flexible shelving that can be better targeted to your storage style. You might also consider adding an occasional third or fourth shelf in some cabinets.
5. Use the Ceiling.
The ceiling may seem like an unlikely spot for storage, but it can work out very well. Installing a hanging rack above the stove is a popular way not only to store many large, bulky pots and pans but also to give the space a more 'homey' feeling.
Can you include any of these customized cabinet solutions in your existing space? When you make better use of cabinetry, you may not even need to spend more money on expanding the kitchen. And you'll enjoy cooking and dining just as much as if you did.