How to maximise kitchen storage: advice from the experts

Maximise kitchen storage – design a room that is beautiful, functional and keeps things clutter free!

Creating a functional and stylish kitchen – whether it’s for an aspiring chef, or a large family – often revolves around one critical factor: storage. It’s a word that comes up time and again when we speak to customers about their designs. We hear, “We need more storage,” or “We need to clear away the clutter,” or even, “We have too much space, we just don’t know how to get organised.”

That’s why we decided to sit down with our expert designers and ask them to share their top tips and smartest strategies on how to maximise kitchen storage.

Ensuring every utensil, appliance, and ingredient finds its perfect home.

White and black kitchen - showing higher height cabinets on the back wall. These have been used to maximise storage in this L-shaped kitchen with island.

When you have the luxury of designing a new kitchen…

Organize upwards

When you’re designing your new kitchen, don’t just look at your floor plan. Make the most of your walls too. Installing cabinets that go right up to the ceiling can reduce clutter at eye level and provide tons more hidden storage. Perhaps you’ll need to place lesser used items up at the top, or make sure you have a step on hand. But in the right room, higher height cabinets can really draw the eye, leaving your countertops clear and your space feeling open and airy.

Head to this case study to see higher height storage in action.

Choose multi-functional furniture

Add additional storage with furniture that serves more than one purpose. Fancy incorporating an island? Make sure you add large drawers, cupboards or even shelves. We’ve even designed large freezer drawers into one of our islands – the perfect solution for a low level kitchen.

Or rather than a traditional dining table with chairs, why not choose a bench seat with storage to go along one side? If you’re really tight for space to hide things away, every little counts.

Incorporate pull-outs

Make best use of your corner cupboards by including pull-outs in your cabinets. There are plenty of different options, shapes and materials, depending on your preference, all of which will increase the visibility and accessibility of items.

And what’s more, pull-outs will stop you having to rummage around in the semi-darkness to find that packet of hobnobs you know is languishing somewhere in the back.

Add open shelving

Plywood open shelves in yellow

We love open shelving – it’s one of our go-tos when it comes to adding additional storage into a space. Perfect for stashing frequently used essentials or displaying favourite decorative pieces. And it doesn’t have to be traditional floating or bracketed shelves. We often work with our customers to incorporate an open element to our top level units, adding eye-level interest and easy storage into our designs.

And we’ve even been known to add an open shelving unit to fill out an odd corner or under an island – perfect for storing those recipes books for easy access.

Ever heard of toe-kick storage?

Don’t forget the space under your low-level cabinets, when you’re looking to find places to hide seasonal items, or the things you don’t use so regularly. Toe-kick drawers are a clever way to benefit from that often-unused space. And the ingenious toe-kick solution means you don’t even have to bend down to open the drawers.  

Go bespoke

Arguably the best way to maximise your kitchen storage is to design a kitchen precisely to fit your space. Particularly if you have an unusual shaped room, or an awkward corner. Investing in a bespoke kitchen design allows you to work to the unique dimensions and specific needs of your kitchen, ensuring every inch is put to good use. Whether it’s a slanted ceiling, an odd nook, or a narrow alley between appliances, custom cabinetry can transform these potential storage dead-zones into efficient, usable spaces.

You could even indulge your creativity with a custom-made bar or butler’s cupboard that is made to tie into your overall design. Not only could a bespoke kitchen help you avoid the frustration of wasted space, but also pull your kitchen together in a seamless and cohesive way.

Butler cupboard by Koivu Kitchens- used to illustrate bespoke ways to maximise kitchen storage.
Black butler's cupboard closed - Koivu Kitchens

When you just want to make improvements in the kitchen you already have…

…we’ve got some quick tips to get you started. Just call us Marie Koivu-Kondo!

Add internal organisers

Hit up Pinterest and you’ll find a raft of great ideas to keep the insides of your cupboards neat and tidy, meaning you’ll be able to fit more in (and you’ll remember what you have!). Think organisational inserts to keep utensils and tools tidy, tiered shelves for spices and condiments and under-sink caddies or waste organisers to help with recycling.

Research non-traditional ideas

And while you’re at it, you’ll spot plenty of ideas for outside your drawers and cupboards as well. Depending on the style of your kitchen, you could incorporate magnetic strips for knives, and pegboards or hanging racks above your island or hob. An easy place to hang pots, pans or cooking utensils.

Don’t ignore your doors

Often we overlook the fact that when we close the door on a cabinet, there’s a good bit of space just behind it, before the items that are sitting on the shelf. Of course we’re not suggesting affixing anything too bulky here. But take the opportunity to attach hooks for tea towels or smaller items, slim racks or organisers for lids, cutting boards and thinner items.

A bit of creativity and a few minutes work and you’ll be amazed what you can achieve.

Declutter regularly

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a simple declutter. As you’re using items and ingredients around your kitchen, think about whether there are things you no longer use.

Or consider whether there are things that could be positioned in a place that is easier to reach.

Cutlery drawer organiser plywood

When we’re working with clients to design a new kitchen, we spend a lot of time trying to understand how they use their kitchen. As well as how their kitchen could work even harder for them. And of course this includes finding clever ways to create and increase storage capacity.

Then we feed all of that information into the design process to make sure the result is beautiful, highly functional and above all else, a pleasure to spend time in.

Get in touch with the team if you would like us to help you maximise kitchen storage with a new kitchen design from Koivu?

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