Thursday, July 24, 2008

Make your small kitchen work

Small kitchen? No counter space? No cabinet space? I share your pain, and it's probably one of the reasons I don't spend enough time cooking--that and whatever I attempt to make never turns out too well.

One trick that has served me well in the kitchen is to think vertically. I have doubled space in my kitchen by storing things on the walls. I found a long rectangular wooden box, painted it white, and screwed it to the wall, and now it is a great and convenient place to store my spices and things I need to grab quickly.

The wall behind my stove is exposed brick, so i just grabbed some metal hooks and large nails I had loose in the tool box, and pushed them into holes I found already existing in the bricks. It is a great way to hang my skillets and my wok! A magnetic strip screwed under my makeshift spice rack is another great catch-all for knives and utensils I need on hand.

Well utilized kitchen space...

image from California Closets

Storing pantry items in canisters or jars makes them easy to access, keeps them fresh, and the uniformity of the containers instantly adds a look of order. Image from The Kitchn

Even though this kitchen is small, it's compact and set up in an organized way. I love the magnetic spice containers on the fridge.
Image from The Kitchn

Shelves are our friends. Installing shelves is an excellent way to add A LOT of storage space, and allows you to keep counter surfaces clear as workspace. Shelving doesn't have to be expensive either. Image from

The Ikea Grundtal bars are popping up in small apartments everywhere, the canisters are from Storables, and the galley ledge from Pottery Barn. Image from Not Martha

This idea is really smart, and from none other than Julia Child (thanks Upstart). Outfit a kitchen wall of any size with peg board. You can have it cut to size at a hardware store. After that, you can hang a multitude of baskets, bins, pots, and pans. Top Image from,
bottom from domino

Kitchen carts can really come in handy for storing small kitchen appliances and provide extra work surfaces. Even better if they're on wheels!
Above two images from


The Upstart said...

What a little thief Martha is! The kitchen with the peg board and outlines is a copy of Julia Child's. You can see it now at the Smithsonian!

Ashley said...

Well, if Martha is a thief than so are others such as Domino, Real Simple, and HGTV (just to name a few) as they've all featured this trick. Many of them also used the outline idea too. I'm sorry I wasn't aware this was Julia Child's invention!

The Upstart said...

I wasn't trying to be snarky, just silly. I've seen it redone a few times, but didn't think ol' Martha would do something "recycled". Sometimes she acts like the stuff she does has never, ever been done before and it cracks me up. :)

Ashley said...

oh no I wasn't either! no of the drawbacks of communicating via the web I suppose. I am glad to know that Julia was the muse for this idea. I didn't research the context of that Martha photo, so I'm not sure-- but I imagine (and hope,) that credit was given where credit was due. I definitely appreciate your chiming in--and welcome add-ons, corrections, suggestions, etc :)

Kristin said...

Great post - I have been hooked on pictures showing how people organize the little things in life for weeks now. Found your blog threw Wanderluster over at ramblingrenovators (dot) blogspot – and I am so glad I did!


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