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8 Kitchen Storage Ideas For When Built-in Cabinets Aren’t Enough

When it comes to kitchen storage, built-in cabinets tend to be the most common solution. Perfect for big and small kitchens, they are great for keeping your supplies and crockery out of sight and your kitchen clutter-free. But this probably also means those wares would be kept out of mind and eventually lost to the cabinet abyss.

Built-in cabinets shouldn’t be the only storage solution in a dynamic space like the kitchen, which encompasses so many different functions. It’s good to mix around with different types of storage in order to create a more functional and efficient space. Here are 8 storage ideas for when the built-in kitchen cabinets aren’t enough.



Open shelves in the kitchen are not for everybody, especially if you cook often (the grease, the horror!). But for those who don’t, it’s a great place to stack up plates and bowls, making them easier to reach for when you need them. Or you can use it as a platform to display all that precious china gifted to you.

Open shelves also help to create a sense of spaciousness in a small kitchen since they are not as visually bulky as closed cabinets.

Design: Versaform

Design: Free Space Intent

And they come in all sorts, not just as planks of wood on a wall. If you’re adopting an industrial style kitchen, this open shelving design is a perfect allusion to the theme.

Design: Icon Interior Design



If open shelves offer too much exposure, get open cubbies instead. Whether in-built with the rest of your kitchen cabinets or as standalones on the wall, they are a great in-between option as they offer enough elbow room yet still come with natural space restrictions so you don’t need to edit the items you put in as much – which is an oft criticism with open shelving.

Design: Urban Habitat Design



Ah, the classic Pinterest-worthy kitchen accessory – the pegboard. The perfect platform to hang your kitchen wares, from pots and pans to spatulas and measuring spoons. They provide the ease of reaching out for your utensils and crockery when you’re whipping up your next culinary creation and they help you organise your tools. Make sure they’re coated with a moisture-resistant material and avoid placing them over the stove.

Design: Design 4 Space

Design: WY-TO

Pegboards don’t have to be hung on the wall – they can be placed anywhere, flanking your kitchen islands or even placed on the side of your refrigerator:

Source: Pinterest



Baskets provide a catch-all for those hodgepodge kitchen accessories that you need on occasion. Or they can be a good way to store your fresh produce like eggs, onions and garlic. They are easy on the wallet (easy to swap out when they get battered and worn) and are a great way to add personality to your kitchen. Bamboo made ones give a rustic touch to your country-style or Scandinavian kitchen, while wire baskets are an ideal accessory for more contemporary cook spaces.

Source: Muji

Source: Pinterest



Spaces like those above the kitchen island and those on top of the sink are often not fully utilised. For small kitchens, maximise your storage by using suspended shelves over these areas. This versatile ceiling structure provides a great spot for your collection of wines and spirits or as an area to store your cookware.

Design: Superhome Design

Design: The Association



If there’s one thing on almost everyone’s dream kitchen, it will be an island. Islands are all well and good and they don’t usually come with any storage space. There are also ones that feature closed cabinets or drawers. However, there has been a recent shift towards islands embedded with open shelving. This look is an update of the classic and is a purposeful way to incorporate more storage in your kitchen while adding a more homey feel to your cooking zone.

Design: Story of Us

Design: Third Avenue Studio



I cannot get enough of trolleys in the kitchen. These multipurpose things not only provide more storage (yay to that), a few can also extend your countertop space, while those with castors are perfect for manoeuvring around different rooms in the house – perfect if you love to host with an open bar!

Design: Sky Creation

Design: Third Avenue Studio

Design: Space Concepts



I like to save the best for the last: steel rods for hanging. These bad boys would be your most hardworking kitchen storage pieces yet. The great thing about these metal pieces is that they don’t take up a lot of room and yet are able to hold so much. They are super easy to install and can be mounted virtually anywhere in your kitchen. Over the sink or stove, across your window, underneath an open shelf, or even under your sink! Stack a few at once if you can spare the vertical space for even more storage.

Design: The Orange Cube

Design: The Scientist


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