11 Ideas for Using Tricky Spaces in the Kitchen
Got some awkward spots in your cookspace that you don't know what to do with? Put them to work with these ideas
The owners of this pretty space have a mini breakfast bar at the end of their kitchen. To make it work harder (and look prettier) they’ve not only added an extra ledge from the worktop to the window to perch a radio, which they can listen to while sipping their morning coffee, but they’ve also put in shelving above to display pottery.
Here’s another tight space that could have been left with no function. In this shallow spot, another wall cabinet would have butted into the window frame, so shelves were put up instead. These ones are practical and good-looking – the stainless-steel surfaces are easy to clean and the metallic finish ties in with the oven (co-ordinating at its best). They also mean there’s a place to show off fine china.
Find more ideas for open storage in a kitchen
Once you’ve planned your kitchen to perfection with a configuration of cupboards and drawers, you might still be left with an awkward gap to fill. Make the most of leftover crevices by using them for storage. The corner niche here is the ideal slot for chopping boards and trays, which can be whipped out when needed.
A space between an appliance and a row of units is another tricky one to fill. Here, the owners have cleverly made use of the area by installing a narrow pull-out cupboard. The cupboard’s rail is ideal for hanging tea towels or oven gloves, and the shelf below is handy for holding bottles of oil and vinegar. Storage solutions similar to this can be bought at DIY stores. Check out the kitchen cupboard organisers available on Houzz.
Yes this space does get used, but for most of us that means half empty bottles of cleaning products and a whole lot of other kitchen paraphernalia scattered everywhere and often forgotten. A pull-out system like this one (again, available at most larger DIY stores) will put you – and your kitchen products – on the straight and narrow. As a temporary measure, use trays or boxes to enhance order, making it easier to grab what you need.
Planning your kitchen from scratch? Consider an under-sink drawer rather than a cupboard. This one is wide enough to fit everything in and has compartments to keep it all tidy.
When you’re planning a drawer like this one, make sure you get it custom-made to fit with your waste pipe. Usually there is a gap in the drawer that slots neatly around it.
This rustic kitchen is full of character, but the proportions could have proved challenging. On this small area of wall for example, there’s no room for a cabinet. The designers could have just carried the standard base units up to the edge, but they decided to do something different. They’ve installed a slightly taller base unit and fitted it with two pull-out cupboards. This simple idea has created bags of storage and has meant the designers haven’t wasted the space. Full marks for cleverness.
Want to make use of absolutely every single inch of space? Then don’t let your kickboard areas go to waste. You see, they can be converted into drawers. In this galley-style kitchen, the veneered drawers on the right continue all the way down to the floor. The bottom spaces are not as high as the others, but they’re ideal for baking trays and saucepan lids.
Discover how to plan the perfect galley kitchen layout
If you’ve created a housing unit to fit appliances or built a wall to divide zones, think about how you can use every part of it. This two-oven housing unit left the owners with an area of wall next to their sink. Rather than leave it grey and empty, they’ve installed a wooden spice rack. It’s a handy spot for storing these small jars and the wooden finish helps to warm up the grey space. Bonus!
The same housing unit has given rise to another canny idea. An otherwise redundant cavity at the back of the oven is the perfect spot for a wine rack and coffee-maker. The breakfast bar in front creates a surface on which to put cups and glasses and turns this area into a cool refreshment stand.
A kitchen that’s located below a sloped roof can present a few challenges: the main one being how to use the awkward area under the lowest part of the ceiling. In this cookspace, the back wall doesn’t give much space for standard wall units. A few could have been fitted on the left, but it would have given the owners an asymmetrical design. Instead, they’ve chosen a narrow wall unit that sweeps along the wall in one uninterrupted line. They even included a handy wine rack in the corner.
How have you used an awkward space in your kitchen? Share your ideas and photos in the Comments below.