Snazzy Storage Solutions

I felt that our discussion of cabinetry and kitchens in general would be incomplete unless I showed you some really functional ways that you can store your stuff!  Most of these items are definitely not in the “stock” category for cabinets,  but they  present good reasons for choosing custom or semi-custom cabinets.

First up are what’re called “magic corners”.  You know how you usually have some sort of dead space if you have cabinetry that turns a corner?  Yes, you can go with the standard lazy-susan type of cabinet which works ok but doesn’t make the most use of space.  A “magic corner” utilizes the entire space very well as it is usually a series of 2 rectangular units on a slide mechanism that allows both units to be pulled out when you open the door.  One unit slides all the way into the dead space and the other unit is attached toward the front where the door opens.  Ok, here’s a picture:

storage unit for corner cabinet in kitchen that pulls out when you open the door
See how it works? This is one style but I've seen others.

Pretty cool, huh?  Can you tell I’m a big fan of the Container Store? 

Next up: Pull-out pantries.  These are great vertical storage units that make all those small things very easy to find.  There are many different versions of these, but here’s one for an idea.

Tall kitchen cabinet outfitted with several shelves and pull-outs for pantry storage
Tall pantry; note the great storage on the doors

This next solution is great for those of us who are “vertically challenged”- like moi!  It’s also great for people who have any kind of difficulty reaching items.  The cabinet actually pulls down to you! 

upper cabinet insert that pulls down to counter level
Talk about accessible!

These are pretty common but worth mentioning: vertical spice and storage drawers.  They’re great for making the most use of tight spaces as they’re usually only a few inches wide, and you can keep things handy right where you use them. I designed a kitchen that had a very small footprint and we utilized a couple of these flanking the range. 

vertical storage drawer alongside a range to store spices
I think this person bakes! Isn't that a gorgeous oven?
vertical storage drawer in kitchen holding utensils, spices, and pot on metal pegboard
I thought this was a great idea

 One last picture of a very clever idea from, a secret hiding place! 

 small pull-out bookshelf with storage behind it
I don't think I'd hide spices here, but maybe some secret recipes!
Here are some other interesting storage solutions:
  • Trash and recycling chutes- they can be cut into the backsplash in kitchens that have a garage or mud room next to them.  Saves on having to devote storage space in the kitchen for trash, and saves time because your trash and recycling goes where they’re supposed to end up!
  • Pull-out chopping blocks- these generally look like a drawer front, except that when you pull it out it’s a wooden chopping block.  Great for having next to the sink and trash. 
  • Pull-up mixer shelves.  If you have a stand mixer you know that they’re not lightweight!  There are shelves that store in lower cabinets that can hold your mixer and with very little effort raise the shelf out of the cabinet and to counter height.  An interesting concept except when your mixer spits its contents all over the place! 

Have you seen any interesting storage ideas out there, or have any really great storage in your own kitchen?

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