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Choosing Kitchen Cabinets for Small Spaces

High real estate prices in cities have driven people to choose smaller spaces in which to live. It is a practical choice, although it also means making do with much smaller spaces, especially for kitchens.
While most people manage, storage is always a problem. Fortunately, a little creative thinking and some organization can help. Here are some types for choosing kitchen cabinets for small spaces.

Go vertical

An easy fix to your storage problems is to make the most use of your vertical space. Choose wall or tall cabinets that go right up to the ceiling to reclaim the wasted space that typically exists there in many kitchens.
The standard kitchen ceiling is 8 feet or 96 inches. Most people choose the standard 36-inch high cabinets. If you follow the standard heights for base cabinets and wall cabinets, you have between 4 and 6 inches of overhead space. Choosing taller wall cabinets can claw back a lot of storage space. If your kitchen ceiling is bit higher, you might even be able to fit a whole bank of smaller cabinets in there.

Make use of cabinet accessories

Going higher and deeper with kitchen cabinets will obviously give you more storage space. A couple of inches higher and deeper can make a lot of difference. However, this can also make some of the spaces harder to access. You can solve that problem by using cabinet accessories.
These range from pull down shelves to Lazy Susans that provide you with a way to get into these spaces or at the contents more easily. Ask your remodeling company about the available options for these cabinet accessories.

Use organizers

Technically also accessories, cabinet organizers deserve a section of their own because you can use them inside or outside a cabinet. Organizers include spice racks that fit in narrow spaces between appliances, or attach to the side of refrigerators using magnets.
You can also get tray dividers on open shelves to house trays, plates, pot covers, and other space-hogging stuff vertically for better space efficiency and access. Cutlery organizers usually fit easily into drawers, allowing you to organize and put in more forks, spoons, knives and kitchen tools than if you leave them loose.

Use hooks

Most kitchens have various wall and cabinet side spaces that are ideal for placing wire meshes. These allow you to use hooks or other hanging accessories from which you can hang pots, pans, cutting boards, and anything with a handle or hole. This will free up space in your cabinets for things you cannot hang.
Wire meshes and hooks are inexpensive and easily accessible, and you can install them yourself. You might even get some sturdy chains and hooks to hang a mesh from the ceiling over your kitchen island or table. You can hang your pots and pans there if they are nice enough to display so prominently.

Put wheels on them

People often use RTA cabinets as the base for kitchen islands, and in many cases, they are fixed in place. A good way to make the most use of the space is to put wheels on your kitchen island so you can move it around where you need it. Put granite countertops on them and you have a great extension of your workspace as well as storage space.


RTA and stock cabinets are inexpensive, but they come in standard sizes. You might need to invest in custom cabinets if your kitchen has non-standard dimensions.
Some semi-custom cabinets might fit the bill, saving you some money by avoiding fully custom cabinets. Among some of your options for special cabinets are corner cabinets, wine racks, drawers, and rollout pantries.

Choose open shelving

Some kitchens are so small that choosing closed wall cabinets simply takes up too much space. Choose open shelving instead and maximize the available wall space. This will also make your kitchen seem larger as it creates visual continuity all the way to the wall.
Inexpensive floating shelves in all sizes and configurations are available in home and hardware stores. You can install these shelves yourself on any available space quite easily. You can also make a design statement, depending on their placement.

Backsplash double duty

The kitchen backsplash is for the protection of your walls from dirt and grease from cooking. However, it is also an excellent space for storing your knives or hanging towels. Place a strong magnetic strip on the backsplash to hold your knives, or attach a small towel holder for your dishcloths. You can also use the towel holder to hold kitchen implements using hooks.

Doorway to storage

Most small homes have an open floor layout to maximize the space. However, if your kitchen has a door or windows, you might be able to put some shelves or racks over them to hold some stuff, such as books or wine bottles. You can install these things yourself, but you have to make sure they are level and have guards to keep stuff from falling off the sides. .


Many people have tiny kitchens, but that does not mean there will not be enough storage. The trick is to make the most of the available space, and these tips for choosing kitchen cabinets for small spaces can help. You can also benefit from advice from experience remodeling experts to do this.

Fairfax Kitchen Bath can be that expert for you. Fairfax Kitchen Bath services the DC, MD and Northern Virginia metropolitan areas. We are a Class A, licensed and insured contractor, registered in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We have a showroom in Fairfax, Virginia, which houses all our products.

We sell only top-quality products for all your kitchen remodeling needs, from natural and engineered stone slabs, cabinets, shelves, sinks, faucets tiles, backsplashes, knobs and pulls, and hardwood flooring. We carry only the top brands for these products, such as Schrock Cabinetry, Silestone, Blanco, Kohler, and Mosaic Décor.

Contact us today to get free in-home design consultation and quote for your kitchen remodeling project.

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Picture of Sam Kazanci <br/><span id="position">Owner</span>
Sam Kazanci

Sam Kazanci is the owner of Fairfax Kitchen Bath Remodeling. He has experience to build and remodel the kitchen and baths with his team and the author of fkb blog: You can find Sam on LinkedIn and Twitter.