Clever Ways to Use those Small, Awkward Spaces in Your Kitchen

If you’ve ever priced a kitchen renovation, you probably know that custom cabinets are very, very expensive. Which leaves most people working with cabinets in standard sizes, which can be a bit of a problem because kitchen sizes are not standardized at all. So what do you do when you have just a few inches at the end of a cabinet run? The traditional approach to these little gaps that are too small for the smallest cabinet is just to block them out, but if you hate the idea of letting that space go to waste, there are options. Here are a few ways you can make those tiny slivers of kitchen space work for you.

Instead of blocking out the narrow space between the end of the cabinets and the wall, the designers of this kitchen shown on Alvhem worked in a whole series of clever storage solutions: wine storage below the counter, slots for dry goods and cookbooks above.

This knife block, from Signature Design & Cabinetry, slides into a narrow space between the stove and the neighboring cabinets.

This narrow pull-out cabinet, featured on Home Depot’s blog, provides a handy spot for storing utensils — much more efficient than a cabinet of the same size.

This shallow shelf, spotted in a kitchen from BHG, takes advantage of a few inches at the end of an island to provide storage for spices and glassware.

This narrow pull-out cabinet, spotted on BHG, is a perfect solution for storing spices. The open sides make everything easily visible and accessible, so there’s no digging around at the back of a dark cabinet.

The cabinet makers at Dura Supreme offer a variety of pull-out cabinets for narrow spaces, including a knife block and a spice rack, but I was particularly intrigued by this one, which provides a spot for kitchen towels and sponges next to the sink. No more sponges and scrubbers cluttering up the countertop.

In this kitchen from BHG, a tiny sliver of space next to the refrigerator becomes a handy spot for storing baking sheets upright.

Here’s a similar setup in another kitchen from BHG, with a narrow pull-out drawer that makes baking sheets and pans even more accessible.

In Beth Kirby’s kitchen, spotted on Bon Appetit, a little slot for cutting boards and cookie sheets fits into just a few inches.

Most of the above solutions are for what to do with the gap when a row of lower cabinets meets the wall (or an appliance), but here’s a suggestion (from Good Housekeeping) for adding a little bonus space on the side of upper cabinets, too. This petite cabinet provides a spot for keys and wallets — very clever, and very handy.

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