Retro Arrow Shelf, Viva Terra
Organizing a kitchen can be a huge challenge. Either you have too little counter space, not enough cabinets, or possibly both. The challenge is finding a practical and aesthetically pleasing solution. When you are limited on cabinet or storage space, try to use any open wall space you can. Find decorative shelves that fit the style and theme of your kitchen and fill them with you spices or juice glasses. For example, the retro shelf above is a great piece to add to your kitchen. It provides visual interest and is still practical in its use. To prevent clutter, keep the items you display in collections as pictured above. For example, if you display your spices, make sure they are all in matching spice jars.
Many kitchens do not have cabinets that reach the ceiling, which equals wasted space. Sure, you can use that space for decorative items but why not find beautiful baskets or bins and fill them with the items you rarely use? Seasonal dishes or serving platters are just a few of the items that you can store away. Other items you can store would be placemats, tablecloths and extra dish towels. You may need a step ladder to reach them but at least they're not up in the basement with the spiders.
If your kitchen lacks cabinets, purchase some basic shelving units. For an industrial kitchen look, aim for something like the picture above. If you have a more natural/rustic look in your home, purchase some basic wood shelves from Ikea and stain them dark or leave them unfinished. Fill the shelves with stacks of your plates and bowls, glasses, etc. For a less exposed look, purchase an antique hutch and refinish it to go with the style of your home.
Big countertops, no cabinets? There are a variety of plate racks for sale that are a decorative way to show off your plates. Plus, it's super convenient to grab a plate and dish up!
French Kitchen Island, Crate & Barrel
Islands are such a huge help in a kitchen, it's like having an extra pair of hands. The additional counter space it provides is so helpful when preparing a meal. Not every kitchen has the room for an island but luckily, they come in all shapes and sizes these days. For homes that have no dining room, put your island to work and use it as a kitchen table and as a prep station. My favorite island is the French Kitchen Island from Crate and Barrel - it's marble top is too die for.
I love the look of open storage but it can be a difficult thing to keep the cabinets and shelves looking tidy. The key to keeping open storage looking sharp is unification and repetition. It may be a big investment but purchasing jars and containers that are all the same will make your kitchen look amazing. If you're able to, labeling them all will help you stay organized and people will think Martha Stewart moved in. If money is tight, start saving your glass jars and re-purpose them to store everyday pantry items. They may not be exactly the same but the fact that you have glass paired with glass is enough unity to look uncluttered.
I've always had an obsession for pot racks (yes, I know that's weird) but they are so practical and really add a lot of drama to a kitchen. There are the traditional over the kitchen island racks but my new favorite (for those of us without an island) is the wall hanging rack (below). The Eclume Bookshelf Pot Rack from Crate and Barrel not only will free up your cabinets by hanging your pots and pans but it will hold your cookbooks too! Genius! Genius! Of course, you can use the added shelf to hold coffee mugs or a bowl filled with your garlic and onions but the point is that it's more function for your buck! Who doesn't love that?