Small Kitchen Ideas: Going Vertical to Gain Storage Space

1 Hour

Having a tiny studio apartment with a very small kitchen made me look at all the space I had to see what I could use for storage. That space above the kitchen cabinets ended being very useful to store items I didn't need everyday, and by using closed boxes, everything stayed dust and dirt free.
I recycled paper boxes by "prettying" them up with contact paper (you could also use fabric and mod podge).
It's easy to have the boxes match whatever your decor is. You can buy these boxes at Staples for $1 if you don't have any on hand or shoe boxes would work well too.
Using white plastic drawers above the fridge also gave me more space to store knickknacks. I lined the inside of the drawers, which are clear, to "hide" the stuff inside.
This video shows more things I did in my 450 ft2 NYC studio apartment to make it feel bigger and more functional.

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Engineer Your Space

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Cecelia Winer
    on Jul 27, 2017

    I am 79yrs and find it hard to climb up. My problem is all the oil fumes from frying lands on walls, top of cupboards.. i am on a limited budget so I can't afford to hire some one. I bought a ductless fan over the stove. It does no good and our walls are not compatable to put it to the outside. any suggestions??

    • Debbie Franklin Luff
      on Sep 24, 2019

      I am not able to get up on top of my cabinets and clean them off either. So I had my daughter get up there and clean them for me. I am going to buy some of the press and seal food wrap and have her line the whole top of the cabinets with it. So about every 6 months I am going to have her pull it up and replace it with clean press and Seal. Ihope this helps.

  • Lem28805058
    on Aug 5, 2017

    I love the idea of the removable vinyl tiles in the kitchen. Where can I get them? Were they originally sticky-backed and you didn't remove the backing? Please help - love your site - my apartment is 500 sq fee with the CHEAPEST tiles and carpets.
    Thank you.
  • Joanie
    on Jan 14, 2019

    I'm Baaaaa ck..........Is your plant full and traily now???

Join the conversation

3 of 30 comments
  • I'd have to be pretty desperate for space to put boxes up there. It ruins the whole esthetic of the cupboards.

    • Susan
      on Oct 7, 2019

      If you lived in a 450 sq. Ft. Apt. You’d use every square inch you could find! I think it looks great!

  • Laura
    on Jan 30, 2020

    I used to use baskets - for a country look and this is much better - easier to clean.

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