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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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
    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??

    • DJ Harrison
      DJ Harrison
      on Aug 18, 2020

      Cecelia, I agree with Carroll. Most of the suggestions on Home Talk are for younger people but fun to look at. Being safe is more important than high storage and cute decor for those of us who are older. Even reaching the top of the refrigerator can cause a bad fall.

      I recommend getting a telescoping duster (Swiffer has one for under $10) for the high places you can't reach. Leave anything you can't reach for someone else like kids or grandkids. If they're not willing to help out, don't worry about dust no one can see. It's not worth hurting yourself over.

  • 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

2 of 31 comments
  • Laura
    on Jan 30, 2020

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

  • Doreen Kennedy
    Doreen Kennedy
    on Mar 15, 2020

    I actually like your boxes and plant above your cabinets. They add interest and look decorative. Nice job!

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