Open kitchen needs more storage -- hang from high ceiling?

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I've got one of those open kitchens that mean only one short wall of cabinets. I've been debating about suspending from the ceiling either glass shelves or even tiered baskets. But the ceiling slopes and is about 20 feet high over the island containing sink and dishwasher. I can use toggle-type bolts, or possibly tie into the overhead trusses by going up into the attic ... but keep wondering if I'd like the effect. I'm using all the other tricks I've found on this site and others to increase storage, but still coming up short.
  11 answers
  • Fran McCarty Fran McCarty on Mar 09, 2015
    I had the same problem...hardly any storage at all. I purchased an old armoire, painted it and added shelves. Also if your kitchen is large enough, you might could possibly add an island, giving you not only more storage but counter top space as well. Old TV entertainment cabinets make good storage too. An old dresser with mirror taken off and a nice counter top add to it makes a great inexpensive island.

    • Karen Karen on Mar 09, 2015
      Thank you. I'm already using a mid century linen armoire in adjacent area and a small island. I am planning to add shelves to island (it's a narrow bar height table from Target that was used as coffee bar previously). I got an idea hére last night of how to rehab the small pantry that will likely help. Kitchen situation complicated by my elderly mom and I recently combining households and she's very short, very attached to her also elderly kitchen wares that are duplicates and triplicates of my newer items. But I've had almost this exact layout before and had similar problems. A much bigger pantry helped enormously, especially for big items. Mom needing everything about 3' high and having little strength is huge. BTW, rehabbing a dresser for sewing related storage -- they are terrific finds.

  • Dale Dale on Mar 09, 2015
    It would help if you showed pics of your kitchen and dimensions of the room.

  • PainterNoni PainterNoni on Mar 09, 2015
    Perhaps look into garage storage solutions, wherethings can be stored up high, yet pulled down easily when needed. Items used only occasionally could be stored that way. Could possible use attractive baskets or boxes on these movable shelves.

    • Karen Karen on Mar 09, 2015
      Thank you. Going that direction for over sized pots, paper goods, etc. and may be forced into it for even more. Course I've got a ton of stuff that truly has no other place to call home except garage. Too much stuff bottom line I'm sure.

  • Barbara Votik Barbara Votik on Mar 09, 2015
    I miss the chef's rack I had in a previous home. If the rack you create is attractive and well secured, I say go for it!

    • Karen Karen on Mar 09, 2015
      Thanks for the encouragement! I may make do with covered fabric boxes on top of the one row of cabinets.

  • Carolyn Carolyn on Mar 09, 2015
    you can go online and do a 'google search' to view on pinterest probably 'ceiling hung glass shelving' to view ideas.

    • Karen Karen on Mar 09, 2015
      Yep, guess I will. I know so far I haven't seen any hung from such a high ceiling.

  • Elizabeth Elizabeth on Mar 09, 2015
    Yes....it would help to have a picture of the room

    • Karen Karen on Mar 09, 2015
      If I get to it and can figure out how to post I will.

  • Mad About Design Mad About Design on Mar 09, 2015
    When I moved to a smaller home, I was really pinched for room in my kitchen. So, having some space in the dinette area, I kept the armoire I already had, and changed it into a beverage station, small kitchen appliance and extra baking dish, bowls and etc. storage unit. Amazing how much it holds!

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Mar 09, 2015
    For pots and pans that can hang, consider a hanging rack, like this one in the kitchen. Your mother may not be able to reach it but you may and the chains are adjustable. Also, consider what she really needs and store the rest in a basement, garage or other room. Consider giving away duplicate items. Is your mother willing to compromise considering the lack of space?

  • Wendyl Wendyl on Mar 10, 2015
    How about hanging a wooden ladder horizontally? You could use large "S" hooks to hang pots, lights, plants, etc. under, and a piece of plexiglass on top (smaller than the inside dimension of the ladder to accommodate the "S" hooks) to hold seldom used things that Mom still needs to see are there.

    • Karen Karen on Mar 10, 2015
      @Wendyl Interesting thought ... a rustic ladder wouldn't really fit our loosely-defined style but your idea does give me the idea that something more vs. less substantial would be the way to go. Maybe a stainless steel quasi-pot rack ... If I could afford to do so (and get my mom to agree -- we in essence jointly own the house), I'd remodel the island containing the sink and dishwasher by building a partial wall on which cabinets or glass shelves could be installed. But the previous owners installed granite counters and on the island, the counter includes a bar-height top on the side facing living room and kitchen eating area. It would mean some serious demo, plus trying to match the remaining counter. I'd so much rather have additional counter depth all at one level, and the partial wall with an opening to the other spaces at the sink ... maybe someday. Meanwhile, in addition to the hanging-whatever, I'd like to add lighting, probably recessed spots. Those could work with your idea, Wendyl -- thanks for your note.

  • Nancy McKechnie Nancy McKechnie on Mar 10, 2015
    @ Wendy, I love that idea! We just moved into a new home and I feel like I'm hosting a tv food show when I'm working at the counter...something overhead would make it a little cozier!

  • Karen Karen on Mar 10, 2015
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts. They've helped me think in more detail about WHY I thought of doing this, what I really need space for, and how else I might solve the problem ... maybe even take the plunge to change the counter and build a partial wall after all. It could match the height of adjacent wall that encloses pantry and fridge ... and maybe the upper "deck" of granite could be salvaged to extend the counter I'd be leaving alone. Hmmmm .... thanks to all for the inspiration!