Kitchen storage ideas
kitchen storage ideas for modern kitchens

15 clever kitchen storage ideas

Leave no space untapped with these innovative ways to keep clutter at bay

By Paula Woods and Victoria Purcell |

Pots, pans, spices and kitchen gadgets all need a place to live, so work with a designer from the outset to work in clever kitchen storage ideas that work for your day-to-day needs. Built-in solutions, from clever corners and pocket doors to plinth steps, are a great place to start, but there are plenty of off-the-shelf ways to boost storage in your existing space, too.

1. Drawer within a drawer

Drawers offer one of the most useful forms of kitchen storage, tucking away cutlery, pans and Tupperware. But they work hardest when a shallower pull-out sits within a deep drawer. From the outside, one large drawer appears sleek and unfussy, but inside, drawers within drawers can help you to organise kitchenware by use, such as everything in one place for baking or pasta or roasting.

deep drawer with a shallower drawer inside to store pans and baking trays

Spenlow kitchen in Tailored Grey and American Walnut with pot cupboard, from Humphrey Munson

2. Extractor with storage

Having utensils close to where you use them the most makes preparing meals more pleasurable than if you must dash across the kitchen to get what you need. This innovative surface-mounted extractor system by Falmec combines a 800m3/h suction element with optional integrated storage compartments.

Monolith black glass and matt black aluminium extractor with accessory storage modules from Falmec

Monolith black glass and aluminium extractor with accessory storage modules from Falmec

3. Integrated knife block

Storing knives requires some care. A sturdy knife block is fine but clutters up the worksurface and a magnetic wall strip leaves everything on display. These clever integrated function boxes from Bulthaup keep everything nearby but hidden behind a drop-down door.

Bulthaup integrated knife storage

B3 glass-fronted countertop function boxes with built-in lighting and optional integrated electrical outlets and mixer tap, all from Bulthaup

4. Hi-tech solutions

A hi-tech kitchen needs a storage solution that reveals itself at the touch of a button. Cabinet manufacturers compete to come up with ingenious ways to store things, but this Cabinet-Plus motorised touch-button control shelving unit from Magnet – which can be made to accommodate knives and utensils or wine bottles – has to be one of the cleverest kitchen storage ideas out there.

Motorised utensil storage that drops down from wall-hung cabinets

Cabinet-Plus motorised touch-button control shelving unit with kitchen cabinets from Magnet

5. Kitchen pantry

If you have the room, or are building your own space, creating a walk-in larder is a great way to keep your food organised and easy to view. Rather than creating a dark, gloomy space, a fluted glass design like the one below from Mowlem & Co borrows natural light from the kitchen while obscuring the contents of the larder from view.

Kitchen storage ideas: This fluted glass walk-in larder by Mowlem & Co lets natural light into your panty

The Manhattan collection from Mowlem & Co

6. Breakfast station cabinet

Keeping all you need for breakfast, such as the coffee machine, kettle and toaster, in a dedicated cupboard helps busy mornings run smoother. The addition of a pull-out shelf makes access easier and prevents heat and steam build-up in the cabinet.

bespoke breakfast station cabinet with pull-out drawer by Davonport

Kitchen painted in Pavilion Grey by Farrow & Ball with bespoke breakfast cupboard by Davonport

7. Clever corner storage

Corners present a challenge when it comes to kitchen storage. Swinging, pull out shelving is an option, but often leads to food or kitchenware being lost to the back of the cupboard. This corner pantry from Masterclass Kitchens is a clever way to make use of a corner space, keeping everything in reach, neatly ordered and out of the way.

corner pantry in traditional kitchen - grand designs

Bespoke corner pantry by Masterclass Kitchens

8. Sliding pocket doors

The trend for streamlining kitchen designs that hide appliances or breakfast stations away behind closed doors has led to innovations like the pocket door. These doors by Jack Trench Design slide along and tuck away into the cabinet frame, which is ideal for busy households where doors may need to remain open throughout the breakfast rush without impeding access to nearby cupboards or appliances.

9. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets

The void between the top of a kitchen cabinet and the ceiling is often overlooked. By extending cabinets all the way to the ceiling, you can create extra storage room. This can make smaller spaces feel hemmed in, but glass doors will help retain an airy feeling, while offering a place to display your ‘the good crockery’ that you don’t use everyday, as well as decorative items that you wish to shield from kitchen grime.

green kitchen with floor to ceiling storage- grand designs

Bespoke kitchen design by Blakes London

10. Plinth storage

Likewise, extend your kitchen storage to the plinth at the very bottom of your cabinets. Blum’s Space Step is a clever way to utilise the dead space behind plinths with extra storage, combined with a handy step to help children reach the counters when baking or adults to retrieve items in taller cupboards.

Blum SPACE STEP plinth storage with built-in step

Blum’s Space Step is a multifunctional storage solution

11. Engineered corner units

Seek out clever engineering to improve the ergonomics of a corner cabinet. Opening the door to this Kesseböhmer Classic magic corner unit brings the front shelves out of the cupboard while those behind move forward.

Kesseböhmer Magic Corner unit in chrome

Kesseböhmer Magic Corner unit in chrome with kitchen by Second Nature

12. Sink-side storage

The sink becomes a food prep area with this Box Center design from Franke, which turns a second sink into a drainer with storage for knives and chopping boards. After use, the washed utensils dry out of sight on the hidden wire rack.

Storage inset for second sink

Box Center stainless steel inset, flush or undermount compartment bowl and accessory set with Pescara Pull Down XL tap, all from Franke

13. Bespoke pull-outs

Investing in a bespoke or custom-made kitchen ensures your specific storage needs are delivered. A designer will assess how you want to use the space, take an inventory of all your kitchenware and devise storage that’s tailor-made to suit. This clever pull out by Rational Kitchens hides coffee pods and utensils for use with the appliances above it.

pull-out drawer under a bespoke coffee station in a modern hi-tech home

Luna kitchen with customised drawer and internal storage by Rational

14. Open shelving

Open shelving, when teamed with glass storage jars full or dry goods like rice, sugar and flour, has become fashionable in kitchen design. Organise them well and it will save you rummaging in the back of cupboards for pots, pans and pasta. It’s time efficient and useful pieces collected over the years can look great on display.

open shelving and metal kitchen island by Neptune

Henley oak kitchen with Carter Island in metal and oak by Neptune

15. Quick-fix options

There’s always room to improve your storage set up with easy-to-fit and cost-effective retrofit shelves, or drawer and cupboard organisers, like this Yamazaki Tosca under-shelf rack.

Yamazaki Tosca under-shelf steel and wood rack from Amara

Yamazaki Tosca under-shelf rack from Amara