Multi-use kitchen space needs help

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Chanel
Chanel Posts: 3

This is section of my kitchen has become a multi-use space that could use some help. For reference, I'm a renter in a small railroad-style apartment.

On top of the chef block, I store fruits and veggies that don't need to be in the fridge. It can get quite crowded up here on grocery haul days. I like storing these here but I often run out of space quickly. And the spot gets shared with my blender; I don't have a better location in the kitchen for it because of it's height.

Down below on the shelves are some of my coffee making things, pie dishes, jars, and then some extra pantry type items. In the summer, I install my AC unit and try and center it so it can cool down my kitchen (and doesn't get blocked by the fridge).

I'm looking to find a better way to use the space here. I'm open to ideas! Maybe it's shelves above? I'd also like to potentially replace the butcher block to something with closed storage. I am limited with how much I can change things, but open to DIY projects!

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  • kwilks67
    kwilks67 Posts: 6
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    Going vertical with some of your storage may help! Shelves on that wall between the windows or even a hanging fruit basket might get some of those things up and off the surface or relocate things from the cart shelves

  • MrsAllnut
    MrsAllnut Posts: 4
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    I would consider getting a radiator cover, that will give you a nice sturdy shelf in front of that window for plants or flowers. A taller storage unit or shelves between the windows would be grand, just do yourself a favor and measure the space carefully, including the spaces between windowsill & molding. Everyone forgets the molding! I use a lot of Ikea storage. Billy bookcases with extensions and doors would give you that closed storage, or a small Pax wardrobe might fit but they have specific measurementsthat might end up blocking windows. Or, you could use open shelving using adjustable rails and heavy duty supports. Those are more flexible but you do have to have the shelves cut to fit and its not as easy to keep neat. With adjustable shelving, you could also make room below for the a/c unit. If you can, hang a sturdy rod on the wall a few inches below the ceiling. That would give you a rail from which you could suspend plants, hanging veggie baskets, lacy drapes, etc. I use conduit pipes painted black or wood closet rods. They're sturdier and cheaper than curtain rods. In the meantime, it's perfectly okay to store the base & blender pitcher separately. Mine is in a cupboard, side by side. That would free up some space on the top of the cart.

  • MeganBakerDetloff
    MeganBakerDetloff Posts: 87

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    agree with @kwilks67 , vertical storage between those two windows would be really beneficial here!

  • Chanel
    Chanel Posts: 3
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    Thank you @kwilks67 and @MrsAllnut!! This is really helpful and sparked a lot of inspo! I actually have an Ikea Ivar shelf in another room that isn't being used fully and could potentially move here and make space for the A/C unit (love this idea) down below. Also, storing the base and blender pitcher separately! Ah-ha! Makes perfect sense. Excited to work on this little project over the weekend 😊

  • DanielaAraya
    DanielaAraya Posts: 156
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    Here to say +1 to storage between the windows! I have this shelving unit from HAY between two windows in my kitchen and I have so much more space to store things now

  • SNandez
    SNandez Posts: 27 ✭✭
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    Also agreeing on the vertical space! Always look up when looking for more storage room. And many options between floating shelves or bookcases to move vertical. Also loved @MrsAllnut's idea on the radiator cover for a shelf. You don't even have to go full cover, find an extra slab of wood, stone, or maybe an extra shelf and just rest it on top! Easy peasy and adds just one more shelf space for you.

  • CullenOrmond
    CullenOrmond Posts: 98

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    hi @Chanel! echoing everyone that shelves would look incredible here. if you didn't want to have open shelving, what about a cabinet? designer Kim White used an IKEA bathroom cabinet in her rental apartment's kitchen to have more storage that could also be hidden! she made it look super cool by adding contact paper onto the cabinet door.

  • DanielleBlundell
    DanielleBlundell Posts: 46

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    +1 to shelves and fruit baskets; the latter are so chic!

  • Nanat
    Nanat Posts: 1
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    I have found a tool chest incredibly useful for storage. They come in a variety of sizes and great colors, mine is a deep blue but I had options of red, yellow or green when I chose. I use it instead of an island and it is on casters so easy to move for cleaning, etc. Mine is counter height but they have taller ones that may serve you better than open shelving since they are metal and you need storage between a radiator and air conditioner. I have 2 large lazy-susans on top so I can quickly get to items from either side without having to re-arrange. If you choose open shelves I recommend them both for saving time and they somehow give the illusion of less clutter since things are contained.

  • BlairDonovan
    BlairDonovan Posts: 28

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    @Chanel i bought this fruit basket from Urban Outfitters when i first moved into my apartment, and it's been a total game changer! the exact one is sold out, but they have something similar that actually looks better for leaning against a wall. the hook i hung it from was already built in to my apartment, but i'm sure you could easily add one to your ceiling with minimal damage. seriously, i would be at a loss on grocery restock days without this!

  • SarahEverett
    SarahEverett Posts: 29

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    I agree with @MrsAllnut that a radiator cover — or some sort of butcher block shelf above your radiator — might offer you even more surface area to work with! i also live in a RR-style apartment, so I know every little square foot counts!

    📸/🏢: Lauren Kolyn

  • Pamorana
    Pamorana Posts: 5
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    Some attractive and sturdy bins to corral like items (coffee making things, jars, etc.) on the lower shelves - and on wall shelving if you opt for that. Might function better and look a bit sleeker.