Before & After: All Storage Isn't Created Equal

Before & After: All Storage Isn't Created Equal

Colleen Quinn
Jan 14, 2011

Before I moved into my overseas rental, the previous tenant spent a lot of time praising the amount of storage available. It wasn't until I moved in that I discovered most of the storage took the form of badly-built cabinetry tucked into almost every room of the house. The worst cabinets of all were in the small room off the kitchen; badly painted, warping melanine too shallow to hold any plates or kitchenware, these cabinets were just a waste of space (especially the one in the corner which had no shelves because it hid the electrical panel).

Fortunately, my new landlord shared my distaste for these dingy cabinets and was willing to pull them out. Once they were gone, this useless and overcrowded space became a functional area rife with possibilities. I moved in the credenza from the neighboring dining space, then purchased and installed my favorite IKEA kitchen piece, the Grundtal pot rack. The credenza holds a variety of serving pieces and table linen, while the rack holds all of my pots, freeing up the two kitchen cabinets that previously housed them. The credenza is also ideal for extending the buffet when I'm having a party.

Though it seems like I now have much less storage in the space, the new configuration is much better suited to my needs and therefore less truly is more in this instance. Though some of my friends here thought I was crazy to get rid of the cabinets, now they agree that the space is both more open and more functional. This experience was a great reminder that we don't always need more space, we sometimes just need to use it better.

edited to add: For those who have inquired, I do in fact use the pots which are easier to access now than when they were in a cabinet in the kitchen. This corner is about 10 steps from the stove which works for me since there is no available space to hang a pot rack in the kitchen. You can see pictures of the kitchen layout here.

Images: Colleen Quinn

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