One of the most frequently lamented problems in a kitchen is a lack of storage, an issue that can be compounded when it's a rental kitchen and you don't have as many possibilities to customize it to your needs. Even when you can't renovate, here are some ideas taken from some of our house tours and our sister site The Kitchn that can help you make the most of what you've got.
1. Mark's kitchen offers a number of innovative storage solutions. An island serves double duty as a breakfast bar/dining table. Because the island is on casters, you could wheel it out a bit and add more stools when guests come over. Also notice the microwave shelf above the fridge, which maximizes vertical space, and the use of an unusual location for a pot rack.
2. In Kate's home, counter risers help add some storage space for spices and grains, added chrome shelving keeps her utensils and pots close at hand, and a classic solution — a peg board — adds some much-needed storage in the absence of cabinets.
3. If you're short on counter space, why not turn the old idea of a bar cart into one that suits your particular needs? Elsie turned this old cart into a coffee/tea station, but you could just as easily use a rolling cart as a baking station or storage for oils, vinegars, spices, and herbs.
4. By using an old desk as a microwave stand and as extra storage space, Rodellee has devised a clever way to keep some essentials close at hand, including fresh herbs, and she is able to stash her recycling neatly below.
5. The Kitchn suggests using CD storage racks to corral all the rogue container lids that can so easily clutter and consume cabinet space.
6. Veronica and Keith cleverly make use of vertical space by keeping their produce in hanging baskets and by relying on a hanging pot rack. They added a freestanding island, which offers more counter space and a handy place for the microwave and trash can. Cookbooks are simply and neatly housed in stacked wooden crates.
7. Kelly and Michael offset an awkward cabinet arrangement with the addition of an IKEA shelf. Even if you can't add any shelves to your rental space, you can steal their idea of sticking useful items, like this timer, to the side of cabinets, where they aren't easily visible, but are close at hand.
8. If you've got some open wall space, but it's not deep enough for the addition of cabinets or a sideboard, you can take a cue from Lisa and Clay's kitchen and use a row of low bookcases, which can offer handy pantry storage or a display place for narrower dishes.
9. In Jesse and Leia's kitchen, elevated shelves, use of the refrigerator top, and an IKEA pot rack maximize space. If you aren't allowed to put screws in the wall but still want to use every inch of space, consider a tiered produce basket, which rests on the floor but offers a bit of verticality.
10. Kathryn & David have not only created a beautiful little corner for all their fruits and vegetables, but they've also added a hanging garlic basket. If you don't have counter space to spare, hanging baskets like these are small enough to fit under a counter or in small corners, but they're useful enough to keep bits and bobs off the counter.