Three Storage Ideas for the Compact Kitchen

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Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Today’s building trend is toward the small home. People are downsizing to save money on energy bills and maintenance, while they forego extra rooms. Rooms are also becoming multi-functional to garner the most use out of them.

The Tiny House is also catching on. These homes are the modern day mobile home that is energy efficient. They are built with regular house building materials, but in the name of being green, many are recycled and/or re-purposed.

If you live in a small space, you have probably pared down your possessions. If your space is tiny, your things are scaled down to size (otherwise you’d feel claustrophobic!). Simplicity is part of a green lifestyle.

Compact Kitchen Storage

In a small or tiny home, storage is at a premium. A normal set of cabinets is not the answer. I came across this article about compact kitchens the other day , and these photos made me think of all the kitchen storage ideas I have come across in my life.

Compact kitchen number 7 in the link above reminded me of my next-door neighbor’s kitchen. It was a standard kitchen with this incredible pantry. I could have used this and nothing else! This section went from the floor to the ceiling. The doors had 6” deep shelves in them, and the shelves had edges and slid out to easily reach things in the back. The bottom shelf had the most space, and it housed small appliances. With a cupboard like this, you can keep all the clutter out of view yet handy when you need it. Clutter makes a small space appear smaller, so you want clean lines as much as possible for a sense of spaciousness.

Hoosier Cabinets For Smaller Kitchens

In college, I lived in a housing complex that dated from the early 1900s. There were few closets, and the layout in the kitchen was laid out poorly for smooth traffic flow. The kitchen cupboards were in a tiny room off the kitchen with the sink, and it was not in close proximity to the stove or refrigerator. Four roommates were tripping over each other to cook, go out the back door or down to the cellar, or sit at the table and eat.

The saving grace of that kitchen though, was a Hoosier cabinet. It was next to the stove and housed just about everything we needed, since the cupboards were in an inconvenient spot. The Hoosier Company of Indiana made these cabinets in the early 20th century, because homes did not have built-in storage or work space back then.

Source: Uploaded by user via Britta on Pinterest

These cabinets had a work counter, cupboards on top and bottom, glass canisters made especially for them, a flour bin, a sugar bin, a cookie/cracker jar, coffee and tea canisters, racks for spices and cards on the inside of the door with cooking and household tips. As cupboards became built-in items in the 1920s, the Hoosier cabinet went out of style.

Drainboard sinks

Another neighbor of mine has recently moved out of the house she and her family have lived in since the 1940s. Her kitchen sink, which is still there, was an original drainboard sink with tons of drawers and cupboards. This type of sink was a one-piece metal cupboard that could be moved around.

I have seen them in summer camps and as outdoor wash areas on farms. They are portable! Not that you would want to disconnect it and move it, but being one piece makes it a storage unit in itself. I see them all the time at yard sales and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. A drainboard sink would be a great addition to a small kitchen.

Vintage storage ideas for compact kitchens – eco-friendly lifestyle

These vintage and contemporary solutions will work well in a small home or a tiny house. They fit into an eco-friendly lifestyle of few possessions, and they can be found second hand. If you are a DIY-er, you can probably get creative and upcycle some yard sale finds. Whatever your choices, enjoy decorating on a small, compact scale!

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Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle, as well as upcoming and existing technology to help us live in an ecologically-friendly way. Nan also authors posts on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.