8 Ways to Create Extra Counter Space in a Tiny Kitchen

Try these space-saving hacks. 

This article originally appeared on TheKitchn.com.

Lack of counter space is up there in terms of tiny-kitchen frustrations. Even if you’ve KonMari-ed your kitchen and tucked all your usual space-hogging suspects away, it’s possible you’ll still come up short.

Still, it’s easier than you might think to increase your work surface area. Here are eight solutions in order of difficulty from super simple to more involved (read: some degree of handiness required).

1

Use Your Windowsill for Storage

windowsill-storage
Photo by Cathy Pyle

Audrey’s home offers a beautiful example of using a windowsill well, but you don’t have to limit yourself to an herb garden. If you’re lucky enough to have a deep kitchen windowsill, use it to hold carafes, kitchen canisters, and all those other things that so often clutter our counters.


2

Make Your Drawers Work Harder

make-your-drawers-work-harder
Photo by The Kitchn

Drawers aren’t just for silverware — they can hold spices, pantry items, and all those little things. This smart kitchen uses a combination of drawers, wall shelving, and shelf stackers to make counter space.


3

Make the Most of the Space Above Your Cabinets

make-space-above-your-cabinets
Photo by Leela Cyd

Move infrequently used items up high, to that often-underutilized space above the kitchen cabinets. Then use the room you’ve made to store whatever’s on your counters, from kitchen tools to cutting boards.



4

Add a Shelf Stacker or Under-Shelf Basket

add-a-shelf-stacker
Photo by Lauren Kolyn

A narrow shelf stacker lets you keep must-have items on display without cluttering your counters. If you prefer to keep your counters completely clear, outfit your cabinets with under-shelf baskets to hold mugs, plates, or jars (or all of the above).


5

Keep Things Off the Counter With Pegboard Storage

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Photo by Dabney Frake

Julia Child made pegboard storage famous in her kitchen, and it’s since evolved to include more modern systems. This DIY one combines pegs with shelving to hold your canisters and carafes.


6

Make Your Stovetop Do Double Duty

stovetop-double-duty
Photo by Corelyn Coates & Jennie Palluzzi

Even if you only have space for a stove, refrigerator, and sink, you can use burner covers to create a work surface. Follow this step-by-step tutorial to make your own custom covers for very little money.



7

Clear Counter Space by Adding Wall Shelves

clear-counter-space
Photo by Jill Slater

One of the reasons people keep things on their counters is to have all those frequently used items in view. If you’re short on work space, but want to keep your plates and pantry items in plain view, consider open shelving. Move dishes, spices, and even small appliances off the counter and onto the walls to clear space for prep while keeping everything out where you can still see it.


8

Make Your Own Custom Kitchen Island

custom-kitchen-island
Photo by Marie-Lyne Quirion

This one requires a bit more effort, but in a small space, a custom island can be easier to fit than a standard size. Julia and Bruno prove that it can be done inexpensively and beautifully. They made their island from butcher block counter and IKEA trestle legs.