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The kitchen is usually a busy place, and it can often be a much smaller room than the others in your home. But a tidy kitchen can still end up with unused space, so you might be wondering how to fill it up with style. You can even get creative and discover new places to decorate. Whether you’re just moving in or it’s time for a change, we have thoroughly researched how you can effectively fill up empty space in a kitchen.
The best way to fill empty floor space in a kitchen is to find ideas that will serve both the style and function of the room. You can get inventive with the methods and spaces that you use, as long as you remain consistent with the rest of the overall interior design of your own home:
- Practical windowsill
- Stove hoods
- Fridge space
- Upper cabinets
- Side cabinet
- Base cabinets
- Rolling carts
- Busy doors
- Breakfast nooks
There are countless ways to organize your kitchen space and make the most of it. But having so much freedom can make it tough to find out where to begin. You can keep reading to learn about how the suggestions above can work in various places throughout the kitchen, from the smallest windowsill to an open breakfast nook.
What can I put on my kitchen windowsill?
A window sill can usually be treated like any other shelf, with a few exceptions. To begin with, it wouldn’t be a good idea to stack any recipe books here. Although it would look nice, some of the books could potentially end up with stray water damage or get dropped right into the sink.
But there is still plenty of decor that can create organization and style here. You can read the post "What To Put On Kitchen Windowsill [9 Suggestions]" for even more detailed suggestions, too.
Flowers and Plants
Most of the time, flower pots and assorted greenery are displayed on the window sill. This can add color and literally liven up the room. And these plants would need natural lighting and water, anyway. As such, they are a natural fit.
Fortunately, many flowers and plants can be used to create verticality. Some grow quite tall and help fill up the window area. Others can be used to drape down from the window sill, using up the space below to create a sense of relaxation.
You can even use baskets to organize the greenery across the sill. These baskets may also be available with multiple tiers, which would allow you to stack smaller plants and flowers. This is another great way to find verticality with the window sill.
Fruits and Vegetables
Displaying edible fruit and vegetables on the sill offers colorful décor and function. There are plenty of different fruit baskets and banana hangers, which can offer numerous styles and multiple tiers. Achieve symmetry by positioning a basket at either end of the windowsill.
Now, you may be worried about the natural lighting affecting your fruit. But you can use café curtains to invite more light, or longer curtains to resist the sunlight. The curtains can be tied off to the sides, which is perfect if your fruit sits on either end of the window sill.
Some stoves may have a hood hanging over the cooktop. This space usually goes ignored, because it isn’t always ideal for conventional kitchen decorations. After all, a stove hood is usually set at some kind of angle, which can make it difficult to decorate. And the heat exposure from the cooktop may cause problems with some decorations.
However, stove hoods are usually metallic, with some types of stainless steel being magnetic. So, you can use magnetic décor such as a row of accessible spice jars. This will fight the odd angles, maximizing your storage space and adding intrigue to an otherwise plain area.
What do you do with space on top of the fridge?
Your refrigerator is an unusually large appliance, so the top of the fridge opens up a lot of possibilities. You'll want sturdy decor here that won't pose a fall risk and durable items that if accidentally dropped from this height won't break.
You can style the top of the fridge with tidy baskets that organize your cookbooks. Woven baskets will look cozy and some offer a space for labeling, so you can easily organize the cookbooks.
You can also use signs, plaques, and large metal words on top of the fridge. These can add a lot of personality and occupy a lot of space, without being too fragile or difficult to display.
Upper cabinets are typically installed with just enough space to allow comfortable countertop use, but you can still add convenient storage. There are actually under-cabinet drawers that can be installed flush to the bottom of the upper kitchen cabinets.
In fact, you can even install under-cabinet drawers into the unused toe kick area beneath your base cabinets. While you won’t have room for your feet anymore, you’ll be able to fill entire drawers with flat tools, pans, and utensils.
Your upper kitchen cabinets may also have an unused side, where you can add hanging storage or display racks. You can install thin spice racks and repurpose them for all kinds of décor, or even your cookbooks. Just add as many rows as necessary.
What do you do with space under the kitchen counter?
There are actually plenty of commercial ways to maximize the space inside your kitchen cabinets. This includes either the upper row or the base cabinets, but most products serve the lower cabinets under the kitchen counter.
For example, the easiest way to conserve space is to use pull-out technology, such as a pull-out trash can. These will hide the smell and look of your garbage, and should fill up the entire cabinet interior. You can simply slide the pull out trash can back and forth when you need it.
Similarly, there are slide-out spice racks. These can be used to store all kinds of things and not just spices. It depends on how durable the rack is, but you can sometimes store cookware or utensils. Slide-out spice racks can also glide in and out of the cabinet for easy access.
The counter space is where you’ll find the majority of your decor, but it shares the space with appliances and a cooking prep area. So, you can use trays to organize similar things into groups. This will simplify the countertop and create a clear barrier when you’re busy cooking.
Also, most countertop decor has to sit directly on top of the surface. But you can also use self-adhesive hooks, like the popular Command brand offers. These will allow you to hang decor on the wall space between the countertop and the upper cabinets. The hooks can be used to hang utensils, artwork, or towels.
Command hooks are also useful because they're easily removed. You can read the post "14 Cost Effective Ideas to Overhaul Your Renter Kitchen" when you can't make permanent changes in the kitchen.
You can use rolling carts to effectively fill out the corners of your kitchen floor space. They usually have three tiers, and they have enough variety in their styles to fit any interior design.
You can fill each tier with a recipe library, flowers, or even spare appliances like the mixer or blender. Rolling carts don’t take up very much square footage, but they add a lot of storage. Also, they are more unexpected than an ordinary set of floating shelves.
It’s easy to forget that all of the doors in your kitchen can also be used for extra storage. This is especially true if you have a pantry door. It is tall enough to be used for the same expansion as a typical closet door.
You can install a spice rack or hooks so that the inside of your pantry doesn’t look so empty when it’s open. You can hang everything from a set of hand towels to grains and snacks.
And the spice rack can have the same relationship with the pantry as it does with your cabinets. It can be endlessly repurposed because it’s basically just another set of thin shelves, but they don’t protrude too much.
What to do with an unused breakfast nook?
Breakfast nooks can take up quite a lot of room, so it’s important to use a larger idea that will make the area feel balanced. A coffee bar can also help fill in the unused floor space, and serve up a treat for the nook’s traditional table and seats.
Coffee bars tend to use cozy, brown neutrals that reflect the look of a coffee house. This makes coffee bars a great way to tone down a bright, white kitchen with another neutral. Coffee bars will also probably require a couple more appliances, which can help fill the area without appearing too busy.
If your kitchen happens to have some free space, there are many things you can add to increase your storage and style. Now that you have 10 suggestions to help you get started, you can take inspiration and find your own methods or ideas. Just remember to be practical before you get stylish, and your kitchen space is limited only by your creativity.