Do you have an island in your kitchen? Would you like more storage space in your kitchen? Have a look at this article written by Yanic Simard, a contributor for Houzz, and get some great storage ideas for your island!
7 Ideas to Get Your Back-of-the-Island Storage Right
From doors to drawers — and more — here’s how to maximize your island storage
For this reason, it often makes sense on an island deeper than 24 inches to construct it out of shallower cabinets placed back to back. For example, a 42-inch-deep island is often made out of a row of 24-inch cabinets on the work side and 15-inch cabinets (the depth of standard upper cabinets) on the back side, plus a few inches of counter overhang.
With this arrangement, the cabinets on the work side can be used to hold larger and more frequently used items like pots and pans, while the back side can be used to store smaller items, often pieces used less frequently or items that aren’t used in cooking, such as glassware or games.
2. Door cabinets with stools. Another smart option is to use either an extra-deep island or shallower cabinets on both sides to allow space for stools to tuck in, balancing storage with seating.
To go back to our example of a standard 42-inch-deep island, if you construct it out of two rows of 15-inch-deep cabinets instead (placed back to back to put storage on both sides), this makes 30 inches of storage and leaves 12 inches of overhang, which is enough for dining stools to tuck in.
Another option is to place cabinet knobs lower than normal (about halfway up the cabinet) so they rest below knee height and above kicking feet.
You’ll also want to make sure to choose a cabinet finish that can handle being gently kicked or scuffed from time to time. Quality, washable paints in a finish with some sheen will hold up well, and a dark color can’t hurt.
In either of these cases, consider getting the best of both worlds by putting seating and deep cabinets next to each other.
This kitchen (the same one as the previous image) has just enough seats for a small group to gather around and chat with the chef, while the rest of the island is devoted to easily accessed storage.
4. Glass doors. One of the standout features I noticed at a recent design show was the many styles of sleek glass doors being used on lower cabinets, rather than on upper cabinets where they might be more expected.
A long stretch of glass doors like this gives an island the look of a display case, as if from a jewelry store or gallery.
Using just one or two glass doors toward one end of the island also gives a feeling of openness and lightness, and it breaks up a bold color choice, like this radiant purple, to give a sense of balance.
It’s perfectly suited to cabinets that store attractive glassware, serving dishes and so on, especially as it allows guests a peek inside so they know exactly which cabinet to open.
5. Drawers. Sometimes when people design a kitchen, they underestimate the importance and usefulness of drawers. Too many kitchens have just one three-drawer cabinet, which usually becomes one drawer for cutlery, one for cooking tools and one “junk drawer” for clutter.
Fans of organizing know that drawers are an important tool for having a place for everything. So why not use drawers on the back of your island? Even in a smaller island, shallow and slim drawers are very useful, giving small tools and cooking ingredients like spices the perfect-sized home.
Drawers will be more of an investment than basic door cabinets with shelves inside, but the convenience of extending items out to you rather than bending over and digging through a cabinet pays dividends.
This is especially true when using storage behind stools. Pulling out drawers is much easier than having to crouch down to reach into the deep corner, so it’s the optimal solution here.
Giving both sides of the island essentials like a sink, storage for task-specific tools (like peelers, graters or cutting boards) or even appliances like a microwave or dishwasher can help divide up work zones for smart functionality.
For example, in this kitchen, one person could prepare themselves an afternoon snack while someone else is working on dinner, all without crossing paths.