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My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

So you’ve seen my kitchen makeover before and after, created in collaboration with here (see it here), but let me show you inside those beautiful VEDDINGE grey cupboards. Are you ready for a nosy?

The kitchen is where almost everything happens, it’s the social heart of the home, so it’s bound to get a bit messy and disorganised every now and then. And that’s ok – my kitchen wasn’t designed as a show home – but a few clever storage solutions and simple space-saving tricks can help you use the space more efficiently, and more importantly, savour and enjoy cooking without having to worry where things are. Some of the ideas shared here are simple and easy to achieve, such as making the most of a small space so its easier to prepare meals, sprucing up tired cupboards with some neat organisation, or simply adding a few fresh touches to brighten up a space and inspire you to fall back in love with your kitchen.

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Inside my IKEA VEDDINGE grey kitchen – clever storage solutions make the most of the small space

These VEDDINGE grey units may look minimal and smart from the outside, but they’re working hard on the inside to keep the kitchen tidy and uncluttered. I’m a minimalist at heart but a minimalist who likes things around me – I love collecting postcards from exhibitions, I have an old French road sign I picked up at an antique market in the living room, and I only really need one coffee cup but have dozens, all of which I can’t bare to part with – each thing tells a story or is a reminder of a trip abroad.

My solution has always been to hide things away in cupboards and have the nicest things on show. But, with a new kitchen to start afresh with, I was keen to make the most of the space I have. Simple things like storing food in transparent kilner jars to encourage us to cook with what we have, instead of going out and buying more, discovering we have three packs of basmati rice at the back of the cupboard. Utilising the space above the cupboards for the things we use less often and putting in drawer inserts to divide pots from lids and plates from bowls, so items are easy to take out and put back again. Finding a solution for the perennial problem of spice jars, so you can always find the one you’re looking for without having to take everything out of the cupboard. Organising rubbish and recycling bins so they’re not an eyesore cluttering up a corner of the kitchen.

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Cooking is made easier by having everything in its place

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Drawers are organised so pots and pans are easy to see and take out

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

A step stool makes it easier to reach the higher kitchen units

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Kilner jars keep food cupboards neat and tidy

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Having the kitchen cupboards organised allows us to make the most of the small workspace

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

A RÅSKOG trolley can be wheeled around the space for extra storage

With this kitchen everything has its place – it’s designed to reflect how we use the space and cook together. It’s all about customising the kitchen just for you, to create an inviting space that inspires and makes everyday life that little bit more enjoyable.

ikea smart storage solutions

Get the look: 1: UTRUSTA socket and under unit lighting, from £18, 2: KORKEN jars, from 80p, 3: IDEALISK grater, £2.50, 4: SPECIELL 5 piece utensil set, £2.25, 5: GRUNDVATTNET sink accessories, from £3, 6: VARIERA drawer inserts, £5, 7: VARIERA/UTRUSTA waste sorting, from £32, 8: VARIERA pot lid organiser, £5, 9: Wok, £18, STUVAD cork pot stand, £4.25, 10: VARDAGEN pot, £15, all IKEA

Here are some simple ideas I’ve implemented into my own kitchen using some of IKEA’s smart storage solutions above…

Worktop lighting and power outlets

Lighting can make or break a kitchen. Bad lighting can make a space feel unwelcoming, dark and dingy, not to mention not being able to see what you’re cooking or preparing. Good lighting can transform a space, brighten and open it up, while ideally being adaptable depending on how the space is used during the day and evening. We have ceiling LED lights in the kitchen for overall light, pendant lights over the dining table and worktop lights below the kitchen units.

The UTRUSTA LED worktop light is a very clever tool for the kitchen. Not only does it light up workspaces for cooking and food prep, it can be connected to a plug socket with a USB port so you can plug in your appliances and charge your phone too. The lights are dimmable in two steps using a portable remote control. The light comes in three different sizes meaning several Utrusta lights and plugs can be connected together in a line to build a discrete lighting system under the units. This really worked for us because it meant that the clean lines of the beautiful white metro tiles didn’t have to be ruined by ugly, bulky plug switches on the splash back.

Each light also has three little hooks, which are perfect for keeping favourite utensils close to hand or hanging drying herbs. It allowed us to personalise the space a little and add some detail and texture to the minimal grey units.

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Minimal under-unit lights feature hooks to hang utensils so they’re easy to hand

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

The lights are integrated with plug switches, including USB sockets, and are turned on and off with a portable switch

Utilising your sink space

With just one wall of kitchen units, we don’t actually have much worktop space. It means we need to really utilise the surface smartly so things don’t get too cluttered while we’re cooking or using the space throughout the day. The sink is naturally where most of the kitchen prep begins so why not take a closer look at that space and make it work a little harder for you?

The GRUNDVATTNET collection of sink accessories is designed to aid the daily routine of cooking and cleaning and make your workflow more efficient, saving you time, water and effort. Containers and inserts can be used to divide up the sink for different tasks. A colander can balance over the sink to wash fruit and veg, or to drain washing up at the end of a meal. A small square container can separate ingredients, or be used to store washing up liquid, sponges and scrubbing brushes. A chopping board can be slid over the sink to create an extra bit of workspace for chopping food. It can even be used to hide unsightly dirty dishes when you don’t have time to do them and want to give the illusion of order to dinner guests!

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

We don’t have much workspace, so utilising every inch is essential

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

GRUNDVATTNET sink accessories aredesigned to make workflow more efficient, saving you time, water and effort. The chopping board doubles up as extra workspace

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

The colander can be used to wash vegetables and food or as a drying rack for washing up

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

The chopping board can be slid across to hide any unsightly washing up waiting in the sink!

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

A little bit of organisation around the sink helps maximise space and organise mess

Bin sorting

Unsightly rubbish bins and umpteen different (often overflowing) boxes for recycling can really ruin the look and feel of a kitchen. I couldn’t wait to get rid of my pedal bin and install some bins in the space under the kitchen sink. IKEA’s VARIERA/UTRUSTA waste sorting system can be installed in cupboards and pulled out for quick, easy access. Various sized compartments mean rubbish can be separated and organised, depending if its food waste or recycling. Simple and clever.

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

The VARIERA/UTRUSTA waste sorting system allows rubbish to be organised and neatly hidden away in units

Drawer storage

There’s nothing quite more satisfying than a tidy kitchen drawer. Choose what you truly treasure and really need, and organise according to how often you use it. Drawer inserts help arrange utensils, while dividers separate pots from pan and maximise space. These VARIERA inserts for spices are a revelation for me, I used to have all my spice jars mixed up in the cupboard, I could never see what I was looking for and half of them ended up unused at the back of the cupboard. Now I can see them all clearly and can quickly take them out of the drawer and use them while I’m cooking. The inserts have grey wiggly lines to grip the jars so they don’t rattle around in the drawer.

The RÅSKOG trolley is also a handy addition to any kitchen. On four wheels, it can be moved around to wherever is needed. I stock mine up with essentials like oils and condiments, coffee cups, napkins and cookery books. It could also work as a bar cart or bathroom trolley, in fact, I think I need one in every room now!

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Drawers are used for cutlery, plates, pots and pans, while this RÅSKOG trolley has bits and pieces close to hand

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Dividers in drawers help separate pots, pans and lids

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Drawer inserts help keep the kitchen uncluttered

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

These spice racks in the cutlery drawer allow you to easily see which spice you need when you’re cooking

I hope those storage solutions and details have given you some inspiration for your own kitchen. Even if you’re not going through a complete makeover project, there’s easy ideas to take away, whether it’s giving your kitchen a new lease of life with smart lighting, adding an add-on workstation or wheeled trolley for favourite implements, or going through your drawers and arranging them again for a little peace of mind. Even just having a spring clean and spruce up can make the world of difference and help you see your kitchen again in a new light. Most of all, I think it shouldn’t feel like a chore, but rather a few simple ways to give your kitchen daily joy.

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

A little blackboard can be used to make shopping lists

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Enjoying my new kitchen 🙂

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Cleverly planned details make everyday life in the kitchen a little bit easier, and more importantly, enjoyable

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

The sink area looks calm and minimal, but under those units are bins hidden away and clever storage

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

Utensils are each to reach and use

My IKEA kitchen makeover part 2 – small space storage solutions + everyday details

It’s the clever, little details that make the wonderful everyday

This post is an ad feature, created with IKEA. All images: Cate St Hill, copyright IKEA. See more stylish storage solutions for a smart looking kitchen on the IKEA IDEAS page, here.

11 Comments

  1. I love a tour of details. The colander and the trolley are both great ideas for my small kitchen.

    • Thank you Lin! Both the colander and the trolley have been so useful for organising bits and bobs and keeping things tidy x

  2. Thanks for the post, some good organization ideas here. Especially using the sink space as a chopping board and to wash etc. I always find it’s a mess with our worktop space atm!

    • Thank you! Yes, workspace can so easily become messy with all the things you need out, we don’t have much workspace so the chopping board is perfect for giving us a little bit extra x

  3. Morag says

    We have a free standing IKEA kitchen with bigdrawers to hide things in. It is great, it can be moved around which I love doing but it in my favourite position at the moment. We have had it almost 9 years and it still looks new.

    • They last so well! I love the big drawers, unfortunately with all the appliances we could only have a couple, if I had more space I would have all drawers on the bottom units next time X

    • I love them, I’ve always had IKEA kitchens and they last so well, I love how they’re really functional and efficient too X

  4. woah I need your organisational skills. I’m inspired to tackle my cupboards now! love it

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