Topping my list of “must haves” for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries? Adequate storage! In well-designed homes, there’s a place for everything and ideally, everything can easily be put back in its place. 

I love all the clever storage options available today. Let’s break it down.


Kitchen Storage Solutions

In the 38th street house, as you may remember, I built a custom cabinet in the corner to help provide a storage solution for the future homeowners to store spices and cooking ingredients. Using corners that are otherwise “dead zones” helps you master the space. Inserts that pull out or revolving trays can also be useful. 

But I also really like spice drawers. This ensures all spices are visible and handy when needed, but easily stored away when not. No more digging through five jars of cumin to find the one jar of turmeric you know you’ve got in there… somewhere!

In small spaces, I also recommend you think about whether you want to hang certain items. If you have beautiful cookware (or are just tight on space), pot racks can be attached to the ceiling or the wall. You can also hang frequently used kitchen utensils or knives where you need them. Feel free to reconceptualize what you put in drawers vs. have on display. It’s liberating. Seriously.

To maximize storage in the kitchen, you can also fill the empty space above cabinets. I prefer using baskets or canisters here rather than your basic curios and whatnot — a.k.a., stuff that looks like clutter.


Bathroom Storage Solutions 

In your bathroom oasis, you also want to keep clutter from assaulting the sensibilities. Storage is really the solution here — otherwise, everything gets spread out over the counter. Cosmetic bags or shoebox-sized boxes can “containerize” similar items like nail polish or shaving kits.  

Shelving can be useful in a bathroom, but be careful to keep your shelves tidy. I like the look of rolled-up handtowels, diffusers, and plants on open shelves. If possible, reserve some open space on visible shelves as well. Holding this space open creates a sense of luxuriousness. If little things tend to gather on those open spaces, you can make a practice of grouping them together and giving them more permanent and functional homes whenever the bathroom is cleaned. This keeps a bathroom looking crisp and fresh.

Laundry Room Storage Solutions

In laundry rooms, use shelving well. Meaning, shelves shouldn’t be a catch-all for any item that doesn’t fit elsewhere in your home. Being vigilant about clearing this area regularly will bring you much happiness. Absolutely.

Ideally your laundry room will allot space for:

  • Laundry supplies (like detergent and dryer balls)
  • Bins to sort laundry by color and type 
  • A nice surface for folding 
  • A drying rack (or simple clothesline)
  • Ironing board, iron, and steamer
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Extra towels (to mop up spills)
  • A small trash can

Don’t forget to ensure adequate light in your laundry area. It’s amazing how much better you can access your stored belongings when the light is right. I recently saw a laundry room completely transformed just by the switching out of a solid wood door for a door with a large frosted glass panel. The natural light made all the difference. Good lighting can also be accomplished with the right lamps, spotlights, or lighting strips if you have weak overhead lighting, shadows, or no natural light.   


Bonus: Storage Solutions for Other Rooms

Other areas of the house that require extra storage include entryways and mudrooms. Kids rooms, adult’s closets, and offices also benefit from well-planned storage. So, I’ve rounded up some ideas for built-in storage options that work well in renovations, plus some other thought-starters if you’re in the market for furniture or just need organizational tools. 

Built-in Storage Options

  • bookcases
  • cabinets
  • knee-wall dressers (totally wild!)
  • mudroom bench
  • open shelving (including bath towel keepers)
  • spice drawers
  • under stairs drawers or cubbies
  • wall-mounted cubes

Furniture designed for storage 

  • armoires, hutches, sideboards, and storage chests
  • bookshelves
  • coat racks and peg walls
  • storage bed 
  • storage bench or ottoman
  • storage chests
  • tables with drawers

Organizational tools. 

  • baskets
  • bins 
  • containers
  • jars 
  • racks
  • trash can “shed”

That last one can really enhance curb appeal on the 6 or so days per week that is not trash day. 

Be careful to “right size” your storage furniture so your storage solution doesn’t overwhelm a room. Think about “the program” for the room and how a space will be used not just by the adult homeowners but also by kids, by pets, and by guests over time. This will guide you to the right storage solution for you. 

Hopefully this blog will help you find the right kind of storage systems and tools. We all need to adjust and adapt our storage spaces as our daily living, entertainment, and storage needs change over time.