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REAL ESTATE

10 Storage Hacks to Make the Most of Your Tiny Kitchen

  • kitchen-shelves-214ffaa9ed975510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Open shelving (piovesempre)

  • cabinet-shelves-214ffaa9ed975510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Max out your cabinet space (Lalith_Herath)

  • lighter-kitchen-214ffaa9ed975510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Lighter colors open up the space. (Steven Miric)

  • pots-and-pans-ceiling-214ffaa9ed975510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Pots and pans above (araraadt)

  • pull-out-pantry-214ffaa9ed975510VgnVCM200000d6c1a8c0____

    Pull-out pantry

When you're short on space, decorating your home is just as much about function as it is about aesthetics.

And, while we all may dream of the glamorous life of Carrie Bradshaw -- using our kitchen for the sole purpose of storing sweaters in the oven -- that isn't always feasible.

But living in a home with a small kitchen (without major renovations) is possible -- if you just make a few adjustments. Here, we break down 10 tricks to make the most of your kitchen space while still loving the design.

1. Add shelving

Look beyond what's provided in your cabinets, and turn to the walls for extra space. Choose a decorative unit or strong open shelves for storage. Keeping the shelving open will give the illusion of more space and will break up the heavy look of your existing cabinets.

Or, mount a small kitchen rack to open wall space to hang pots and pans and store small appliances.

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2. Capitalize on your cabinet space

Believe it or not, most people don't use their cabinets to their full potential. You can double up your cabinet space by installing a second level. Use under-shelf baskets or stackable shelves to sneak in an extra level.

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3. Compartmentalize your drawers

Use tension rods to create spaces in larger drawers to organize pots, pans, lids, cutting boards, and whatever else needs separating. It's an instant space saver, and you'll always be able to find what you're looking for.

Bonus: Tension rods can be used throughout your kitchen, like under the sink or inside a pantry to hang things such as cleaning products.

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4. Use your doors

Create extra storage for your lids, cookie sheets, Tupperware, and other household goods by using the inner surface of your cabinet, closet, or pantry doors. Install hooks, extra shelves, or even a file organizer.

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5. Go up

Ceiling-hung pan racks not only look great, they also save a ton of space. Bonus: It's a good excuse to invest in a really great set of cookware. Opt for one in a brushed bronze or other metallic finish to add a little shine to the space. You can even give ceiling-mounted shelves a try.

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6. Uncover those secret hiding spots

This is the secret space saver of your kitchen: the space above your cabinets.

The gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling is the ideal spot to store things that aren't used all the time: large serving dishes, wine decanters, vases, beautiful bowls. And since it's likely a spot that will remain in view, it's the perfect place to show off (and store!) those special pieces you use only on holidays or when hosting a dinner party.
Don't want everything on display up there? Buy matching baskets that fit in the space for incognito storage.

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7. MacGyver yourself some more counter space

What's the easiest way to add counter space to your home? Buy a large cutting board. Place it over your sink, and you instantly have more room for prepping meals.

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8. Keep it light

Light-colored, that is. Lighter and less saturated colors on all surfaces of your kitchen will give the illusion of a larger space, allowing you to breathe easy. Try glass cabinet doors ( or frosted if you're worried about keeping the contents of your pantry neatly on display).

If you do want to go bold, do so with a small pattern -- it will attract the eye without overpowering a small kitchen.

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9. Cut the clutter

Nothing makes your home -- and especially your kitchen -- look smaller than having stuff everywhere. So get it out by focusing on what you can get off your counters.

But you need that stuff handy! We know, we know. You can clear the clutter and have a functional kitchen at the same time. Maximize your drawer space to store the things you don't use all the time. Then try installing a couple of magnetic strips on the wall behind or next to your stove -- it's the perfect spot to store your knife collection.

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10. Install a pull-out pantry

Trust us -- you have the space for this even if you think you don't. Small, unused gaps, like those often next to a refrigerator or at the end of your countertop are the ideal spots to install a pull-out pantry you can access from both sides. All you need is 6 to 12 inches and an afternoon of DIY, and you have extra space to store canned goods, food, and other items.

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Video: 3 Sneaky Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Expensive