14 Ways to Make Kitchen Wall Storage Work for You

Kitchen with tons of wall shelves

Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

Any home chef knows the utter frustration of loving their home kitchen, but not having enough room to enjoy cooking in it—let alone store and organize everything. One great, often underutilized option is using vertical space—or those bare kitchen walls—which is usually just a bunch of negative space. With a little creativity, you can find ways to fill those walls with smart storage options.

It may feel like storing items on walls will add to the clutter, rather than minimize it, but this really won't be the case. Make use of that blank space, and you may be able to avoid the more disappointing alternative: having to toss some of your favorite (but not heavily used) kitchen gear. Making use of that blank space as storage will create less chaos in the rest of your kitchen and add another structure for organizing your stuff. The better your storage and organizational systems in the kitchen, the less likely you are to feel like you have to throw everything away.

As an added bonus, sometimes that kitchen wall storage can lead to a serious style upgrade for the kitchen, one that will make it appear bigger and add new life to the room without a blow to your budget.

  • 01 of 14

    Use Window Sills as Shelves

    Window garden with seedlings

    @whiskymike_ebs / Instagram

    Not all small apartments are lucky enough to be graced with a kitchen window, but if you do have one, use that window sill to create a home herb garden. Greenery will add some color and life to the kitchen, and also be easily accessible for snipping off some fresh herbs to toss in that delicious dinner you are throwing together.

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  • 02 of 14

    Try Wall-Hanging Racks

    Hanging spice rack on kitchen wall

    @Gemmasfitlife / Instagram

    Made to hold everything from spice canisters to wine bottles, wall racks are a great way to get items out of your cabinets or off the counter top. Walls can handle, and hold, a lot. Your most uses spices will be right there waiting when you need them.

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  • 03 of 14

    Make the Most of Door Space

    Wire pantry shelving hanging on a door

    @rejuvenationbyjenna / Instagram

    A kitchen or pantry door can be incredibly useful. A hanging rack on your door (or on the wall just inside it) is the perfect place to store everything from your spice collection to kitchen cleaning supplies. Hanging door racks often break down into smaller components, so they work on the inside of cabinets, as well.

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  • 04 of 14

    Hang Small Floating Shelves

    Small floating shelves

    @ria_mitra_chakraborti / Instagram

    Big open shelving can take up space and even block super-narrow passageways, but little shelves are adorable and fit truly anywhere. These may be a cute addition for random knick-knacks, but put them to work by storing kitchen timers and measuring cups on them. Hang a set of tiny shelves somewhere in the kitchen to hold your favorite plates or measuring cups, or whatever else you want to have handy and easy to grab.

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  • 05 of 14

    Install a Rail of Hanging Pots

    Rail with hanging copper pots

    @fullerhardwareanddesign / Instagram

    Chefs always have cool displays of copper pots hanging behind them, whether on their television shows or on social media. This storage method is not only a great way to display gorgeous cookware, but it’s also a great way to organize and store that cookware. If you've ever lived in an apartment with one cabinet, you know this kitchen wall storage idea is a lifesaver.

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  • 06 of 14

    Use a Wall Knife Magnet

    Wall knife magnet

    @NoyerDK / Instagram

    Many home chefs are obsessed with their knife collection, but with counter space real estate at a premium, one of those giant knife blocks may not make the cut.

    Hang a knife magnet and use that as a spot to store a handful of often-used knives. This might be a paring knife, a chef’s knife, and a serrated knife. Have it within reach for easy vegetable prep and bread slicing.

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  • 07 of 14

    Customize a Multi-Purpose Pegboard

    Pegboard with kitchen tools

    @elisabethcolette / Instagram

    The concept of a pegboard just may seem reminiscent of high school art class, but it can be incredibly useful (and decorative) in the kitchen. A pegboard equipped with hooks can hold any frequently used kitchen tools and accessories, from dish towels or a microplane to maybe even your favorite skillet.

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  • 08 of 14

    Add a Cookbook Rack or Bar

    Shelf with cookbooks

    @emergent_indy / Instagram

    Rather than allowing your cookbooks to pile on a counter, create a dedicated rack or shelf right on the side of your wall or cabinets. In addition to cooking supplies, it can hold a few cookbooks or cooking magazines, and they are right there when you need them. A good spot for this may be in the space above your sink where, there may be a break in the upper cabinetry.

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  • 09 of 14

    Move Cutting Boards to a Hanging Basket

    Cutting boards in wire rack

    @cozy_corner_creations / Instagram

    While cutting boards may often end up anywhere from piled on top of a fridge to leaned on a counter, stacking them right on the wall in a rack is a great way to keep them out of the way, but also available at a moment’s notice.

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  • 10 of 14

    Hang Some Folding Chairs

    Folding chairs hanging on wall

    @forwardfeatures / Instagram

    Even if you are used to eating alone or with a partner, every now and then, a guest may stop by. Hanging the folding chairs you keep for guests in the kitchen can be a way to keep those chairs ready and available. This same storage method would work great with your regular kitchen chairs, too, or even a kitchen step stool.

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  • 11 of 14

    Put Hooks Everywhere

    kitchen hooks

    @missjessicanicoleblog / Instagram

    Install hooks on the back of a door, on cabinet doors or sides, or on the wall. They can be the kind you nail in or as simple as a temporary, removable hook. It's a helpful spot to keep your apron, dish towels, or your favorite oven mitts.

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  • 12 of 14

    Put the Backsplash to Work

    White kitchen corner with shelves

    @cozy.happy.home / Instagram

    That backsplash is about a lot more than looking pretty in the background—it’s viable wall space! Add a few hooks or a narrow series of shelves, and place a few often-used kitchen utensils on them. Bakers can store mixing bowls and whisks, and home chefs who love roasting chickens may want to store their favorite Dutch oven. Command hooks can be a great option here if you have a tile backsplash.

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  • 13 of 14

    Display Your Plates and Mugs

    Hanging wall plates

    Raul Gama / EyeEm / Getty Images

    If you have plates or other kitchenware you truly love—whether they're decorative or nostalgic—creating a plate display can be a nice way to personalize a kitchen and also store those plates. Choose plates that help to tell the story of your home or your family, or just those that really look great on display.

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  • 14 of 14

    Add a Mirror

    Mirrored kitchen backsplash

    @alisons_newhome / Instagram

    A mirror may be just another thing to add to a room that risks taking up space, but they have an added value. Mirrors reflect light, which helps make a space look bigger. It’s all smoke and mirrors, sure, but it just may be the upgrade your small kitchen has been looking for.