Ikea Buys To Optimize A Small Kitchen

Urbanization is a growing trend throughout the United States, and more people are choosing to live in cities and highly-developed areas. Developers are building homes, condos, and townhomes with limited square footage to support burgeoning populations, and they have to get creative with fitting as many people as possible within property lines. When homes have limited space to work with, certain rooms can't hold all the tools, appliances, and items that people use for everyday life. Kitchens are one of the locations that suffer the most, even though this is one of the busiest rooms in your home. Smaller layouts are often laid against one wall or designed in a U or L shape, making it tricky not to feel cramped or cluttered.

Ikea addresses the growing concerns around small kitchen spaces by advocating using multifunctional and space-saving furniture in people's homes. They have multiple product lines that optimize kitchen storage and functionality, allowing individuals to store their necessities without cluttering their cabinets and countertops. It's not only the size of your belongings that can make them impractical for limited areas; you must also consider the design and additional features of storage solutions. Below are several Ikea amenities built to make the most of a room so you can better organize your food, appliances, dishware, silverware, and cooking utensils.

Wall-hanging dish drying rack

Smaller kitchens have limited counter space and smaller sinks. A minimized setup makes it difficult to set dishes out to dry without taking up too much of your kitchen. Luckily, inventors have been coming up with space-saving solutions since as early as 1876, when Chandler Vashti designed the first wall cabinet for drying dishware and utensils.

Since this invention, many inspired designs have made it to the market, including Ikea's vertical dish drying rack. Their specialized wall rack hangs using stainless steel hardware, allowing you to dry dishes without them getting in the way of food prep or dishwashing. This design has a bottom tray for catching drain water and comes in various styles for holding silverware, plates, cups, and other kitchen tools. By hanging this product above your countertop or sink, you can save space and use an empty wall. Since all of Ikea's products are customizable, you can play around with the setup. For example, you can get multiple shelves if you use a lot of dishes, buy hooked compartments to store drying utensils, or upgrade to a larger drying unit if you need more vertical space.

Purchase the KUNGSFORS vertical dish drying rack from Ikea starting at $30.

Kitchen island on wheels

Gorgeous kitchen layouts often include a central kitchen island, which is a centerpiece of extra counter space, cabinets, and sometimes even additional appliances. Unfortunately, small spaces don't have room for these islands, but there are ways to compensate. Rolling kitchen islands are miniature mobile trolleys you can roll across your tile, laminate, or wooden floor as you prepare and serve meals.

The narrow FÖRHÖJA trolley from Ikea has a light birchwood and white color scheme and is roughly 39 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 35 inches tall, making it a practical fit for smaller spaces. The minimalistic paint design makes it suitable for traditional and modern-style kitchens alike, and two back wheels allow mobility while the two other legs help hold it in place. It has two lower shelves of open storage that can hold up to 18 bottles, while the top level contains two drawer cabinets that can be opened from either side. The multiple layers of shelving and narrow dimensions make this cart ideal for compact areas. You can effortlessly slide it into a closet, corner, or between furniture pieces and decor to keep it out of the way when not in use.

Purchase the FÖRHÖJA rolling kitchen island from Ikea for $149.99.

Stackable shelf inserts

Large and small kitchen designs struggle with unused space inside and above their cabinets. While many people may think they've packed their available storage full of dishware, appliances, and utensils, many kitchen layouts don't utilize vertical cabinet space. The entire bottom may be filled with items, but there are likely a lot of vertical areas left unused.

Ikea's shelf inserts provide a solution for this issue. These inserts are made for flat surfaces, specifically cupboards and sideboards, and stand to make a second level of shelving for extra storage. These inserts are made of steel and painted white and can be stacked on top of one another to create even more ledges for items. Ikea recommends using them to hold glasses, bowls, and spice jars. It not only makes the cupboard appear neater but also makes it easier to find items since all the contents are easier to access. There are several dimensions to choose from, ensuring you can find a shelf befitting your cabinetry.

Purchase VARIERA shelf inserts from Ikea for $9.99.

Sliding cabinet baskets

Wire baskets are commonly used for organizing decor and household necessities. Ikea's steel wire retractable baskets are specifically made for cabinet interiors and have additional features that make them ideal for hard-to-reach spaces. These baskets are on a moving track, allowing them to roll out so you can access items that would otherwise be lost in the deepest corners of your kitchen.

The wires are spaced to hold pots and pans in positions that ensure they won't scratch one another or retain moisture, and the steel material can hold up to 22 pounds. The rack also has a 24-inch depth, providing ample space and support for heavy dishware. One review claims it can hold up to 35 pounds before it begins to sag and struggle to roll out. Other reviewers commend this product for being straightforward to install and adjust, especially if you purchase them for Ikea-branded cabinetry. Plastic spacers are included to help them fit properly into your kitchen design, regardless of whether or not you have Ikea cabinets.

Purchase the UTRUSTA wire baskets from Ikea for $32.

Shelf and cabinet clip-on baskets

The retractable wire baskets aren't the only minimalistic storage solution Ikea offers. They also have a line of products from the OBSERVATÖR clip-on basket collection, which are hangable on shelves or standalone on flat surfaces. This container's design is stackable, allowing you to optimize the use of a small space. It's made of steel and has a polyester powder coating, making it easy to clean with a damp cloth and mild cleaner.

The dimensions are 12 by 12 inches, and it is roughly seven inches tall. The compact size makes these baskets practical for kitchens with limited cabinet and counter space, and their neutral gray-brown color makes them suitable for most interior designs. Reviewers claim to use these baskets in pantries, countertops, cupboards, and walls to hold utensils, produce, and other kitchen items. However, since this product hangs from two L-shaped metal legs, you cannot hang it from wired shelves or short ledges without additional attachments.

Purchase the OBSERVATÖR clip-on basket from Ikea for $11.99.

Slim wire shelf rack

Do you need more vertical storage but have little room to squeeze in an extra cabinet? Thanks to its slim design, the OMAR vertical shelf rack can be your saving grace. Since it's only 18 feet wide, you can wedge it into a small gap or corner but gain loads of vertical storage. It comes with six shelves, which is nothing to sneeze at when you're working with limited square feet. It's also made of galvanized steel, which is highly resistant to rust and corrosion, meaning the humidity from nearby appliances and cooking endeavors won't degrade this product over time. 

This shelving unit is easy to assemble and adjust as needed, and you can combine it with other products in Ikea's OMAR collection to make the most of your limited space. Even the bottom feet are adjustable, allowing you to place it on uneven flooring if necessary. Most product reviews praise this vertical shelf rack for its versatility, sturdiness, and functionality.

Purchase the OMAR one-section shelving unit from Ikea for $89.98.

Hanging metal wall rack

Ikea's KUNGSFORS collection also includes a wall rack, a contraption inspired by professional restaurant kitchens. This installation saves counter space by storing kitchen tools on the wall. It's made of stainless steel, which is durable and rust-resistant, making it safe to hang over stovetops and sinks where humidity levels are high.

The product is 22 inches long, about 10 inches high, and fits tightly against the wall, making its appearance and structure both minimalistic and space-saving. Instead of styling your empty kitchen walls with a backsplash, you can use this rack to add complexity and functionality to your space. You can use this rack to store measuring cups, whisks, ladles, spatulas, and other cooking and baking tools. If you purchase additional hooks, you can also hang bags of produce and other storage baskets from this suspended piece.

Purchase KUNGSFORS wall rack from Ikea for $26.

Bottle storage rack

If you're a wine connoisseur with little kitchen and storage space, you may be looking for a way to arrange your bottles in an organized manner that's also easily accessible. This squat bottle rack is ideal for kitchens with limited cabinet, pantry, fridge, and counter space. Although it's primarily marketed for wine storage, it is also suitable for other bottles. That means if you're overrun with olive oil, beer, or sparkling water bottles, you can store them more efficiently on these racks. It can hold up to 24 bottles, freeing up your cabinets for more dishware or pantry items.

Since it's only 18 inches wide and 14 inches deep, it can be easily wedged into a small corner without taking up too much space. However, if you're looking for something that offers more vertical storage space, you can get the 6-foot version of this, which stores 48 bottles.

Purchase the OMAR bottle shelving unit from IKEA for $59.99.

Rotating corner cabinet carousel

Many space-restricted kitchens are designed in L or U shapes. This layout is necessary for residences with modest square footage but often results in awkward corner cabinets to connect all sides of the kitchen. One of the biggest issues with these corner pieces is that the cabinet has "blind spots" due to the depth of the interior. Fortunately, modern inventions make it easier to see and access all of the spices, tools, and dishware in these impractical layouts via rotating displays like Ikea's wall corner carousal.

This installation has two levels of rotating shelving that allow you to swivel it back and forth to reach the items you need. The tempered glass is adjustable, allowing you to customize the space between the two levels, and each shelf can hold up to 11 pounds. Many reviewers praise this product for making the most of corner space, making it easier to see their stockpile of kitchen products without making a mess of their cabinet organization.

Purchase the UTRUSTA wall corner shelf from Ikea for $80.