When homeschooling mom and blogger
Jodi Mockabee and her husband bought their 1846 farmhouse in Northern California, the house didn’t need many structural changes and even fewer cosmetic, but the dark and dated kitchen just wasn’t cutting it for the couple and their five young children. By knocking down walls, adding windows, and converting an old laundry room into a pantry, Mockabee and her husband achieved their dream modern farmhouse aesthetic, with a focus on functionality for their active family.
Here are seven storage ideas to steal if you’re remodeling (or just reorganizing) your kitchen.
Photography by and courtesy of
Jodi Mockabee. 1. Don’t sacrifice storage for seating in your island.
Above: You can have both. Instead of a classic built-in island, Mockabee opted for a shop table with drawers (found on Craigslist). It was originally green, but she sanded it down to the raw wood, then glued on a butcher block countertop from Lumber Liquidators with enough overhang on both sides to accommodate four stools. 2. Make the space work harder.
Above: Mockabee’s kitchen has a large footprint and access to the backyard, so she took the opportunity to include a potting table, which she envisioned doubling as extra prep space. Integrating drawers and a low shelf provides an additional storage opportunity, and Mockabee says that the potting table has also become “a smoothie bar, the kids’ sink, and a place to put drinks when people come over.” 3. Diversify your storage.
Above: The stove area sports several different types of storage—a brass utensil rail holds hanging utensils, pots and pans, and a braid of garlic, and to the right, a tray corrals easily accessible oils and spices.
Above: On the other side of the stove, a wide crock holds a variety of wooden utensils. 4. Use your pantry as extra counter space.
Above: Mockabee is lucky enough to have a dedicated pantry closet, but instead of stocking every shelf with dry goods, she groups them on the top and bottom shelves, and keeps the middle countertop shelf clear as storage space for small appliances and prep area to cut fruit for the Vitamix, measure coffee beans for the grinder, and the like. For more pantries we admire, see Archive Dive: A Peek Inside 15 of Our Favorite Kitchen Pantries. 5. Harness the power of the peg rail.
Above: Mockabee wrapped her whole kitchen in Shaker peg rails so that no storage opportunity is wasted. In the sink area, the pegs make it easy to display and rotate artwork. For more ideas, see our posts on Peg Rails. 6. Consider a dishwasher drawer.
Above: To the right of the sink is Fisher & Paykel’s Double DishDrawer, which Mockabee says is perfect for her family. “We don’t have more than one set of dishes, so we often handwash after each meal. Once I learned we were wasting more water hand-washing than a single load would use in one of the drawers, I was sold,” she says. The model she chose is panel-ready, so it disappears seamlessly into the kitchen design. 7. Sneak in storage wherever you can.
Above: A last-minute addition to the kitchen remodel plan was a skinny broom closet to the left of the paneled fridge. Says Mockabee: “I’m glad I was able to sneak in this little closet because we use it daily!”
More kitchen organization ideas:
N.B.: This post is an update; it was first published in 2019.
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