Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking


When designing a kitchen, storage is one of the most important considerations. The way your kitchen is storage optimized can make the difference between a space that is organized and functional, and one that is cluttered and stressful.

Many of today’s kitchen storage trends offer innovative designs and impractical features that sound great in theory but don’t always work in real life. Knowing which elements to avoid will help you create a kitchen that truly suits your needs and lifestyle.

In this article, we will look at some of the most popular kitchen storage trends that designers are now rethinking and offer practical alternatives to the impractical features. Read on to learn how to get the most functional, clutter-free kitchen storage.

Spacious Drawers

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking Over the past decade, there has been a shift towards installing spacious, deep drawers in the kitchen instead of standard cabinetry with shelves. Drawers seem like a practical storage solution – you can neatly organize pots, pans, cooking utensils, and more. However, for most people, these spacious drawers quickly become a disorganized mess.

  • The Problem:
  • Deep drawers encourage you to just throw everything inside without a strategy. Items end up getting buried and forgotten.
  • Unused space allows things to shift around and get disorganized.
  • Can make it hard to find what you need if items get buried or slide to the back.
  • Better Solutions:
  • Opt for standard, shallow drawers about 3-6 inches deep for utensils and tools. This keeps things neatly organized in the front.
  • Use drawer organizers or dividers to section off space and prevent shifting.
  • Reserve deep drawers for baking sheets, cutting boards, or specific items, not general “junk” storage space.

The key is to minimize unused space in drawers so things stay neatly organized. Shallow drawers with dividers keep items separated and easy to find.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking


The trendy, ultra-minimalist kitchen with gleaming surfaces and barely any visible storage might be nice for a magazine shoot, but often doesn’t work for real life. When storage space is minimal, everything ends up just getting crammed in haphazardly.

  • The Problem:
  • No space to neatly organize cooking tools, small appliances, pantry items.
  • Counters end up cluttered with items that have no home.
  • Visual clutter if items are just stuffed wherever they’ll fit.
  • Better Solution:
  • Strategically include some closed storage like cabinets, pantries, and drawers to hide small appliances, tools, and food items.
  • Open shelving works for some items, but make sure there’s enough closed storage to prevent clutter.
  • Create zones for different items so things have a designated home. For example, a baking station, coffee zone, cleaning area.

The key is to find a good balance between open and closed storage and to designate areas for different items. Some visible storage adds style, but too little closed storage causes headaches.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking

Floating Shelves

Floating shelves have become popular for an airy, modern look. However, when used improperly, they create more problems than they solve.

  • The Problem:
  • Items easily fall off if shelves are too shallow.
  • Visual clutter if too many items are displayed.
  • Difficult to organize items neatly. Things easily slide around.
  • Better Solution:
  • Use floating shelves for decorative items or occasional-use items, not everyday dishware and appliances.
  • Anchor items in place with shelf liner or dividers to prevent shifting around.
  • Make sure shelves are at least 4-6 inches deep to hold items securely.
  • Minimize number of items on each shelf for a clean look.

The key is to use floating shelves strategically. Use them for décor or displaying your nice dishware in the dining room, not housing all your mugs and appliances in the kitchen. Deeper shelves with dividers can securely hold items.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking

Corner Lazy Susans

Lazy susans in corner cabinets seem wonderfully efficient. But the spinning shelves often become disorganized junk drawers.

  • The Problem:
  • Spinning shelf makes it hard to neatly group similar items. Things easily spread out.
  • Odd-shaped corner space isn’t used efficiently when you just have an orb-shaped shelf.
  • Items get buried in the back and forgotten about.
  • Better Solution:
  • Use vertical dividers to section off corner space into neat compartments.
  • Install pull-out shelves or drawers for better access rather than a spinning orb.
  • Reserve corner unit for things not used daily, like seasonal dishes.

Strategic organizers and pull-out shelves utilize corner space much more efficiently than a basic spinning shelf. The key is to maximize every inch of available space with smart solutions.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking

Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Storage Trends to Avoid

Still wondering if some other popular kitchen storage trends are practical or impractical in real life? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Is having all matching containers or baskets practical?

  • Matching storage containers look visually appealing and organized at first glance. However, having every container match limits your ability to quickly identify what’s inside.
  • A better solution is using clear containers or a mix of baskets/boxes in different sizes and colors. Group like items in matching bins and use labels to easily identify contents.

Are metal or glass shelves too slippery to be practical?

  • Glass or stainless steel shelves certainly look sleek and modern. However, they offer little resistance, causing items like dishes and bottles to easily slide around when pulling out drawers or opening doors.
  • Opt for wood, bamboo, or textured metal shelves that add traction. Or line slick shelves with grippy shelf liner or a towel to anchor items in place.

Should you avoid pull-out cabinets?

  • Some find pull-out cabinets inefficient because items get buried in the back. However, this can be fixed by using risers, tiered racks, or other organizers to neatly section off the deep space.
  • Pull-out cabinets maximize space in hard-to-reach areas. Try them with organizers to neatly store pots, pans, or stand mixers.

Are open shelves clutter-prone?

  • Completely open shelves often do become cluttered and dusty. However, you can use open shelving successfully in moderation.
  • Opt for just a few open shelves to display pretty dishware. Use elsewhere in kitchen for closed storage. Make sure to edit number of items on open shelves.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking

Tips for Practical Kitchen Storage

Keep these tips in mind as you design your kitchen:

  • Edit ruthlessly: Don’t have more dishes, cookware, tools, etc than you need and use regularly. Excess stuff leads to clutter.
  • Categorize strategically: Group like items (mugs, spices, baking pans) together and give each category a dedicated storage space.
  • Maximize vertical space: Use shelves, racks, and wall units going up to take advantage of all available space.
  • Include closed and open storage: Find the right balance for your needs. Use open shelves sparingly to avoid clutter.
  • Make it accessible: Items you use daily should be in easier reach than occasional-use items.
  • Consider easy-access: Opt for storage with drawers and pull-outs over reach-in cabinets.
  • Add organizers: Dividers, bins, racks etc help keep everything in its place.

By avoiding impractical storage trends and optimizing space for your needs, you can create a clutter-free kitchen that functions beautifully. Focus on smart organization and purposeful editing rather than what simply looks stylish but doesn’t work.

Kitchen storage trends to avoid – impractical features designers are rethinking


While many of today’s kitchen storage trends have innovative designs, some simply don’t function well in real life. Avoid spacious drawers that become disorganized junk bins, ultra-minimalism that eliminates needed storage space, slippery floating shelves, and spinning lazy susans that spread out your belongings.

Opt instead for strategic closed and open storage, purposeful organization systems, and functional accessories that make the most of your space. By avoiding impractical trends and focusing on common-sense organization, you can create a kitchen tailored to your lifestyle with storage that helps, not hinders, your everyday needs.