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Maximizing Space

March 4, 2019

Did you know that a qualified designer can help increase your home’s storage and useable countertop space, and improve your workflow without making the room itself any bigger? Of course, removing a wall or creating an addition can add to potential storage space, but optimizing the space you already have can drastically improve how you behave within your home.

I’ve always believed that good design can change the way people live, and that clutter, colour and organization can greatly affect your mood and productivity within a space.

William Standen Co. utilizes an advanced design process that allows us to increase our clients’ cabinetry storage and the linear footage of countertop space by up to 60 percent!

With minimalism and organized spaces currently being on-trend, we wanted to share our top tips for maximizing the efficiency of your space to help improve the way you feel about your home.


Simply changing the layout of your cabinetry, without having to expand the size of your room, can significantly increase your storage capacity and improve your workflow, cooking habits and happiness while you operate within your space. Here is an example of a kitchen renovation project located in Sarnia, Ontario where we completely transformed the layout without taking down any walls at all.

By relocating the fridge to the opposite wall, we were able to pair it with a tall cabinet that now acts as a pantry with rollouts housing small appliances and food items that are now easier to see and take out from the cabinet. The fridge is much wider than the previous unit and provides added storage for bulk cooking.


We opted for built-in cabinetry next to the kitchen table as opposed to the homeowners existing side table. By adding this new built-in cabinetry with angled ends, we avoided taking away the gorgeous view of the river, while also adding a ton of new storage potential for serving dishes, table linens and other items best kept nearby.

In order to continue using the existing plumbing, we kept the kitchen sink in its original location, but we also did this to help maintain that beautiful view of the river. However, we did change the sink from a small double-bowl to a three-foot wide model with built-in cutting boards, prep bowls, a drying rack and a pull-down faucet to optimize meal prep and cleanup. Beside the sink is a new dishwasher to help make cleanup even easier.

On the range wall, we added a custom tall cabinet with a pullout for a coffee maker and some perfect storage above and below for mugs and related items. The key is storing items as close to the user as possible, so you don’t have to walk across the room for a mug while prepping your morning coffee. This helps to eliminate clutter by having a clear, intentional space for each item.

The end result of this reworked kitchen layout is a space that looks bigger, feels more open and has 40 percent more cabinet storage and 30 percent more of useable countertop space!


Here are some of our other organizing tips!

In the Kitchen

Store utensils/small appliances/accessories as close to their point of use as possible so that they are both convenient and easy to access.

Organize your spatulas and turners within the same slot of your utensil divider. Do this with your forks, spoons and knives as well!

Sort items of similar sizes (like dish towels) together and then place them into a box or tray divider. This will help to keep your drawers looking neat and orderly, as well as making it easier to find things when you need them.

Keep canned and boxed food items grouped together in storage bins, as well as bagged items like beans or rice. The bins separate the items and make them easier to see, and you can also remove an entire bin to take to the counter for meal prep. For example, if you’re making bread, one bin can store all of your bread-making ingredients, making prep work a breeze!

Under the kitchen sink, utilize what could be wasted space with unique pullouts that store cleaning supplies, dishwasher soap, cleaning rags and more. Install tray dividers under the sink to store sink accessories or even smaller baking sheets.

In the Bathroom

Whether you have a small or large space, opt for a medicine cabinet to hide your personal items to keep them off your countertop.

Think about linens and where they’ll be stored. Adding a linen tower cabinet or closet will help keep towels in place. If this isn’t an option, use a shelf for folded or rolled towels so that they’re neat and organized, as well as easy to grab near the shower or tub.

Add a spice pullout! These aren’t just for kitchen use. Adding a pullout is a great way to store nail polish, hair spray and lotions and help keep them neatly in line.

Consider adding a cabinet over your toilet for toilet paper and other bathroom supplies to keep them off the back of your toilet tank and close within reach. If your space allows, recessing this cabinet into the wall creates a clean and streamlined look.

In Your Living Spaces

We love using multifunctional items for living rooms and bedrooms. Go for a side table next to a sofa that has a hidden drawer to hide your books, magazines, a notepad and pen, remotes, coasters and more.

Another great multifunctional item is a storage ottoman used in place of a coffee table that can store children’s toys, blankets, dog toys or even books!

Replace closet doors with sliding doors if possible to reduce the depth needed for a door to open. This will help make your space feel larger.


If you don’t have a guest room, try a pullout sleeper sofa to convert your small space into a cozy spare bedroom for guests.


To learn more about how we can transform your kitchen, bathroom or whole home, click here.