Kitchen Confidential: Amp Up Your Storage With Pullouts

See 12 types of cabinet pullouts that make your cooking and cleaning items easier to find and use

By Gillian Lazanik / Courtesy of

1. Utensil storage. How often have you spent too much time searching for your cooking utensils in a drawer that’s just a big pile of junk? By hanging them next to your stove, it’s impossible to overlook your favorite spatula.

2. Microwave drawer. The knife and pantry storage in this photo may have caught your eye, but the true gem is the microwave drawer, which slides out and is accessed from the top. I use one in almost all my small projects these days because it keeps the microwave off the counter or wall and is ergonomic for everyone in the family to use.

3. Knife rack. Now that I’ve whetted your appetite for a knife pullout, this sliding butcher block may satisfy it. It holds various sizes of knives and is easy to access. With its handle-up orientation, it’s also much safer than digging through a knife drawer.

4. Vertical storage. It’s often a challenge to find enough space to store big baking sheets, trays and cutting boards. This clever pullout forgoes the hassle of having to layer heavy trays and platters on top of one another. Why is it that the tray you need is always on the bottom of the pile, anyway?

5. Spice rack. One of the reasons why I really like these narrow base cabinet pullouts is that they’ll often fill the space on either side of the oven. It’s also the ideal location for those experimental chefs who always want to add a little more spice to their cuisine.

6. Broom closet. I don’t know why, but the space that houses the cleaning supplies (often a poorly lit closet) always tends to get a little messy. Try to keep things in order by incorporating a pullout especially for them.

7. Ironing board pullout. If you’re tempted to let a few wrinkles on your clothes slide because dragging your ironing board out of the closet and setting it up is too much of a chore, this pullout may be the key to a freshly pressed lifestyle.

8. Appliance pullout. Keeping your counters free and clear looks tidy and leaves more space for cooking prep and entertaining. An appliance pullout provides easy access to everyday items like toasters or coffee machines, which can slide out in a snap and just as easily be hidden away when not in use.

9. Wine bar. Turn your kitchen into a wine-tasting bar with a slide-out table and wine racks. Add wineglass storage, and you’re all set to uncork a few bottles and let the taste-testing begin.

10. Towel rack. Dirty dishrags can be unsightly, but cramming them in a drawer doesn’t allow them to dry, promoting mold and bad odors. A towel rack pullout lets wet towels dry even when tucked away out of sight. The trays on the top and bottom of this pullout provide additional storage for cleaning supplies.

11. Pet bowl drawer. A pullout for pet bowls is a great way to keep your furry, four-legged best friends well fed and watered, but with the ability to slide away, it’s also a great way to keep guests from kicking over the water bowl.

12. Kick-space drawer. Just when you think you’ve used up all possible storage space in your kitchen, there’s a good 4 to 5 inches below your base cabinets that can store baking sheets, platters, cutting boards or just plain old junk.