Deb Perelman, the blogger behind Smitten Kitchen, serves up meals to her family of four—and her 6 million readers!—from a 70-square-foot space in Manhattan. Steal some of her smart strategies and use them to make your space work harder for you.
deb perelman from smitten kitchen
Photography by Tara Donne
| Credit: Photography by Tara Donne

Hang Time

Don't stack your pots and pans—get a rack and hang them from the ceiling. "You just reach up, grab a skillet, and you're good to go," says Perelman. "You'd need a lot of cabinets to keep all the pots I have."

Counter Intelligence

One of Perelman's biggest pet peeves? "When you have this big, beautiful kitchen but you have stuff out on the counters so you have about a square foot of actual work space." Stash those flour and sugar canisters, small appliances, and trinkets in cabinets or on shelves. Your kitchen will look better—and it'll be easier to work in.

Store Smart

"I'm a big fan of glass jars for storing pantry items," Perelman says. "It gives your cabinet a cool look, and you can stack the jars to max out your space. Also, if you've ever had pantry weevils, using glass jars means they can't get into anything else." Bonus points: Keep a roll of masking tape (which won't leave sticky gunk on your jars) and a permanent marker handy for labeling everything.

See the Light

Look around her kitchen and you'll spot mostly white and neutral dishes and appliances. "Maybe this is the photographer in me, but I want the food and the people to be the color. I want the background to be the background," she says.

Rack 'em Up

"You probably have a lot of kitchen stuff that doesn't need to be around at all times," Perelman says. Take baking pans, for instance. She keeps them on top of her cabinets, stored vertically in file-folder racks, so they're accessible but not hogging cabinet space.