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While the reigning champ of kitchen storage is undoubtedly good old-fashioned cabinetry, under-the-counter cupboards are just as useful, but with the added benefit of being mostly out of sight. Kate Hudson is one step ahead of us. 


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Over the weekend, the actor posted a mirror selfie from her cozy kitchen, and while her 2-year-old-daughter almost steals the show, we couldn’t help but notice the extra cabinets and drawers on the outer side of her island. While you may be fretting about the impracticality of this choice (you do have to move the stools out of the way to access them), there’s a case to be made for the underrated design. It’s an ideal spot for items that don’t need to be easily reachable, like fine glassware and unwieldy pots and pans, which saves the more accessible spaces for everyday necessities. Below, we rounded up five more examples of under-counter storage to inspire your next renovation. 

Go for Glass

Glass doors lighten up the big sage island in this kitchen by Camille Hermand Architectures. The best part? You don’t need to feel guilty about storing prettier pieces underneath.


Stick With the Sides

Photography by Wynn Meyers

If you can’t quite shake your scuff mark fears, place a cupboard on either side of your seating for a win-win solution à la Kim West

Embrace Nooks and Crannies

Photography by Aaron Bengochea

Not all islands can hold entire cabinets within their depths. Carve out open shelving, as in Guy Pinjuv’s Nevada home, to bring depth (and organization) to an otherwise monotone furniture piece. 

Blend Them In 

Photography by Hervé Goluza

In the mood for a magic trick? Look no further than this neutral-driven kitchen by Camille Hermand Architectures, where the cabinetry’s lack of hardware makes for a blink-and-you-miss-it effect. 

Mix and Match 

Photography by Amber May; Styling by Hannah Simmons

In Alex Eagle’s London apartment, she has three different kinds of compartments under the same counter—pull drawers, glass shelving, and open-and-shut cabinet doors—to eke out every last inch of functionality. 


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