Get the size you need!

Narrow and shallow kitchen cabinet ideas - when space is at a premium

August 25, 2023 | Updated on: May 08, 2024

The narrow and shallow depth cabinets are often placed above the counter, under windowsills and even between appliances. It proves there's no corner that can't be used. Slimline cabinets are perfect for fitting islands and for other places where space is limited. The depth of cabinets is typically reduced by 3 inches per time. Base cabinets with the shallowest depth are 12 inches. The width can vary between 9 and 36 inches.  Wall cabinets don't have as much depth, so there isn't a lot of overhang. If you use slim wall kitchen cabinetry that is 12 inches in depth, the overhang can be reduced even further.

shallow white cabinets in the small galley kitchen

The standard depth of cabinets is not suitable for a small space kitchen. Sometimes the only way to make the kitchen meet your preferences is to reduce the depth or width of cupboards. Narrow and shallow kitchen cabinets are compatible with all standard accessories, legs and door styles. And they allow you a range of storage options in a limited space. 

If you purchase modular kitchens, it will be difficult to find cabinets that are shallow. Despite of they occur quite rare, shallow depth cabinets may be required for multiple occasions:

  • Narrow space demands to install reduced-depth base cabinet;
  • You can use narrow cabinets to create an island with a reduced countertop depth;
  • You can use slimline units to get around an obstruction in your kitchen while still having full-depth units adjacent to it;
  • The little things like spatulas and potholders can be stored in shallow cupboards in the kitchen, saving valuable counter space;
  • A shallow wall-mounted cabinet, installed without a base unit, offers storage space without impeding traffic flow.


Kitchen Cabinets

In the pages that follow, we'll dive deeper into the world of narrow and wide vs. narrow shaker cabinets. We'll explore innovative design ideas, ingenious storage solutions, and smart ways to incorporate shallow kitchen wall cabinets and shallow kitchen base cabinets into your kitchen's aesthetic. Whether you're a fan of traditional charm or lean toward a more contemporary vibe, Cut2Size have something here for every taste and every kitchen dimension.

Top reasons to go with shallow cabinets

Shallow kitchen wall cabinet above the kitchen peninsula

Shallow kitchen base cabinets, with their reduced depth compared to standard cabinets, have emerged as a savior for spaces where every inch counts. With dimensions typically ranging from 12 to 15 inches deep, shallow lower kitchen cabinets or shallow base cabinets kitchen offer a versatile approach to maximizing storage in tight quarters. Here are the top reasons why you should go with shallow cabinets for your kitchen.

  • Space optimization in compact kitchens

The most evident advantage of opting for shallow-depth base kitchen cabinets is their ability to transform even the most confined kitchen spaces into organized and functional havens. For urban dwellers or those residing in cozy apartments, these shallow kitchen cabinets become a game-changer. By utilizing wall space that might otherwise remain underutilized, shallow cabinets provide a new dimension of storage without encroaching on valuable floor area. This makes a shallow tall kitchen cabinet a go-to choice for apartments, small houses, and galley kitchens.

  • Tailored storage for smaller items

Shallow kitchen wall cabinet shines when it comes to storing smaller kitchen essentials. Picture this: a dedicated space to neatly arrange your collection of spices, condiments, and canned goods. This shallow-depth kitchen wall cabinet offers an efficient solution to prevent your pantry items from getting lost in the depths of a standard cabinet. With shallow upper kitchen cabinets, finding the right ingredient becomes a breeze, saving you time and minimizing frustration during meal prep.

  • Seamless integration with open-concept designs

In the era of open-concept living, where kitchens often blend seamlessly into living spaces, shallow wall cabinet kitchen offer a visual advantage. Their reduced depth ensures they don't overwhelm the aesthetic of a larger room. This makes a shallow wall cabinet kitchen an ideal choice for maintaining a cohesive and uncluttered ambiance, allowing your kitchen to effortlessly merge with the rest of your home.

  • Aesthetic appeal and creative design opportunities

Embracing kitchen cabinets in shallow depth doesn't mean sacrificing style. In fact, their unique dimensions present a canvas for creative design. You can opt for glass-fronted doors, enabling you to showcase your collection of stylish kitchenware. Additionally, these shallow kitchen cabinets with doors can be an opportunity to introduce texture and color to your kitchen, enhancing its overall visual appeal.

  • Functional focal points

Kitchen cabinets in shallow depth aren't just storage solutions; they can become focal points in their own right. Positioned strategically, a shallow kitchen cabinet can draw the eye and add a touch of character to your kitchen. Consider placing one near the stove to store frequently used spices, or near the dining area to house elegant serving platters – turning these shallow-depth kitchen cabinets into functional, yet beautiful, elements of your kitchen decor.

The purpose of narrow cabinets for the kitchen

narrow cabinets surrounding the fridge - white kitchen with steel appliance

A shallow kitchen pantry cabinet might be slender in form, but its impact on your kitchen's functionality is anything but small. With a rich history that speaks to their efficiency, these cabinets have evolved to become integral to modern living. Whether you're a city dweller in search of space-saving solutions or a homeowner aiming to enhance your kitchen's organization, narrow cabinets prove that size doesn't limit possibilities. By embracing their purpose, you can unlock the potential of your kitchen and transform it into a space that embodies both utility and elegance. Why opt for narrow cabinets?

  1. Space optimization

The primary purpose of narrow cabinets is to make the most of every square inch in your kitchen. In smaller homes, apartments, or studios, where space is at a premium, these cabinets serve as a lifeline. They utilize vertical space efficiently, ensuring that no nook or cranny goes to waste.

  1. Customized storage

Narrow cabinets are tailor-made for storing items that might otherwise get lost or clutter standard cabinets. Think of your collection of spices, baking supplies, or even your cherished tea assortment. By offering a designated space for these items, narrow cabinets transform chaos into order. 

  1. Focal points and design statements

Far from being mere functional elements, narrow cabinets can also be design statements. With their sleek profiles, they draw attention to specific areas of your kitchen, acting as focal points that add visual interest.

  1. Enhanced accessibility

Placed strategically near cooking or prep areas, narrow cabinets, whether its tall narrow kitchen pantry cabinet or a regular narrow kitchen cabinet, they ensure that essentials are always within arm's reach. This accessibility translates to a smoother cooking experience, as you no longer need to navigate through a cluttered cabinet to find what you need.

  1. Blend of style and utility

Narrow cabinets are versatile canvases for design expression. With various finishes, hardware options, and cabinet door styles available, you can seamlessly integrate them into your kitchen's aesthetic, whether it's modern, rustic, or minimalist. 

Narrow kitchen storage smart solutions

convenient narrow storage on the sides of the stove

You know those tiny spaces in your kitchen that you don't know what to do with? That's where narrow kitchen cabinet ideas come in – they're like superheroes for storage. These very narrow kitchen cabinets come in all sorts of types, each designed to solve a specific problem in your kitchen. We're going to dive into the world of these narrow-width kitchen cabinets and get to know more about their features and characteristics.

Types of narrow cabinets in the kitchen


Narrow kitchen pantry cabinet

A narrow-width kitchen cabinet pantry stands as a vertical storage powerhouse. Kitchen cabinet's narrow width provides an organized space for storing a wide array of items, from dry goods and spices to small appliances. This cabinet is perfect for kitchens that lack a designated pantry, as it efficiently utilizes vertical space to accommodate your storage needs without encroaching on your kitchen's footprint.

Tall narrow cabinet for kitchen

The tall narrow depth kitchen base cabinets is an epitome of vertical elegance. Its slender profile extends upward, making the most of your kitchen's height while requiring minimal floor space. This type of narrow wall cabinet kitchen is often used to store items like baking sheets, cutting boards, or even brooms and mops, acting as a versatile solution for both storage and organization.

Narrow corner kitchen cabinet

Every kitchen has its corners, often spaces that are underutilized or challenging to access. The narrow corner kitchen cabinet steps in to address this issue. With a design tailored to fit seamlessly into corners, this cabinet ensures that no space goes to waste. Lazy Susan shelves or pull-out trays can make accessing items a breeze, transforming those once-difficult corners into functional storage hubs.

Narrow kitchen floor cabinet

Floor space is valuable real estate in any kitchen, and narrow lower kitchen cabinets or narrow kitchen base cabinets optimizes it brilliantly. These narrow base kitchen cabinets are typically positioned under countertops or in tight spaces between appliances. The depth of narrow kitchen base cabinet allows them to store items like baking pans, trays, or even recycling bins, keeping clutter off your counters and preserving your kitchen's aesthetic.

Narrow kitchen cabinet with drawers

When it comes to organizing smaller kitchen essentials, a tall narrow kitchen storage cabinet with drawers reigns supreme. These narrow storage cabinet for kitchen combine the efficiency of narrow storage with the convenience of drawers. They're perfect for utensils, cutlery, and other cooking tools that you want to keep within easy reach. The vertical design of narrow kitchen storage cabinet ensures you don't sacrifice valuable countertop space.

Narrow kitchen wall cabinet

Elevating storage to new heights, a narrow upper kitchen cabinet offers a space-efficient solution for displaying and storing kitchen items. Positioned above countertops or appliances, these narrow kitchen’ wall cabinets can house glassware, spices, or decorative items. Their presence adds depth to your kitchen's design while also allowing you to keep frequently used items within arm's reach.


How to design shallow and narrow kitchen cabinets?

kitchen shallow pantry cabinet with goods

Shallow kitchen cabinets offer a harmonious solution, fusing style with functionality to orchestrate a perfectly organized culinary haven. Whether you're channeling minimalist elegance or eclectic charm, these narrow kitchen cabinet storage ideas ensure that your kitchen's rhythm remains seamless. So, let's embark on a journey through the art of designing shallow and narrow kitchen cabinet solutions, where form and function dance in perfect harmony.

  1. Start with a purposeful plan

Like any masterpiece, your cabinet design begins with a clear vision. Assess your kitchen's layout, considering the available space and the items you need to store. Shallow-depth cabinets for kitchen are ideal for spices, canned goods, or baking supplies, while narrow cabinets are perfect for utensils, cutting boards, or trays. This groundwork ensures your cabinets serve your needs precisely.

  1. Embrace vertical brilliance

When your canvas is narrow, you've got to think vertical. Opt for floor-to-ceiling cabinets to maximize storage without swallowing your kitchen's footprint. Adjustable shelves allow you to customize the space for different-sized items, ensuring no precious inch goes to waste. This vertical approach not only optimizes storage but also adds an illusion of height, making your kitchen feel more expansive.

  1. Mindful materials and colors

Just as a color palette sets the tone for a painting, your choice of materials and colors sets the mood for your shallow cabinet’s kitchen. Lighter shades open up space visually, so consider soft neutrals or pastel hues for your cabinet finishes. Glass-fronted doors introduce an airy element, allowing you to showcase your cherished items. Reflective surfaces, like glossy finishes, can bounce light around, brightening up even the most compact kitchen.

  1. Clever concealment with pull-outs

The secret to successful cabinet design is to hide clutter while keeping essentials accessible. Incorporate pull-out shelves, wire baskets, or vertical dividers. These ingenious inserts ensure that your pots, pans, and utensils remain organized yet at your fingertips. Hidden pull-out spice racks or pull-out pantry units capitalize on every nook, making even the smallest cabinet a space-saving marvel.

  1. Artistry in hardware

Much like selecting the right frame for a painting, hardware plays a pivotal role in cabinet design. Choose sleek, minimalist handles or knobs that don't overpower the cabinet's aesthetic. These small details can tie together your kitchen's look, lending it a polished and cohesive feel.

  1. Open shelves: aesthetic and functional

Incorporate open shelves alongside your shallow and narrow cabinets for a touch of elegance and practicality. Display your favorite cookbooks, attractive bowls, or decorative accents on these shelves. Just be mindful not to overcrowd them; a few well-chosen items can elevate your kitchen's visual appeal.


Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.