The kitchen is often one of the most cluttered rooms in a home. With limited cabinet and countertop space, finding storage solutions can be a challenge. One area that is frequently overlooked is the space above the stove. This out-of-sight location can actually offer a surprising amount of extra storage with just a little creativity.

Installing specialty racks, shelves, or cabinets above your stove opens up valuable real estate to tuck away little-used items or everyday essentials. This keeps them up and out of the way, while freeing up your other cabinets and drawers for more frequently accessed items. With some simple DIY skills or the help of a professional, you can create the extra storage you need.

Benefits of Utilizing Space Above the Stove

Taking advantage of vertical storage over your stove offers many advantages:

More Storage Space

The area above your stove is essentially wasted space in many kitchens. Adding shelves or cabinets creates new storage square footage without taking up valuable countertop or floor area. Even a small stove hood insert can hold a number of items.


Frequently used cooking items like spices, oils, condiments, and baking essentials can be stored right at your fingertips above the stove. This saves steps compared to rummaging through multiple cabinets across your kitchen.

Frees Up Other Storage

Extra space above the stove allows you to move bulky appliances and other items out of your cabinets and drawers. This clears room for items you use most often like dishes, pots and pans, and daily cooking necessities.

Reduces Clutter

The stove top area tends to collect clutter like spice bottles, cooking utensils, oil dispensers, etc. Housing these items in your new overhead storage clears counter space and makes cooking less cramped.

Flexible Storage Solutions

There are many creative ways to utilize the space based on your needs. Open shelves work for air circulation. Enclosed cabinets offer concealment. And specialty racks accommodate bulky pots and pans to free cabinet space.

Storage Options Above a Stove

The possibilities are nearly endless when it comes to adding storage over your stove. Consider the pros, cons, and costs of these popular options:


Open shelves are one of the simplest ways to utilize vertical space above your stove. The open design allows for easy access and visibility to stored items. Shelves can be fully customizable using available space and can be installed by competent DIYers. However, they do not offer enclosure or concealment. Items will need to be tidy looking and dust will accumulate easily.


Enclosed cabinets provide concealed storage with doors or fronts to hide contents. They allow you to stash unsightly or bulky items out of sight. Cabinets are also better at keeping stored items clean and dust-free. However, the enclosed design means less accessibility and visibility. Cabinets are more complicated to install and will likely need professional expertise.

Pot Racks

As the name implies, pot racks are designed specifically for neatly storing bulky pots, pans, and lids in your unused overhead space. The open rack design saves cabinet space while allowing ventilation and visibility. Items are kept accessible for convenient cooking. Hanging racks can also be installed at varying heights to accommodate large and small pots. The downside is that they only hold cookware and do not offer enclosed or versatile storage.

Spice Racks

Small, open spice racks are useful for arranging bottles and jars of your go-to herbs and spices. Mounted above your stove, they keep frequently used flavorings within arm’s reach while cooking. Spice racks help declutter counters and allow for easy visibility and access. But they are limited in scale and can accumulate dust. Only small spice containers will fit.

DIY Storage

For the motivated do-it-yourselfer, there are endless options for small customized storage using basic materials. You can build and mount wooden crates, boxes, racks, or shelving using scrap lumber. Wire storage cubes and baskets are an affordable option for open, customizable shelves. Be creative with storage bins, hooks, and other simple hardware store finds. Just be sure any materials can withstand heat from the stovetop below.

How to Add Storage Above a Stove

Carefully weigh your storage needs, budget, and skill level when deciding how to add storage over your stove. Here are some general installation tips:

Measure Carefully

  • Take very precise measurements of the available space above your stove, including depth and any soffits or changes in ceiling height.
  • Leave sufficient clearance from the top of the stove to the bottom of your storage – at least 30 inches or per appliance instructions.
  • Check for ceiling joists, vents, or conduits that may interfere with installation. Adjust plans if needed.

Mind the Vent

  • Do not block your stove’s ventilation hood – storage should only go around or above.
  • Leave several inches of clearance so airflow is unobstructed. Consult your owner’s manual.
  • Consider an integrated hood design that combines ventilation and storage.

Secure Properly

  • Use very sturdy brackets, anchors, and hardware rated for weight of storage and contents.
  • Secure any cabinets or shelving directly into ceiling joists or blocking. Wall anchors alone are not sufficient.
  • If needed, add extra blocking between joists to attach to.

Consider Professional Help

  • For any complicated electrical or structural modifications, hire a contractor.
  • If uncertain about structural issues, have a carpenter assess the viability and provide plans.
  • A designer can help optimize the space with customized storage solutions.
  • An electrician should wire any required lighting.

Follow Safety Precautions

  • Do not store flammable or combustible liquids or materials above the stove.
  • Avoid extremely heavy pots and pans that could fall. Use safety racks designed for weight.
  • Adhere to all building codes for kitchen safety and ventilation requirements.
  • Ensure cabinets and shelving are very securely fastened and unable to tip.

Clever Ideas for Utilizing Vertical Stove Space

Take inspiration from these creative storage solutions for the often ignored area over your stove:

Open Wire Shelving

Basic wire shelving units maximize vertical space. Use for air circulation and easy access to canned goods, baking supplies, oils, and condiments.

Hanging Cookware Rack

Store bulky pots and pans overhead and free up cabinet space. Opt for a heavy duty rack with hooks for hanging.

Tiered Spice Racks

Keep spices and cooking oils organized and in reach. Multi-level racks allow you to see everything at a glance.

Custom Wood Storage

DIY enclosed cubbies or open shelving using unfinished wood boards. Paint or stain to match your kitchen. Ideal for craft and hobby supplies.

Glass Door Cabinets

Upper cabinets with glass fronts maintain visibility. Perfect for less-used serving ware like fancy dish sets or holiday platters.

Retractable Drying Rack

Install a pull down rack for air drying dishes, saving counter space. Raise and lower with easy pulley system.

Microwave Shelf

Utilize wasted space above a mounted microwave with customized shelving sized to fit.

Hanging Baskets

Use wire storage baskets to corral small gadgets like garlic peelers, meat thermometers, or kitchen shears.

Custom Spice Drawers

Pull-out narrow spice drawers on full extension slides keep herbs and seasonings hidden but accessible.

Floating Shelves

ETHER a sleek retrofitted cabinet front to hide shelving. Great for frequently used items like coffee mugs.

Pegboard Storage

A section of perforated pegboard with hooks allows you to hang utensils and tools. Keep organized with outlines drawn behind.

Helpful Tips for Maintaining Your New Storage Space

Once your new kitchen storage is installed above the stove, keep it looking and functioning its best with these maintenance tips:

  • Wipe down shelves or interior of cabinets regularly to avoid grease and dust buildup.
  • Periodically take everything out and do a thorough cleaning of the space.
  • Use shelf liners to protect surfaces and contain spills or grease stains.
  • Label containers or contents so you remember what is stored overhead.
  • Maximize vertical space by storing taller items on upper shelves.
  • Avoid storing items that could melt or be damaged by heat.
  • Check hardware and brackets periodically to be sure shelves are securely fastened.
  • Edit contents frequently so you don’t end up storing unused items you’ve forgotten about.
  • Leave cabinets open briefly after cooking to allow steam and heat to escape.
  • Consider lighting like puck lights inside cabinets so you can easily see contents.
  • Make sure bottles and containers have tight lids so nothing leaks onto stove below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much weight can I store above my stove?

This depends on the correct brackets and hardware used in the installation. Typically, cabinets can hold 50-75 lbs per square foot while open shelving can accommodate 15-20 lbs per linear foot. Have cabinets professionally installed for heavy items.

Does overhead storage require special ventilation?

As long as you don’t block the stove hood itself and leave reasonable clearance, standard kitchen ventilation is usually sufficient. The space is similar to regular cabinets.

Can I install storage over my stove myself?

With some basic DIY skills, you can install shelving using sturdy brackets anchored into studs or blocking. Pre-made cabinets are more complex, often requiring professional installation.

What depth of storage space do I need over my stove?

Allow around 14-16 inches of depth from the wall for most cabinets. Shallower shelves around 8 inches deep will hold many items. Measure your available space and plan accordingly.

What are the best materials to use?

For open shelving, metal or hardwoods like maple work best. Enclosed cabinets are commonly made of plywood or medium density fiberboard with solid wood or thermofoil doors.

Can I mount storage all the way across my stove area?

Be sure to leave space for your stove hood venting – typically 3-4 inches on either side. Check your appliance manual for exact venting requirements.

How can I access storage over my stove easily?

Use pull-down folding shelves, retractable spice racks, or full extension drawer slides. For open shelving, use a sturdy step stool. Consider lighting so you can easily see contents.

Final Thoughts

With many homes lacking ample kitchen storage, the often wasted space above your stove is prime real estate. Take advantage by installing shelving, cabinets, racks or other storage solutions. Just be sure to measure carefully, mind safety and ventilation, and secure storage very sturdily. Get creative with ways to stash everything from bulky pots and pans to rarely used items. Your kitchen will be more organized, decluttered, and efficient. Keep contents neatly arranged and dust-free so your new overhead storage solution stays both functional and visually appealing for years to come.