Before Buying a Large Dish Rack: Top Tips and Advice to Keep In Mind

on October 05, 2021

Even though 98% of Americans prefer to cook at home, only half actually cook 3-6 days a week.

Why don’t more people cook at home? Despite being cheaper and healthier, cooking at home is not as convenient. It takes more time and involves prep work, cleanup, and dirty dishes.

If you have a small kitchen, cooking at home is even more frustrating. There’s too much mess and not enough space. Cleanup is cramming stuff into the cabinets and piling dishes into a large dish rack, and hoping it all doesn’t come crashing down later.

If your kitchen is cluttered from a lack of storage space and you want to make it look bigger and more beautiful, we have the small kitchen guide for you!

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How Can I Stylize My Kitchen to Make It Look Beautiful?

A beautiful kitchen style is all about the three Ds:

  • Declutter
  • Design
  • Display

✔️ Declutter

If you want a clean, minimalist look for your small kitchen, the first step is decluttering your kitchen. This includes decluttering the inside cabinets and the outside countertops.

✔️ Design

The design of your kitchen items should be stylish and functional. For example, a large dish drainer made of rubber is functional but bulky and unstylish. Instead of rubber products, you can opt for stainless steel. Stainless steel is sleeker and more modern. It’s also very durable and withstands mold, heat, and rust. A large dish rack made from stainless steel will look nicer and last longer than a rubber one.

✔️ Display

You probably have more display options for your kitchen items than you realize. You can use bare wall space and other empty kitchen spaces to install racks, shelves, and baskets. Display uses creative storage solutions to maximize small kitchen space. Instead of a countertop dish drainer that takes up space, you can choose a compact dish rack that attaches to the wall. Or a large dish rack that goes over the sink.

What to Know Before Buying a Large Dish Rack

Choosing a new dish rack will come in handy even if you have a dishwasher. You'll need a backup dish drainer if your dishwasher breaks.

Some dishes and utensils won’t last long being run regularly through the dishwasher. Kitchen items that shouldn’t be cleaned in the dishwasher include:

  • Wooden items or with wooden parts
  • Delicate material like porcelain
  • Cast-iron pans
  • Kitchen knives
  • Color-changing mugs
  • Aluminum or non-stick cookware
  • Plastics that melt during drying

If you don’t have a dishwasher, you’ll need a large dish drainer for fewer germs, mold, and bacteria than laying a large towel on the counter or drying dishes with a kitchen towel.

A standard large dish rack might take up too much valuable space if you have a small kitchen. Fortunately, there are creative dish rack solutions.

Small Kitchen Dish Rack Design

A large dish drainer that is square and rubber is too overwhelming for a small kitchen. For big storage in tiny spaces, you can use a wall-mounted dish rack or an over-the-sink drying rack.

AA compact dish rack for your wall or sink will work for a few special dishes. Or you can buy an extra-large dish drying rack to fit all your clean kitchenware in one go.

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1. Over-the-Sink Drying Rack

If you need ultimate convenience, an over-the-sink drying rack utilizes the empty space above your sink. They come in standard sink sizes, or as adjustable designs to custom fit your sink.

You can wash, rinse, and dish dry with minimal effort. The water drains into the sink, so there’s no water collection tray to clean like with a rubber countertop large dish drainer.

An adjustable double-decker dish rack will fit your heavy-duty and delicate dishes. Some models let you organize dishes, knives, bowls, and chopping boards without lumping them all in one space.

2. Wall-Mounted Dish Rack

Wall-mounted dish racks attach to your wall or cabinet, using empty space instead of valuable countertop space. They can also be used as creative storage for kitchen items like knives or fruit.

Even a large dish rack can hold a surprising amount of weight. For example, the Pusdon Wall Mounted Dish Drying Rack has three adjustable tiers and can hold up to 33lbs.

A wall-mounted dish rack is extremely versatile. It can fit more areas, is more adjustable, and has more storage options than a standard small dish drainer for a sink.

large dish rack, double decker dish rack, small dish rack, small dish drying rack, small dish drainer

large dish rack, double decker dish rack, small dish rack, small dish drying rack, small dish drainer

How Can I Increase Storage in My Small Kitchen?

Creative storage solutions will transform even the tiniest of kitchens into a workable and well-organized space. Some versatile storage solutions are:

  • Creative shelving
  • Vertical storage
  • Pull-out storage

Your kitchen has all sorts of nooks, crannies, and other empty spaces to fit items. You just have to find them!

Finding Empty Space

When you have enough storage space, you probably don’t analyze the empty spaces around it. There really isn't a need to find that extra space.

When your kitchen is small and you run out of space, those empty spaces suddenly become important.

Any place with a few inches of emptiness can fit more storage. Empty kitchen spaces you can use include:

  • The space between the fridge and the wall/counter
  • The top space in cabinets
  • The space underneath cabinets
  • Empty wall or side cabinet spaces
  • Ceiling space
  • Over and under the sink space
  • Inside cabinet door space

Your kitchen has all sorts of nooks, crannies, and other empty spaces to fit items. You just have to find them!

large dish rack, double decker dish rack, small dish rack, small dish drying rack, small dish drainer

1. Getting Creative with Shelves

Shelves can be custom-tailored to fit almost any space. Small shelves can provide storage along the sidewall inside cabinets. Large shelves can store stuff on top and use hooks on the bottom to hang pots, pans, and utensils.

Floating shelves installed on the ceiling can store rarely used items. Magnetic shelves can store spices along the top and along the bottom using magnetic storage containers.

Corner shelves can be installed where the cabinet edge meets the wall. Or shelves go along the inside of a pantry door.

Racks can double as shelves and storage bins. A large dish rack, microwave rack, or magnetic rack can provide vertical shelf space along with horizontal. And their ledges will keep items from sliding off.

2. Vertical Storage Solutions

For flat items like lids and cutting boards, vertical storage maximizes available space and keeps everything well organized.

If you’ve ever had to dig through piles of pan lids and plasticware tops, you already know the values of vertical storage. Storing cutting boards flat also takes up way more horizontal space than necessary.

A multi-tier spice rack and small dish drying rack can add vertical storage when length space is cramped. Wall-mounted wine racks can also add vertical storage for items like oddly shaped utensils or dish towels and oven mitts.

3. Pull-Out Storage Solutions

Pull-out storage combines the best elements of creative shelving and vertical storage. It maximizes unused space while adding convenience and organization.

Pull-out storage includes narrow roller shelves designed to fit the gap between a fridge and a wall or cabinet. This storage solution is perfect for canned goods or spices.

You can also install sliding or roller pull-out shelves designed to fit inside a cabinet. This uses the normally empty top space of a cabinet while making it easier to find kitchen items.

How Can You Make a Small Kitchen Feel Larger?

Even with the best storage solutions like a wall-mounted small dish rack and pull-out shelves, a small kitchen can still look and feel cramped.

A discordant kitchen is jarring to the eye, like harsh notes in a melody are jarring to the ear. To make your small kitchen feel larger, you have to create a smooth kitchen design that’s soothing to the eye.

Monochrome Color Scheme

Big kitchens can have bold colors. But smaller kitchens benefit more from a monochrome color scheme.

Bold and bright colors tug at the eye and make the space around it seem even smaller. A monochrome scheme will make it difficult to pick out individual elements, and give an illusion of more space.

If your appliances and other large kitchen items like a dish rack or storage shelf are stainless steel, they can be black or silver to compliment your color scheme.

Even with a monochrome color scheme, your kitchen doesn’t have to be dull. Strong blacks and whites create an artful contrast. Reflective silver and gray shades can add depth.

Shiny Surfaces

A shiny and reflective surface can add the illusion of depth to a small kitchen. Because they bounce and diffuse light, they’re especially useful if your kitchen doesn’t have much natural light.

Large appliances like a refrigerator can be polished stainless steel that’s reflective and monochromatic. High-gloss countertops can also reflect light even if they aren’t gray or silver.

If you pair a high-gloss countertop with a stainless steel fridge, a black stainless steel dish rack, and cabinets with glass doors, you’ll be amazed at how much your small kitchen opens up.

Glass Door Cabinets

Glass panes for your cabinet doors are a neat trick to make your kitchen feel larger. When your eye sees the depth inside a cabinet, it gives the illusion of more space.

Like shiny stainless-steel surfaces, glass cabinet doors reflect and diffuse light around the kitchen. You can also add ambient lighting in back of the cabinet, which creates more light and more depth.

If you want more reflection and light but don’t want your naked cabinet contents on display, you can use frosted or colored glass instead of transparent glass.

The shiny glass will complement any black stainless steel dish racks, spice rack, or shelf mounted on the wall beside it. It will also pair well with high-gloss countertops.

What Are Some Awesome Ideas for a Small Kitchen?

Like glass cabinet doors, there are so many awesome ideas for small kitchens. You can add artistic touches like plants, decor, and mirrors to enhance the space.

You can also use small creative touches like a tension rod to hang cleaning bottles or magnetic knife strips to organize knives. Whatever kind of space you have, there’s a creative idea for it.

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Designer Jars and Containers

If you’re using open display or transparent glass doors, designer jars and containers can:

  • Have a sleek and complementary design
  • Eliminate gaps from irregularly shaped containers
  • Display contents for easy locating
  • Stack vertically

Even if they aren’t on display, using a container set will keep your pantry and cabinets more organized and eliminate unused space.


Like a junk drawer, pegboards are a multi-function solution for random stuff that needs a regular home. You can use a pegboard for:

  • Irregular items like BBQ skewers
  • Calendars
  • Sticky notes
  • Recipe cards
  • Drying herbs
  • Catch-all cups

You can also use heavy-duty pegboards in place of shelves for pots and pans and mini-pantries. They’re a great way to organize utensils and miscellaneous items like meat scissors.

If there's no window above your sink, you can add a pegboard above a large dish rack to dry sharp items so you'd don't get poked while emptying the dishes.

large dish rack, double decker dish rack, small dish rack, small dish drying rack, small dish drainer

large dish rack, double decker dish rack, small dish rack, small dish drying rack, small dish drainer


Chalkboards and similar dry erase boards aren’t a storage solution, but they’re still a great way to stay organized in your kitchen. With a chalkboard you can keep track of:

  • Recipes
  • Schedules
  • Meal planning
  • Grocery lists

Some chalkboards are specially designed to go on the fridge. Others come pre-labeled for menu planning or appointment lists.

Chalkboards also add a rich black background to your kitchen color scheme. Besides the fridge, they can take up a whole wall, a counter backsplash, or behind shelves to label containers.

Big Solutions for Small Spaces

You can have a functional and beautiful kitchen you look forward to cooking in, even when the space is small. Your countertops don’t have to be dominated by a large dish rack or unorganized clutter when there are more elegant solutions.

For more information on buying the perfect dish rack, check out our Dish Rack 101 guide.

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