Martha Stewart utilizes unexpected space around her island to turn her kitchen into an 'organized homely hub'

The lifestyle guru found a way to use storage we never knew we had – and it's centered around our kitchen's most practical feature

Martha Stewart
(Image credit: Courtesy of Amazon)

If anybody has the ability to create storage space we never knew we had, it's Martha Stewart. And it's a technique she uses in her own kitchen. 

The founder of the eponymous lifestyle empire shared how she's reimagined the space underneath and above her metallic kitchen island – using a combination of hidden shelves and a hanging rack that make use of space that would otherwise go unused. 

The island stands as the focal point of Martha's Bedford kitchen, but glimpses of the shelves underneath the marble top show how she added shelves to house (what appears to be) pots, plates, and dishes. However, she didn't stop with the space below the island top. Martha also made use of the vertical area above the island to hang her silver pans – making a bold statement that compliments her kitchen's color palette perfectly. 

Martha's spacious island (and the area above) offers ample room for her cookware (and, considering she's Martha Stewart, there is, unsurprisingly, a lot). However, we can also replicate her kitchen storage in spaces of all sizes, as designer Tom Howley explains. 

'A kitchen island is an excellent way to turn a chaotic family kitchen into an organized homely hub. It's an easy way to pack in storage, seating, and a whole host of appliances if you're limited on wall space,' Tom says. How can we follow Martha's lead?

'It is essential to consider both internal solutions and exterior proportions when designing your island,' Tom says. 'You can opt for flexible storage solutions, bookshelves, power outlets, deep-pan drawers, integrated bins, and more to suit modern family living. You can even plumb in a separate prep sink or install a hob ideal for keeping you in the conversation when entertaining or cooking.'

Tom Howley
Tom Howley

Tom Howley founded the luxury British kitchen brand in 2004. With showrooms across the country, Tom Howley specialize in fitting beautiful, bespoke kitchen designs crafted from the finest materials.

Martha has opted to fill her island shelves with cookware and crockery, but we can also use the space to house books, food goods, or whatever else we might want to keep close in the kitchen.

kitchen island with steel countertop and bookshelves

(Image credit: Future PLC)

'The kitchen is such a dynamic space that your island could be designed to have many uses, from a place to prep dinner to an area where kids do their homework. Adding a selection of drawers is an excellent way to keep the clutter at bay, especially manuals or those odd bits of kitchenware we tend to hoard,' Tom adds. 

'Also, keep cutlery close to hand if it's where you'll be serving dinner or save a drawer for your paperwork if your island doubles as a desk.' In hanging her pans directly above her island, Martha has taken this advice to new heights. However, we can achieve this on a smaller scale by storing knives and utensils close to our island, where there's room for food prep to take place. 

Shop Martha's kitchen essentials

Island aside, we can pick up these Martha Stewart-designed must-haves that have a place in every kitchen. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.