Matthew and Camila McConaughey cleverly use their cabinets to 'increase storage without taking up valuable floor area' in their kitchen

By extending upwards, the couple's cabinets offer 'significantly more storage space' than shorter alternatives – perfect for small kitchens

(Image credit: Gary Miller via Getty Images)

Matthew and Camila McConaughey's kitchen is a treasure trove of design lessons, from their use of raw, unpainted wood to their 'floating' open shelves that showcase their statement cookware. However, all good things come in threes – and the third inspiring design feature has just revealed itself in the shape of their tall vertical cabinets that appear to stretch all the way to their ceiling.

While McConaughey's kitchen is far from compact, its vertical storage still utilizes space that would otherwise go unused – elevating 'dead' areas into something practical. No matter the size of a home, the prospect of extra storage is always welcome (exhibit A: Matthew and Camila McConaughey's abode). However, it goes without saying that their technique is most useful in small kitchens.

'When envisioning our client's kitchens, we always take advantage of the vertical height available, especially since it is a way to increase storage without taking up valuable floor area,' comments Brett Sugerman, the principal at B+G Design.

Naturally, the size and shape of our room means there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to kitchen storage. However, going as tall as our space allows is always a good idea – whether we want to hide away essentials or showcase some of our favorite possessions (via a glass front), as Sugerman explains.

'In order to maximize space, specifically when designing the interiors of apartments, we consider what storage is needed. Tall cabinets with two or three shelving levels allow you to store larger kitchen appliances and seasonal objects. This makes use of vertical space that is typically underutilized,' he comments.

'By extending upwards, these cabinets provide significantly more storage space compared to standard, shorter cabinets. Tall cabinets can also feature statement moments like glass paneling for displays or open-to-reveal coffee pantries. Every inch of real estate is valuable in the kitchen – especially for those that love to cook or entertain.'

Courtney Cole, an interior designer at Yabby, agrees. 'When it comes to increasing the kitchen's functionality, you need to get creative with design to maximize your use of space. One way you can do this is with vertical cabinetry that is taller than they are wide. This makes them a great way to draw the eye upward because of their up-and-down pattern,' she comments.

This technique is seen behind McConaughey as our eyes are drawn to her kitchen's ceiling while the contents of her cabinets stay hidden.

'If you don’t know what to do with the ‘dead’ space in your kitchen, tall and vertical cabinets will effectively use up your dead space, giving you floor-to-ceiling storage space,' Cole adds. 'This is a great way to store the items in your kitchen that you don’t use often by putting them on higher shelves that keep them out of sight and out of mind.'

Shop the wooden kitchen edit

Cabinets aside, we can incorporate some wooden accents (similar to those in McConaughey's kitchen) with these curated accessories below.

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.