If you seriously lack space in your kitchen, this post is for you. On my Pinterest page I’ve been saving photos of how Japanese kitchens create more storage. What I’ve found are some pretty ingenious solutions with two very common items: The tension rod and the mesh grid. So how do they do it? Here are 5 examples that show how Japan saves kitchen space with tension rods and mesh grids.

Example 1: Two horizontal rods

So having two tension rods like this can keep light weight items in place. If you are weary of the weight, you can always use s hooks to hang lighter utensils instead. What makes it for me is the black color scheme. For some odd reason, it makes this small kitchen look sleek. Just sayin’

black tension rods with matching color scheme


Example 2: Two Horizontal Tension rods and a mesh grid

Again if you have two walls that doesn’t span such a large space you can add more storage this way. I honestly wanted to look for such a product but after further review, I realized the DIY ingenuity behind this. If you look more carefully the tension rod and mesh grid are held together by zip ties. Yup-your regular old zip ties for wires and cables. You’ll be able to find tension rods, mesh grids, the hooks and zip ties all in Aeon Living Plaza (Daiso).

white tension rods with white mesh grids and hooks


Example 3: Vertical Tension Rods with Mesh Grid

Most kitchens have cabinets above the sink. Having three tension rods vertically adds more strength so you can hold more things. It’s a pretty impressive set up, considering you can hold so many bottles. Once again this set up is held by your standard zip ties.

white tension rods with mesh grid storage


Example 4: Same set up but more strength with 3M hooks

So if you are worried about strength, put some 3M hooks up. I was pretty blown away when I saw this. I wish I knew this trick when I lived in a studio apartment and a 350sq-ft apartment. A lot of the problems I faced then, would have been solved! You can find all these extra hooks and attachments once again are all in Aeon Living Plaza

black tension rods, black mesh grid in small kitchen


Example 5: Add more Tension Rods

Heavy lids? No problem add another tension rod horizontally if you need some extra support. This example in particular inspires me. The wooden shelves are a nice touch making the kitchen feel more classy less industrial. The contrast between the white mesh grid and the black mesh delineates a zone for washing and a zone for cooking. This is a great way to zone an area without actually having to put any partitions. I wish they had the black colored tension rods here in Hong Kong. I have seen ones in brown and neon green, but unfortunately no black.

tension rod mesh grid storage


I gotta say I myself have learn’t a lot from looking at these examples. I can appreciate how the people behind them put so much pride into their small and cramped kitchen. Not to mention these setups are really affordable and really renter friendly!

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