Cupboards play a vital role in any kitchen, offering storage solutions for cookware, utensils, and pantry items. When designing a kitchen, it’s crucial to determine the right number of cupboards to ensure efficient organization and functionality. In this article, we will explore how many cupboards a kitchen should ideally have in Ireland, taking into account factors such as kitchen size, storage needs, lifestyle, and cooking habits.

Factors to Consider

Kitchen Size and Layout: The size and layout of your kitchen significantly influence the number of cupboards you should have. In smaller kitchens, optimizing space becomes crucial. Consider incorporating smart storage solutions and utilizing vertical space with wall cabinets. For larger kitchens, you have more flexibility to accommodate additional cupboards based on your storage requirements.

Storage Needs and Habits: Assessing your storage needs is essential to determine the right number of cupboards. Consider the amount of kitchenware, appliances, and pantry items you have. Additionally, evaluate your organizational preferences and habits. Some people prefer open shelving for easy access, while others prefer concealed cupboards for a clean and tidy appearance.

Lifestyle and Cooking Habits: Your lifestyle and cooking habits also impact the number of cupboards required. If you frequently entertain guests or have a large family, you may need more storage space for additional dishes, servingware, and appliances. Consider any specialized equipment or dietary considerations that may require specific storage solutions.

Common Cupboard Types

To plan the ideal number of cupboards, it’s essential to understand the common cupboard types available in kitchens:

Base Cabinets: Base cabinets are typically located beneath the countertop. They provide ample storage for pots, pans, and larger kitchen items. Optimize their functionality by incorporating drawers and pull-out shelves for easy access.

Wall Cabinets: Wall cabinets make use of vertical space. They are ideal for storing dishes, glassware, and smaller kitchen essentials. Consider their placement for convenient access and aesthetic appeal, ensuring they don’t obstruct workflow.

Tall Cabinets and Pantry Cupboards: Tall cabinets and pantry cupboards offer additional storage for bulk items, non-perishables, and cleaning supplies. They are especially useful for larger households or those who prefer to stock up on groceries.

Recommended Number of Cupboards

Small-Sized Kitchens: In compact kitchens, optimizing space is crucial. A minimum of 8 to 10 cupboards is recommended. Focus on multifunctional storage solutions, such as cabinets with pull-out drawers, to maximize storage efficiency.

Medium-Sized Kitchens: For medium-sized kitchens, a balanced storage solution can be achieved with 12 to 16 cupboards. Customize the number and arrangement based on your specific needs, ensuring a good mix of base cabinets, wall cabinets, and tall cabinets.

Large-Sized Kitchens: In larger kitchens, you have more freedom to incorporate additional cupboards. Aim for 16 to 20 cupboards or more, depending on your storage needs. Consider specialized storage solutions like spice racks, wine racks, or appliance garages for added convenience.

Smart Storage Solutions

Apart from the number of cupboards, incorporating smart storage solutions can enhance the functionality of your kitchen:

Pull-Out Drawers and Shelves: Install pull-out drawers and shelves in base cabinets for easy accessibility and organization. They make it easier to reach items stored at the back without rummaging through the entire cupboard.

Corner Cabinets: Utilize corner spaces effectively with specialized corner cabinets. Lazy Susans and rotating shelves can optimize storage and accessibility in these often underutilized areas.

Cabinet Organizers and Inserts: Maximize storage efficiency with dividers, racks, and inserts. These organizers can be customized to store various kitchenware, including pots, pans, cutting boards, and baking sheets.

Design and Aesthetics

While functionality is key, the design and aesthetics of your cupboards are equally important:

Complementing Kitchen Style: Choose cupboards that align with your kitchen style. Whether it’s traditional, modern, or contemporary, selecting the right materials, finishes, and colors will enhance the overall aesthetic appeal.

Balancing Functionality and Visual Appeal: Opt for cupboards that offer a good balance between functionality and visual appeal. Consider features like glass-front cabinets to display decorative items or open shelving for a trendy and accessible storage option.

Integration of Lighting and Hardware: Incorporate appropriate lighting solutions inside the cupboards to enhance visibility. Additionally, carefully select hardware such as handles, knobs, and pulls that complement the overall design and provide ease of use.

Budget Considerations

When planning the number of cupboards, it’s crucial to consider your budget:

Assessing Costs: Evaluate the costs associated with cupboards, including materials, construction, and installation. It’s important to strike a balance between quality and affordability.

Value for Money: Consider the long-term value of investing in durable and well-built cupboards. Spending a little more upfront can result in better functionality and longevity.

Alternatives to Traditional Cupboards: If budget constraints are a concern, explore alternatives such as open shelving or mix-and-match storage solutions that combine cupboards with other storage options like racks, hooks, or hanging systems.


Determining the right number of cupboards for your kitchen in Ireland is a crucial aspect of kitchen design. By considering factors such as kitchen size, storage needs, lifestyle, and cooking habits, you can plan the optimal number of cupboards to ensure efficiency and organization. Additionally, incorporating smart storage solutions, focusing on design and aesthetics, and considering budget considerations will result in a functional and visually appealing kitchen that meets your specific needs. Assess your requirements and customize your cupboard layout to create a kitchen that is both practical and stylish.