They say that beauty is on the inside and while thinking about the inner workings of your kitchen cupboards may not be as exciting as choosing the design of your door fronts, worktops and splashbacks, it is equally, if not more, important.
With living space at a premium, the need for innovative storage solutions in every part of the home has never been greater. Adding clever storage and making creative use of space can drastically improve the look and function of your home as well as keeping everything neat and tidy. This is particularly important in open-plan spaces where it’s not possible to just close the door and hide the mess like we once were able to.
Getting it right isn’t just about clever inserts and drawer solutions, though. It’s also about where you decide to actually place it in the kitchen. The right storage in the appropriate units and areas of the room means that cabinets take on specific functions and can then be positioned in the most logical areas and zones of the kitchen.
Drawer pans below the oven, cutlery and china drawers situated next to the dishwasher and larder units for dry goods next to your prep area will all help to make a kitchen function more efficiently. A good idea when you start is to look at what is lacking in your current kitchen – have you run out of space for bulky items such as casserole dishes, pots and pans? Do you need a dedicated place for certain items such as deep drawers for your prized crockery collection or slim-line drawers for your cutlery?
Of course, all these clever storage options are more expensive than plain cupboards and shelves, the effect they will have on the day-to-day functionality of your kitchen make them worth their weight in gold. So which are the five top storage options we’d recommend?
Although fitted drawers and cupboards are generally more expensive than plain shelves, they will have a more than commensurate effect on your finished kitchen. Carefully considered space-saving solutions such as drawers in your base cupboards, which increase the capacity of your room by up half, are particularly vital if your kitchen is compact. Pulling out fully to reveal their contents at a glance, drawers are a much more efficient use of space than standard shelves. They can be used for a variety of kitchen ephemera including cutlery and utensils, pans and china. Consider adding peg inserts for delicate crockery or pans to help to keep them securely in place.
Below the sink is a much under-utilised space but designed carefully it can become a thing of organised beauty rather than the cluttered mess of bottles, dishwasher tablets and refuse sacks most of us are used to. A pull-out storage shelf that wraps around the sink makes the most of otherwise unusable space and will ensure there’s somewhere to keep cloths and cleaning materials tidy. Below that, add low-sided pull-out shelves for cleaning materials or more pull-out storage systems so you can lay your hand on whatever you need with ease. As we’re all regularly recycling more and more, integrated bins for refuse, recycling and food are a great addition to under-sink storage, too.
A great way to keep all your dry goods in one place, larders are available in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. Choose from modern floor-to-ceiling stainless-steel pull-out models with adjustable shelves or more classic freestanding pieces depending on your kitchen style. For maximum flexibility, some of the modern steel models can even swing out of the cabinet and revolve, making access even simpler. If your taste is more traditional, a free-standing larder with a beautifully kitted out interior including spice racks, drawers and wicker baskets is a one-stop storage solution.
Corners are a particularly under-utilised part of any kitchen design. Simply adding a magic corner or kidney-shaped Le Mans unit will make reaching into the backs of cupboards a thing of the past pulling out the contents fully so you can see what’s at the back simply and quickly. Invest in a system that has non-slip shelves so the contents don’t move about and fall over when the unit is pulled out. If your kitchen is u-shaped and runs around two corners, just adding specialised storage options into them could help you gain the equivalent space of a 1,200mm base unit.
Keep much-used small appliances such as blenders, coffee makers and toasters handy but out of sight by installing a tambour-fronted unit that sits on the worktop. Roll the top up when you want to use something, roll it down when you want to keep work surfaces neat and tidy. If you want to store away small appliances such as kettles toasters, blenders and waffle irons to create a breakfast station, then make sure you fit plug points inside so you can use electrical items where they’re stored.