Brilliant kitchen storage ideas
Clever storage is key to creating a clutter-free kitchen, perfect for cooking or socialising. Here we run through some stylish solutions to common kitchen dilemmas
The trend to open-plan living means people need clever storage ideas. The kitchen is no longer just a space for cooking but also for family life, eating and entertaining. “The kitchen is the social hub of the home, where everyone congregates. It’s all about creating a streamline, uncluttered look,” said Aimee Logan of Kitchen Living, a company which designs bespoke, made-to-measure kitchens.
Neat and organised
Designing in-built storage is key to creating clutter-free kitchens. For example, the ‘appliance garage’ is a customised cabinet designed to keep small appliances accessible yet out of sight. Think kettle and toaster. The appliances are all plugged in ready to use. Just open the door and slide out. Appliance garages can be integrated units in fitted kitchens or standalone cabinets with slide-out shelves.
Appliance garage (toaster cupboard) Image supplied by Kitchen Living
Pop-up sockets are a stylish, minimalist solution especially suited to kitchen islands without walls to install electrical sockets. They fit flush on the worktop and can be popped up to reveal power sockets and USB points. The clever space-saving gadget gives you extra electrical sockets while also hiding away leads, helping to keep the kitchen tidy.
Pop-up socket on kitchen island, image supplied by Kitchen Living
Love a larder
The kitchen larder has made a comeback. In the days before fridges, nearly all homes had a walk-in larder. While we may no longer need a pantry to keep perishables cool on slabs of marble, the benefits are once again appreciated - one, big storage space, built in shelving, everything easily visible. Plus, it offers a place to hide paraphernalia behind a closed door. Pantries are often high on the list of must-haves for new kitchens. “Pantries have definitely come back. It is a dark, cool space and you can squeeze a lot in,” said Aimee.
For those who don’t have space for a walk-in pantry, tall larder units are an option. The clever cabinets make optimum use of the storage space available with shelves and pull-out drawers. Provisions can be kept together and clearly organised. Larder units, such as the Space Tower, come in all heights, widths and depths and can be tailored to your individual kitchen.
Corner larder unit, image supplied by Kitchen Living
Tired of opening a cupboard only for all the contents to spill out on the floor? Rather than cramming Tupperware and cookware in a cupboard, keep items neatly organised in deep drawers with dividers. Imagine no more scrabbling around in the back of cupboards to find a matching food container and lid. Deep drawers are ideal for pots and pans and even plates with dividers to stop them sliding about. Smaller items can be kept in shallower drawers with compartments to keep them separate. Efficient storage means everything has its own place, said Aimee. “Its all about being able to see and quickly get to items.”
In big and small kitchens alike, there’s often wasted space in the back of corner cupboards which are hard to reach. That big wok you tucked away in its deepest recesses may go unused simply because you are forced to go down on all fours and stretch to retrieve it. But there are nifty solutions for corner cupboards, some of which can be retro fitted. They include the Lazy Susan (a simple carousel that spins to allow access to all sides), pull-out L-shaped corner drawers and swing-out shelving.
Most kitchens have dead space where you could squeeze in some open shelving for recipe books or attractive crockery. Bespoke shelves can be fitted in awkward corners – and will free up cupboard space. You can always give them a coat of paint to match your kitchen cabinets. Alternatively, glass shelves look chic. Fill the shelves with attractive coffee mugs, homemade jams or anything else you are happy to display. If you are worried it will look untidy, take care not to overfill and place like with like, for example jars on one shelf, cookbooks on another.
Floor to ceiling cabinets
Another brilliant way to maximise unused wall space is floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. Traditionally, wall cabinets end just below the ceiling, creating a surface where dirt and grease collects. Floor to ceiling cabinets not only create extra storage but get rid of dust traps. While you wouldn’t keep utensils for daily use on the top shelves, they are great for stashing bulky items, such as carving sets only needed at Christmas.
Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and island with additional cabinets. Image supplied by Kitchen Living
Waste storage can be concealed within cabinetry rather than free-standing to save floorspace and hide unsightly bins. Many pull-out bins have multiple compartments to separate recyclable materials. There are many different types of pull-out door bins and under sink bins designed to make maximum use of cupboard space. Bins should be close to your food preparation area, so you don’t have to trek across the kitchen with vegetable peelings.
Kitchens can be tricky to plan. Among the classic mistakes are inefficient use of space and stingy storage. So, explore every inch of your kitchen for storage opportunities. From tall larder units to appliance garages and pop-up sockets, there are brilliant ways to create a clutter-free kitchen.