Clever storage Ideas that’ll transform how you use your kitchen
Thanks to the likes of Mrs Hinch and Stacey Solomon, we’re now giving almost as much thought to the inside of our kitchen cupboards as the outside. One of the things we’ve noticed when designing new fitted kitchens in Oxfordshire, is that for most people it really is true that it’s what’s on the inside that matters most of all. Yes, even the most stylish looking kitchen will drive you round the bend if it is badly thought out and impractical when it comes to storage space.
The truth is that storage and organisation are big news right now, with new books, tv series and even courses on how to de-clutter and streamline your home springing up constantly. All rooms of a house can be affected by badly organised belongings, but one of the worst hit is the kitchen, which naturally attracts an excess of ‘stuff’. Whether you’ve built up a collection of a million mismatched mugs, are overwhelmed by gadgets, or have simply fallen victim to stacks of post, kids’ drawings and other day-to-day detritus building up on your kitchen sides, we all know what it feels like when things are not as well organised as they could be!
These things are just as important to keep in mind when designing your new fitted kitchen as the look and style you’re aiming to achieve. After all, no kitchen can retain that stylish finish when paired with overflowing cupboards and stacks of stuff on the sides. A well designed kitchen can make your life so much easier – there is a place for everything, the location of it all makes perfect sense when you’re actually using it and sides look cleaner and less cluttered.
Planning and organising your new kitchen effectively doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. It is simply about understanding how you really use the room and factoring this into the design. These are all things we discuss with any potential customer; we don’t just want to design you a kitchen that looks amazing, we want to create something that you’ll continue to love and find joy in using well after the novelty of it being new has worn off. There are so many design features we can build in, or come up with in response to a particular issue or bug-bear, but here are a few of the most common solutions and clever space-savers our customers have employed and loved over the years.
A larder cupboard has reached almost cult status in recent years as one of the most aspirational features of a new kitchen. Aside from being incredibly desirable, they are fantastically useful as they allow you to keep all your food in one place, freeing up other cupboards. Larders can be built to your needs, so are really flexible. Some people opt for wire shelving and wall shelving, which is great for herbs and spices; others like their larders to include drawers, so as well as food they can hold cutlery or other kitchen items. The choice really is yours. One of the great unexpected advantages of larder is that by having all your food in one place it’s much easier to see what you need when planning your weekly shop. It’s much harder to accidentally buy stock cubes week after week when they are all stored neatly and accessibly!
Le Mans Corner Unit
One of our pet peeves in kitchens is seeing poorly utilised corner units. The corners of your kitchen cabinets are often huge but are awkward to reach into which means they’re usually not used that well. That’s why we love the Le Mans Corner unit, which features two trays which are shaped perfectly to fit inside the corners of your cabinets that can be pulled out fully so you can easily see and reach everything inside. Corner units installed in the past were often flimsy and unsuitable for heavy items, but each tray of the Le Mans can hold up to 25kg, so that’s up to 50kg of storage in just one cupboard. They are perfect for storing heavy pots and pans, which are bulky and need a good amount of space. For us the Le Mans Corner Unit is a complete no-brainer as it offers so much additional storage space without a huge investment.
If you’ve ever seen a tv programme with Kirstie Allsopp in it you’ll know she’s a huge fan of a pan drawer. Pan drawers are simply extra-deep drawers which can hold larger, or more items than a standard drawer. You can have a pan drawer installed as part of a drawer pack (a set of drawers) or on it’s own. For example, many people add a pan drawer underneath an eye-level oven, as it’s an obvious place for storing pots for cooking. Despite their name, pan drawers can be used to store any number of things, with many of our customers finding they’re a great place to put dinner plates and bowls.
Depending on what you’re storing, you may find a pull-out cupboard to be a great option for maximising storage space. If you’re big on cooking and have a vast array of spices, pull out trays within your cupboards can be a brilliant way of seeing and accessing everything easily, without having to root around for what you’re looking for. These are especially handy for slim cupboards, which otherwise offer limited storage space.
Some things are just awkward to store… chopping boards, baking trays – we’re looking at you… but sometimes thinking about vertical storage can solve the problem for these sorts of items. Traditionally vertical storage would be used for things like a plate rack, where there is a need to easily see each individual item and quickly grab what you need. Plate racks have fallen out of fashion a little in recent years - although we think they look great in a country style kitchen – but the idea is still a solid one and can work really well when concealed within a cupboard. It’s a really simple and inexpensive storage solution that could make life just that little bit easier when you’re busy cooking up a storm in your kitchen.
Extra tall, extra deep wall units
Now this one seems obvious once you’ve said it, and yet many of our customers are surprised when we mention it, but it is possible to have extra tall and/or extra deep wall units to offer a bit more storage space. Taller wall units not only give you more space to hide things away, but can also make the proportions of your room look different by giving the impression of higher ceilings. This works really well in sleek, modern style kitchens where the desired look is uniformity. Extra deep wall units are a brilliant way of offering more flexibility for how you use your kitchen cabinets. Typically wall units are shallower than the floor ones and often don’t fit things like dinner plates, which can be a little annoying. By installing extra deep units, you can decide exactly where you want everything without being constrained by certain things only fitting in certain cupboards.
If budget allows, built in appliances are a great way of saving worktop space. From microwaves to top of the range coffee machines, built in appliances not only look ridiculously cool, but can be wall mounted or fitted within your kitchen, saving the need for wires and plugs on show all over your kitchen sides. They definitely bring a touch of cool to any kitchen.
We’re all used to concealing our larger kitchen appliances by opting for integrated goods, but the smaller ones are often left out on display taking up valuable worktop space. If you have a large kitchen with plenty of worktop, this possibly won’t bother you, but if preparation space is at a premium, losing a load of it to your toaster and microwave is probably more than a bit annoying. If that’s the case for you, or if you simply love totally clear sides, why not consider keeping them in a cupboard? Consultation with an electrician would be required to do this, but it is possible to install plugs within kitchen units to keep all those small appliances out of sight, but within easy reach when you need them. The ever flexible larder cupboard is a great place for this should it be something you’d like to explore.
Alternatively, if you’d simply rather your small appliances were out of sight when you’re not using them, why not think about using tambour doors? Tambour doors are sliding doors made of slats which roll up and down to reveal and conceal appliances on your worktop. They’re a great way of keeping everything looking really sleek and tidy, but having what you need to hand when cooking.
Racks of space
Wine racks are something our customers ask us to include frequently as they’re a great way of storing an otherwise tricky to house item. Wine racks are a great use of some of the awkward spaces that sometimes show themselves when designing a kitchen as they add a functional but decorative feature to the design. The concept of a rack can be used for any number of kitchen goods however, so even if you’re not a big drinker they can still be worth considering. They are great for storing cooking oils and any other bottles which are often tall and trickier to house.
We love open shelving in kitchens as it can allow you to display some of your favourite kitchen items in an attractive but functional way. If you are prone to clutter, open shelving can be a great way of forcing yourself out of the habit as the contents need to be beautifully displayed in order for it to work, so it takes a bit of commitment. The great benefit of open shelving is that it allows you to utilise every single awkward bit of space for storage, really making the most of every inch your kitchen has to offer. Mantle shelves above a cooker are a really popular type of open shelving at the moment, offering space to store or display items and also helping to make your oven a feature of the room. We’ve also seen open shelving above windows, which looks brilliant and quirky.
Whatever your storage dilemma or priority, we’re sure we will be able to work with you to develop a solution that you love.
Why not get in touch today to book your FREE home design visit? We cover the Oxfordshire and Berkshire areas, including, but not limited to Didcot, Abingdon, Radley, Oxford City, Wantage, Wallingford, Benson, Berinsfield, Goring, Pangbourne.
With Kitchenroom you can always be assured of:
1. First class personal service from start to finish
2. 18 mm Rigid (assembled) wall and base units with doors already fitted
3. 10 cabinet colour options (so not just white / ivory or oak) to match the colour of the kitchen
4. 2 mm ABS edged cabinets
5. Soft close Blum doors & drawers that come with a lifetime guarantee
6. 25 year guarantee on our units / 10 years on Solid wood kitchens / 7 years on MDF kitchens
7. A typical lead time of 3-4 weeks
8. We can supply only or supply and arrange to fit your new kitchen where we will take care of the whole project from start to finish
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