Our kitchen organisation ideas
Whether faced with a compact kitchen or a more spacious environment, at the top of our client’s list of concerns is often will they have enough storage space? Effective storage is essential to create a kitchen that’s both stylish and practical, no one wants their new kitchen to end up with cluttered worksurfaces and cupboards exploding at the seams. However, one of the most important factors to creating enough storage space is not, as you might assume capacity, but is in fact accessibility. You can have all the space in the world, but if you can’t get to it easily you won’t gain the full benefit. Likewise, as much as storage is hugely important, achieving the right balance of cabinetry and open space will have a dramatic impact on the atmosphere of your kitchen. Sacrificing some storage in order to make the room feel more spacious can be worthwhile. There are lots of things to consider when it comes to maximising your kitchen storage and to help you get started we’ve put together a detailed guide of the different approaches, from new technologies to smarter thinking.
First and foremost you will need to consider your kitchen cabinetry, storage is after all what it is designed for. These days there are lots of new technologies to help make the most of your kitchen cupboards, as well as this we recommend you consider layout and balance of cabinet types to create a space that works for you and your unique lifestyle.
Pantry/Larder Units – An effective way to add more storage to your kitchen
Many older homes used to include an external pantry or larder, but at some point, we decided this space would be made better use of incorporated into our kitchen floorplan. There is much to be gained by taking inspiration from this traditional feature and including a pantry or larder style unit in your design. A modern pantry cupboard is a full-length unit that can feature either classic shelves or a pull-out system. Shelves can be customised to different heights allowing you to maximise space. However, while you gain capacity, one thing shelves lack is that all-important accessibility. We all know how frustrating it can be having to empty the contents of your cupboard to find that one item hiding at the back. A solution to this would be to fit internal door racks, this allows sneaky smaller items like spices or condiments to be clearly organised within easy reach. To accommodate the internal door storage, you may need to shorten the depth of your shelves which can also contribute to improved accessibility.
A superb way of alleviating this stress altogether is to opt for a pull-out system. There are two options; a pull-out larder where the whole unit moves as one and pull-out drawers that can be accessed individually. Both take a weight of 20kg on each shelf, offering a combined capacity of up to 120kg. The full pull-out larder is available in sizes ranging from 300mm to 600mm which makes it a great choice for a more compact kitchen, though bear in mind you may need to leave space either side so you can reach the shelves properly. Pull-out drawers will similarly improve accessibility to the back of the cupboard, but instead, you can open each drawer separately. This can be more convenient than pulling the weight of the whole unit out. Internal drawers can be customised with beautiful finishes such as glass or wood veneer to bring a sophisticated and stylish look to complement your design aesthetically as well as practically.
When we refer to base units, we are talking about the cupboards that fall below waist height, these usually make up the majority of the base of your kitchen design. Just like larder/pantry cupboards, base units can feature many of the same pull-out and internal door storage options. They are less restricted in width than larder units, narrow pull-out cupboards can be ideal for storing slim bottles, towel rails and cleaning items. They can even be used stylishly to disguise pull-out drawers if this fits better with the aesthetics of your design.
Deep Drawers – Make the most of them!
In the past, kitchen designs have predominantly featured cupboard storage, but as we have discovered, this is not always ideal in terms of accessibility. With advancements in kitchen technology, deep drawers can now be built to hold weights of up to an incredible 120kg. This dramatically improves their versatility, meaning instead of being limited to storing cutlery and utensils, you can now use them to store crockery, heavy pots and pans and even cooking ingredients.
Deep drawers work hand in hand with the internal pull-out system discussed in the previous section. A kitchen filled largely with drawers would be incredibly practical but truthfully wouldn’t look very attractive, pairing hidden internal drawers with some deep drawers brings an aesthetic balance to your design. This isn’t to say you should do away with cupboards all together as they can be useful for storing larger items, however, deep drawers do offer the wonderful potential to enhance the flexibility of your design.
The cupboard everybody loves to hate. In U-shaped or L-shaped kitchen designs (some of the most common) they can be impossible to avoid and so considering how to maximise your corner cupboard storage is very important. There are three designs to choose from, the Magic Corner unit, the Le Mans design and the Carousel. The Magic Corner and Le Mans systems work in very similar ways; a complex hinged design neatly tucks the shelves into the full depth of the corner and allows them to be pulled right out into the room so you have access to the whole of the cupboard. Both Le Mans and Magic Corner are effective in improving accessibility, yet both detract slightly from the capacity of the space. Magic Corner will offer slightly greater capacity than Le Mans but can be more expensive. Le Mans features an anti-slip coating and low barriers ideal for storing pots, pans and larger items and so you will need to consider which suits your individual needs best. Carousels again work similarly but won’t extend into your space like the other two designs. They can be a more affordable option with similar practical capabilities.
Wall Units – Compact & Effective!
In a compact space, wall units or overhead cupboards can play a crucial role in achieving enough storage, however, like corner cupboards, they can present some tricky access issues, particularly for the vertically challenged among us. As the top shelf is out of reach for some, storing items used infrequently here is your best option. Pull down systems can help, but similarly to the corner cupboard solutions mentioned previously, they will impact capacity.
It might sound controversial, but the benefits of reducing the amount of overhead cabinetry in your design can often outweigh the costs. Not only are wall units challenging to access, but too much overhead cabinetry can make a small space feel cluttered and claustrophobic. Having fewer wall units will make your kitchen feel more spacious and open. To aid in this compromise, consider introducing display shelving to your design. Open shelving allows you to create lovely displays of your favourite ornaments, crockery or cookbooks and can be positioned within easy reach.
Custom Built Cabinets
One of the fantastic benefits of working with an independent kitchen company is that they will be able to offer a much more personalised service. They can support you from the beginning by planning a great layout and balancing cabinet types based on your lifestyle, as well as this they can create bespoke solutions to truly make the most of your space. A good independent retailer will be able to design tailormade units to fit awkward features such as tricky alcoves or sloping ceilings. If your kitchen has an unusual layout a custom-made solution is definitely the best option.
Forgotten Spaces – Making space in your kitchen
If you have a compact kitchen, as well as maximising your primary cabinet storage, you might want to think about utilising ‘forgotten spaces’. These will vary depending on your home so you may need to get creative, but often overlooked is the small gap left around the sink. With some manufacturers offering specially designed drawers, this space can be a great nook to stow cleaning items or utensils. Your kitchen designer may also be able to create a bespoke cupboard that provides access to the space, this can be a great cost-effective solution. In older properties with high ceilings, continuing wall units to the full height of your room can provide storage for items you don’t need to access regularly. When it comes to utilising forgotten spaces, never be afraid to think outside the box.
It might come as a surprise to you that there is such a wonderful range of possibilities available when it comes to improving the storage capabilities of your new kitchen. With so many different types and techniques to choose from, you will need to carefully consider how you balance these different options to suit your unique space and lifestyle. Creating the perfect storage solutions will not only make your kitchen effortlessly functional but will also keep your home looking stylish and clutter-free. If you would like further guidance on implementing these ideas or you would like to find out more about maximising your kitchen storage, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable design team. You can call the showroom on 01634 799 909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.