Many people make the mistake of thinking that the more cupboards you have in the kitchen, the better. While it may be true to say that you can never have too many well-designed kitchen storage units, efficient organization of the contents of your kitchen storage offers a better solution. Cupboards need not only be at ground level, nor need they all be of the same height. Units attached to walls at eye-level height make good use of what can often be wasted space. They are also especially useful for storing items that need to be kept away from children’s sticky fingers or, if you have glass-fronted doors, for displaying favourite pieces of china or dinnerware. If there is space, a large cupboard that reaches to the ceiling will provide splendid opportunities for kitchen storage.
Open plate racks or shelves are the perfect home for everyday china, and again add decorative detail to the room while supplying kitchen storage that is easily accessible. Position such kitchen storage racks within easy reach of the dishwasher or sink to save time and breakages.
For those who have moved into an older house in which there is a pantry, please think twice before having it removed. Unless the kitchen is extremely small, the traditional shelved, walk-in pantry can house far more than the best-fitted kitchen storage layout. Originally, the pantry would have been situated on an outside wall with good ventilation and this – coupled with a stone floor – would have created a cool, airy space. Today, despite central heating, pantries are still surprisingly efficient at keeping food and wine cool. In fact, many kitchen storage designers are now incorporating large floor-to-ceiling pantry or larder cupboards to replace the originals.
Modern designs offer many kitchen storage solutions, such as fold-away ironing boards, pull-out rubbish bins and tables, and waste disposal units to keep your kitchen storage as streamlined as possible. Drawers of varying sizes are especially useful for storing different sized items. Small drawers are great for cutlery and tea-towels, say, while deep drawers make it easy to store larger items like casserole dishes and stacks of plates. Plan your requirements and then choose your units accordingly.
Unless totally bespoke, even the modern fitted kitchen will have the odd space where the smallest standard unit is too large to fit. Ask a carpenter to help you adapt these spaces to house thin baking tins or chopping boards, and consider replacing the plinth panels at the bottom of your kitchen storage base units with custom-made drawers to store linen or baking equipment. All too often it is these last pieces of equipment with their awkward shapes that clutter full-size kitchen storage cupboards.
If you have the advantage of a separate utility room, use it to house a large refrigerator or freezer, and fit a small integrated larder refrigerator, which will take up minimum space, in your kitchen storage. This can house the items that you most regularly use such as milk, butter and cheese, while larger items can be stored elsewhere until needed.
Be ruthless when it comes to organizing the contents of your kitchen. If something is used less than once a week it should not take up prime-access kitchen storage space. Conversely, condiments, herbs, spices and oils used regularly in cooking should be kept near to the cooker and easily accessible. Cooking pots and pans should be within easy reach, too, and can even add atmosphere to a room if displayed within view. This then frees up valuable kitchen storage cupboard space for other, less attractive, items, or items that are used less frequently.
The kitchen with good kitchen storage, then, has a mixture of built-in and open kitchen storage that has been, carefully planned. This, combined with the good positioning of the contents of your kitchen, will offer you the best in kitchen storage solutions.