How to: Choosing kitchen storage options

The key to a clutter-free kitchen is to invest in space-saving storage.

Storage

When planning a new kitchen, choosing the right kitchen storage options will be at the very top of the list of things you and your designer will want to consider.

Considered and accessible storage is crucial to an ergonomic design. For many of us, the kitchen is the hub of the home – a central meeting point where the family comes together at the end of the day – so it’s important to create a well-organised space that is not only a pleasure to use but also assists our increasingly busy lifestyles.

Take a walk around your current kitchen and think about what works and what doesn’t. Where should things ideally be placed for a better flow? It makes sense to keep plates near the dishwasher for easy unloading, baking trays close to the oven for cooking and condiments beside the hob for instant seasoning. These are all things that can be put in place once you begin to plan your new kitchen.

With the growing trend towards open-plan kitchens, where the cooking and preparation areas extend into a living and/or dining space, it’s more important than ever to get your storage sorted. As the kitchen area is always on show, you want a sleek, seamless finish with clutter concealed from view.

Start by breaking the kitchen down into different zones for different activities – prepping, cooking, washing, dining, relaxing and even working – and you’ll soon see that your storage has to work even harder to maximise the space available and the efficiency of each area. Think about all the items you need storage solutions for – from food preparation and eating to relaxing, doing homework with the children and catching up on paperwork, the kitchen has to accommodate everything from dry ingredients and fresh foods to crockery and cookware, right through to stationery, laptops, DVDs and children’s toys if you have an open-plan scheme.

Storage should always be flexible wherever possible and even the smallest of spaces can incorporate intelligent designs that maximise capacity and accessibility. Let’s start from the inside out…

Modern-day pantries are the perfect solution for dried foods and tea and coffee canisters, which would otherwise take up valuable worktop space.

Double-door larders and breakfast cupboards can even be used to house the toaster, coffee machine and condiments with cold marble or granite surfaces perfect for pastry rolling.

Kitchen larders are making a major comeback with a recent surge in popularity following the growing trend to ‘eat in’. As more of us cook and entertain at home, there has been an increase in the demand for dedicated food storage. Equipped with anti-slip shelves, effortless action and soft-close doors and drawers, the focus is on easy access and efficient ergonomics. There are pull-out larders, tandem larders and swing larders to choose from depending on your kitchen size, shape and style.

It’s amazing what you can fit into a pull-out larder unit. They are designed to maximise storage capacity in a single space, which in turn saves you time as you can quickly find what you are looking for. Slimline pull-outs are great for filling in space at the end of a run of units while tandem larders are incredibly versatile and are available in a number of heights and widths to accommodate all kitchen layouts. They hide so much away yet keep everything organised and easy to access.

There’s no excuse to lose any space in a corner cabinet, as there is a wide variety of clever solutions for both base and wall units. Curved cabinets and worktops are one of the latest trends in kitchen design, especially for island units, so a bespoke corner system can be created to suit.

Le Mans and magic corners are great for corner base units, where pots and pans can be difficult to reach. These easy-action carousels can rotate 360˚ and swivel out from the cabinet when the door is opened, making it quick and easy to find that elusive fish kettle! They can also be used to store small appliances such as juicers, blenders and mixers, which frees up space on the worktop. This will enable you to have more room for preparation as well as displaying the statement pieces that you really love.

Think about your needs in terms of drawer storage. Deep pan drawers are perfect for bulky and awkwardly shaped pots and pans, cutlery inserts are ideal for cutlery and utensils, peg systems and plate holders can be used to keep crockery in place while bespoke designs can create anything from personalised spice racks to engraved wooden bread bins.

When it comes to worktop level, there are plenty of ways to make it work. Tambour roller shutters can be used to conceal a small shelving unit where small appliances and accessories can be hidden from view. Splashbacks can be teamed with hanging rails for utensils while traditional kitchens with a pilaster either side of the chimney breast can incorporate neat spice cabinets while still retaining the character of the room.

Now it’s even easier to sort your paper from your plastic with a pull-out recycling bin with different compartments for different waste. Look for a generous capacity and colour-coded lids for ease of use.

Whatever your storage dilemma, there’s a solution to suit. If you’re always looking for a spare plug point to use the hand mixer or charge the mobile or laptop, you can now have a pop-up three-point plug socket that sits discreetly beneath the worktop when not in use then simply pops up when needed.

Spice racks can be attached to the inside of a cabinet door, cleaning product baskets can be concealed beneath the sink while open plate racks and pull-out wicker baskets are perfect for more traditional schemes where you want your storage to be on show.