No matter what size of kitchen you are planning the storage aspect is of paramount importance. What you want or need is likely to form the basis of the whole design, so it’s worth thinking about it right at the start. There are lots of aspects to consider; accessibility, cost, organization – and of course, the aesthetics – to display or not to display? Some people want everything hidden away and every surface clutter-free. Others like a more homely feel with crockery and cook books on show. But, probably the most important thing to consider is how much storage you need or can afford and this is likely to come down to life-style considerations and how many people are in your home.
So, let’s start with accessibility as this is probably the most discussed and requested aspect of our bespoke kitchens.
We’re finding that there’s a growing demand for drawers instead of shelved-based cupboards as they provide easy access to those hard to reach corners. They look streamlined and, if they replace wall cupboards, entirely, they can make a kitchen feel far more spacious. Deep drawers with dividers can keep pans and plates nicely organised and easily accessible. Quality runners, though, are essential.
Corner solutions are becoming more user-friendly and sophisticated with different options on how to make the most of the darkest, deepest corner. Cabinets and corner drawers featuring special pull-out pivoting mechanisms can be the answer for smaller kitchens and compact spaces.
The most recent design development for accessibility is a drop down mechanism into high wall cupboards – saving you the trouble of pulling out a stool and maximising what used to be ‘dead space’.
So, there’s plenty to consider when you’re thinking about storage requirements but above all we believe easy accessibility should be integral to the overall design.
ORGANISATION & PLANNING – WHAT GOES WHERE?
With regard to organisation, we start with the basics; cutlery, crockery and saucepans and naturally recycling bins have become an essential part of the planning. But then we consider the individual’s lifestyle and preferences. For example are you a cook with lots of electrical pieces and a myriad of bakeware?
We also need to consider the trickier items that can be large (Ironing board), awkward (think bread makers and the like!) or even the vacuum cleaner.
Tall cabinets are perfect in a high-ceilinged kitchens, particularly for large items – a ladder to access the high points creates a feature as well as being functional. In contemporary kitchens a bank of handleless cabinets give a sleek finish hiding everything away – this paired with open shelving, to add individuality, can stop this type of space becoming too sterile.
Inevitably most people want to conquer the clutter but this doesn’t have to mean everything is tidied away. An island with open shelving can combine function and style, ticking the box for easy accessibility as well looking stylish – you just need to be disciplined at all times!
As kitchens become larger and morph into multi-use spaces we’ve noticed a growing trend for a walk in pantry – a kind of one-stop-shop for all food storage. Where budgets or space don’t allow for this, the ‘Pantry Dresser’ can fit the bill. We’re often asked to design a storage piece that will serve as a cook’s pantry or even a breakfast station – housing the toaster and coffee machine as well as the food items. With an integral work top and shelving everything can be hidden from sight once the doors are closed.
There are many extras that can be considered from spice racks (to keep those small jars on display but at the same time out-of-sight), tray racks and chopping boards to massive pull-out larder systems. The inclusion and quality of these elements will be determined by budget – for example bespoke cutlery drawers and knife inserts or carved lettering making your storage really individual.
Ultimately, working with a good designer and building a good relationship with them, will help determine how best to bring all the storage solutions together to suit your lifestyle and your budget. You are certainly not limited by options!