As kitchens take on a central role in the home they are no longer just a place of storage for food and the things to prepare it with. No, kitchens are now places to eat, relax, entertain, work and play as well as still providing hot and cold food. So, with the whole family using the space for a variety of purposes, pressure upon storage becomes intense if you’re not going to become overwhelmed with mess and the detritus of a modern family life.
Storage is basically simple; items can be hung up, put on a shelf, placed in a drawer or cupboard, slid into a rack or dropped into a cellar/bucket. A lot depends on the amount of room that you have and how much stuff you have. Minimalist kitchens are very popular but take a great deal of discipline to keep clear of clutter, it’s no good having lots of storage if you don’t clear after you and put stuff away.
Storage is also about style. We have hand-made kitchens for clients that want shelves in their kitchen or cupboards that have glass doors. Essentially these clients are saying that they want family and visitors to what they put on these shelves and behind the glass doors. They are stylistically committing themselves to either maintaining a high standard of contents within this storage ‘oh that, I’d forgotten it was there’ or they wish to be seen as a bohemian with a ‘take me as you find me’ approach.
So it pays to think this through when planning a kitchen as well as having a quick stock-check (and weed through) of your things. Simplistically the cubic meterage of its mass is your minimum storage requirement. We have spoken previously about the ‘kitchen triangle’ – the magical space of legends between the sink, fridge and cooker in which chefs weave their wonders. It makes sense to avoid this area for much-used items, like glasses, needed by those that set the table or stand around drinking while the cooking is being done. It’s a matter of taste but logic suggests that food storage is near the fridge for when the Waitrose delivery arrives, cutlery and crockery should be adjacent to dishwashers as well as a stacking area for clean and dirty crocks.
For larger kitchens it is unnecessary to overdo the storage so you can consider leaving out high-level cabinets and replacing them with artwork to give the kitchen an open spacious feel. Handle-less cupboards help this unfussy feel.
We have developed many useful ideas for using every square inch of a kitchen from island storage to racks on the backs of doors, towel rails that retract and slide away racking that uses previously dead, unreachable voids in corners or behind kickboards. Hafele (see gallery below) is very good at this and we install many of their innovative ideas. Fill spare space with spice-racks, knife blocks, hidden power towers that rise from the worktops for appliances as well as wine/oil/sauce racks and chilled wine fridges. Slender and wide tray holders and tasteful wooden plate racks or display glass-fronted cupboards/shelves.
So, you see storage is worth some thought – but don’t feel you’re at a loss; we can advise and provide CAD drawings to show you the alternatives. Just pop in and see us with your project.