Storage in the kitchen is both a practical matter and an esthetic issue. You need a place to put all of your pots, pans, cutlery, silverware, etc… And, the more items you can store away, off the countertops, the cleaner a look your kitchen will have. You also need to leave some room for windows, doors and traffic flow. Smart kitchen storage design is about more than just sheer volume. It’s about maximizing the space you have with intelligent planning. Follow these ideas to design a kitchen that both meets your practical needs and pleases your senses.
The Pantry: A Walk-In Closet For Your Kitchen
Just like in the bedroom, having a separate space to store items is a tremendous luxury. Imagine opening a set of doors and having all of your kitchen gadgets displayed before you. No need to go digging through drawers and cabinets to find things. If and when it becomes disorganized, you can always close the doors to conceal it from your guests. If your space allows, consider making a walk-in pantry part of your kitchen. When planning your pantry’s layout, think about what you’ll be storing in it and plan around it.
Those of us who do not have the luxury of space adjacent to the kitchen that can be converted to a pantry, can plan a tall, deep, closet-like cabinet into our kitchen. One possible spot is next to a full-depth refrigerator. Organization is key here. Intelligently planed racks and shelving inside a large cabinet will ensure that you get the most out of the space, rather than just having a vast, cavernous cabinet filled with an unorganized mess.
When redesigning your kitchen, extend the wall cabinets to the ceiling for maximum storage. Yes, this will put some items out of reach for all but the tallest chefs, but the design community has addressed your issue with folding step stools that have been designed to hide away in the toe kick beneath base cabinets. Store your seldom-used items in the highest sections of the cabinets and you’ll rarely have to use it.
Corners where one set of base cabinets meet another at a 90-degree angle can represent a challenge in kitchen layout. The lazy Susan is one solution, however, ingenious designers have come up with drawers that slide out of the corner at an angle. This prevents items falling off of the lazy Susan and the need to rummage around in the back of a deep corner cabinet.
Customized Drawer Interiors
Specialized drawer interiors have been designed for everything from utensils to trash cans to cookie sheets. When designing a new kitchen, inventory your current kitchen and give serious thought to what you want to store and where. Consider how and where you use each item, and chances are, there’s a storage solution for it.
You may have a beautiful looking toaster, blender and mixer, but you don’t necessarily want to display them all the time. Tuck them into an appliance garage with either a roll-top, folding or lift-up door and they will be easily accessible but out of site. Most appliance garages are designed to fit snugly between the countertop and wall cabinet.
Some of your kitchen wares can and should be on display. Platters, daily dishes and even some pots and pans can be stores on open shelving, wall racks or hung from hooks. This will prevent you from having to cover every wall surface with closed cabinets.
The more thought you put into your kitchen’s storage, the better. Think about what you use the most and where, in the kitchen, you use it. Then, create a plan to store it within easy reach. You’ll never say to yourself that you have too much storage in your kitchen. At the same time, by maximizing the store you do have, you’ll be able to leave room to allow your culinary center to be open and airy.
Want to read more?