With an endless stash of pots and pans to keep at bay, filling a kitchen with ample storage is something of a tall order. But – no matter how many mugs or how little space you have – there’s always a solution to be found
Clever kitchen storage ideas are essential in the modern kitchen – the traditional heart of the home is no longer just a space for cooking but also for dining, entertaining, relaxing and family life. With so many demands on this room, the key to keeping a kitchen clutter free and easy to use – regardless of size – is well-considered storage. From counter-top storage and built-in cabinets to freestanding dressers and open shelving, there are plenty of smart ideas for practical and effective storage in small spaces and open-plan kitchens alike. With the kitchen coming under increasing pressure to perform a variety of crucial roles such as family dining, relaxing, working and entertaining, a good layout and adequate storage are more important than ever.
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Keeping everything neatly behind closed doors is much easier if the interiors are designed with specific contents in mind. Smaller items will benefit from a shallow drawer with numerous compartments to keep items separated and easy to locate. Consider whether any cupboards will benefit from integral electric sockets, allowing you to charge gadgets out of view. The cases for DVDs and games tend to come in standard sizes so shelving can be fitted at precise heights to get more in, and the same is true of spice jars, which can slot into racks on the back of an easily accessible cupboard door. Many kitchen furniture ranges are now designed to morph into dining and living room furniture, enabling full coordination throughout.
1. Build in shallow cabinets
If your tableware collection is a combination of hand-me-downs, charity shop finds and new buys, it might look a little messy out on display. Instead, store it in a tall cupboard with solid-fronted doors. Dedicate a shelf to each type of item to ensure order.
2. Utilise multi-tasking cube shelving
Declutter the kitchen by turning cube shelving into the family’s control centre. Make compartments for tableware, school letters and other daily reminders. Cover one side with chalk paint or a cut-to-fit vinyl chalkboard for writing shopping lists and happy messages.
3. Make a display of jars
Free up cupboard space at the same time as making a stylish countertop display by popping dried food into glass storage jars. Arrange in height and size order. Create fun labels that say which pasta is your kids favourite or your family nickname for each shape.
4. Choose a multi-functional freestanding unit
Here’s a neat kitchen storage idea – turn a kitchen trolley into a moveable work bench or cooking aid. Whether it’s used to house glasses, bottles and decanters for cocktails or herb planters, oils, spices and a pestle and mortar, this is a great way to store special kit that you use a lot in your kitchen space.
5. Opt for open-shelving
In a shabby chic kitchen, storage doubles as a design feature. White painted open shelving – which mimics the look of traditional country dressers – suits the relaxed style of this kitchen, while providing a neutral home for the mix-and-match china and storage jars that add character to this room. Below the worktop and butler sink, paneled cabinets hide away bulkier kitchen items so that the space still feels tidy.
6. Hang it up
If your built-in kitchen storage is limited, free up space in cabinets by hanging colourful or patterned mugs and tea cups on a wall-fixed rustic wooden rack. Not only is this a practical way to utilise space – and always have a mug on hand for a cuppa – but it also makes an interesting decorative feature in a neutral kitchen space.
7. Consider a pantry or larder
A pantry or larder should be close to your fridge and freezer for instance, making it quick and easy to unload groceries. Likewise, in a dream kitchen scenario, china and cutlery should be stored near the dishwasher. It is usually a good idea to keep storage for glasses and frequently accessed items away from the main cooking area so as not to interrupt the cook while they’re creating a culinary masterpiece!
8. Mix it up
Use more glass fronted cabinets or open-shelving in non-cooking areas to create a distinction between spaces and prevent the whole room looking like one giant kitchen. Mixing up freestanding and fitted furniture will also help define roles. Stick to one colour palette for a considered look.
9. Use a room divider as storage
The right storage system can double up as a room divider in an open-plan space. Solid, freestanding shelves, that reach almost to the ceiling and are open on both sides can be used to house pots and pans and your more attractive serving ware plus dining table essentials.
10. Utilise wasted space
Explore every inch of your room for hidden storage opportunities. Ceiling racks can be used to hang pans and utensils, while plinth-line drawers are perfect for stashing away baking trays and outsized cookware. There’s no excuse for wasted space in corner cupboards any more – a carousel or swing-out Le Mans shelving create storage in the spaces your arms will never reach.
11. Reclaim your kitchen storage
The temptation to pack a kitchen with floor-to-ceiling storage can be really strong but, if you have a sizeable space or a streamlined selection of cookware and serveware, consider restricting your cabinetry to base units alone. This creates an airy, spacious feel.
12. Add a rail
Drawers might seem like a great place to store kitchen utensils, but it can be hard to find what you need in them. Instead hand a slim rail along the wall above the hob or by the sink, and use S-hooks to hang utensils.
13. Add in slide down storage
Getting to things at the back of the cupboard always runs the risk of the flour and oil clattering to the floor in a big mess. Make the most of your cupboard space by adding in secret storage such at this motorised shelving unit from Magnet. All you do is touch a button and the unit will reveal itself, saving your rummaging in the cupboard for the balsamic vinegar or sugar.
Find out more: Cabinet Plus, Magnet
14. Hide a charging station away in a drawer
A busy family kitchen can quickly become a clutter of chargers, phones and iPads. Keep all electrical safe and out the was with a built in USB charging tray like this one from Magnet. It fits neatly inside a drawer, so come dinner time you have a perfect excuse to make sure all the family have put there phones away (to charge of course).
Find out more: Kitchen USB Charging Station, Magnet
Will you be using these kitchen storage ideas?