The Zero Stress Guide to Kitchens


What You Need To Know Before You Buy a Kitchen

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Kitchen storage

Top tips

  • Keep items used frequently in easily accessible cupboards
  • Store heavy items underneath worktops
  • Plan to keep worktops free of clutter

Think carefully about how much storage space you might need – for small electrical items, food, cutlery and crockery, cooking utensils and cleaning equipment.

Remember that labour-saving items like food mixers and juicers need to be permanently at the ready – if you have to get them out of a cupboard every time you want to use them, you won’t!

When your kitchen is installed, think logically about where to put everything. Keep items you use regularly in the most accessible cupboards. Those you use infrequently can go in higher cupboards while heavier items should be tucked away in cupboards underneath the worktops.

Below the kitchen worktop

After you have planned the position of your sink, fridge and hob/cooker, the remainder of the space below the worktop can be used for storage. This is particularly useful for heavy items such as electrical equipment and pots, pans and oven dishes. Calculate how much space these items will require.

accessible cupboards

Products like bottles of wine and vegetables that don't need to go in the fridge will also need space beneath the worktop. Look at alternatives to cupboards – a pull-out cabinet or trolley perhaps, or maybe special shelving on which to display your wine.

Vegetables need a cool, dry and preferably dark home to preserve their freshness so keep them well away from the cooker. (The same applies to spices although, bizarrely, decorative spice racks encourage people to expose their herbs and spices to the light.)

Cutlery will generally be kept beneath the worktop as well, with drawers being the conventional storage option. Ladles, wooden spoons and other cooking utensils might be more conveniently stored in a jar on the worktop. Knives can be kept on a magnetic knife holder attached to the wall or in a separate knife-block on the worktop. Make sure, though, that your kitchen worktop is free from too much clutter as this will give your kitchen a messy look and reduce the amount of space you have on which to work.

Above the kitchen worktop

As the space below the worktop will mostly be used for cupboards, storage here can be more creative. The items stored are usually lighter and are sometimes more decorative which can make them suitable for display.

kitchen cupboards

Cupboards are not the only option. For example, plates can be kept in a plate rack – which can also help prevent them from chipping. Mugs, cups and jugs can hang from hooks on open shelves. Cooking utensils can be hung from a rail sited over the main working area for easy access. Onions and garlic also can be hung on the rail. Food like pasta and sugar can be stored in decorative glass jars and displayed on open shelving. A mixture of storage options often works best to relieve the potential monotony of a vast bank of cupboards, especially in a large kitchen.

Bear in mind that items on open display are susceptible to steam, grease and dust, so this type of storage should only be used for goods that are needed on a frequent basis. An alternative is to place such items behind glass cupboard doors where they will remain decorative but protected.

Try to think ‘outside the box’ – for example:

  • If you have a small kitchen with a limited work surfaces, why not buy a butcher's block on wheels that can be stored under a worktop and pulled out when you need more working space
  • Consider using a floor-to-ceiling, free-standing cupboard in which to store all your crockery or as a larder for canned and packaged food. It is a very efficient use of space.
  • A dresser is an elegant storage solution, offering space to both display and conceal items, if you have sufficient room.
  • A high ceiling gives you the opportunity to install a rack from which to hang pans – first ensuring that both rack and ceiling are strong enough to support the weight.
  • Look for kitchen units with a corner carousel if you have a U-shaped or L-shaped kitchen.
  • In a small, narrow kitchen go for tall wall cupboards with less depth.



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