Follow this guide when planning the storage in your new kitchen to ensure your scheme is well-organised, easy to use and has room for everything you need.

There is a method to devising the most user-friendly kitchen storage. Consider what needs to be stored before deciding which furniture needs to go where. The idea is to have easy access to everyday items, keeping things you use often either at the top of base cabinets or the bottom of wall units to reduce the amount of bending and stretching needed to reach them. Creating functional zones can also be a useful way to get the most ergonomic arrangement, such as by having pans and utensils close to cooking and food-prep areas, with cleaning materials near to the dishwasher and sink or in the utility room.

kitchen 2

Project by Studio2 Architects with appliances by Fisher & Paykel

Future proof planning

Put a storage plan together from the start of your project. When renovating, review how you use the layout and decide what could be changed for the better. The plan should take account of every possible detail, including the position and number of plug sockets, the arrangement and sizes of shelving, drawers, cupboards and the internal cabinet fittings. It helps to make an inventory of all the kitchen equipment you use. If your budget allows, hire an experienced kitchen designer, whose planning skills will tailor solutions to suit your current requirements and make allowances for the additional storage you may need in the future. To prevent delays in the timeline of work, an order for units and worksurfaces will need to be made before the room is finished to second fix stage.

 Fusion Studio TIFF File

Sutton Graphite and Coastal mist kitchen, Masterclass Kitchens

Solutions for small rooms

In a small kitchen, consider whether it is possible to rework nearby spaces and exploit them for storage potential: under the stairs, an unused alcove, recess or chimney breast, for example. More extensive structural changes can be made to add extra room with a side return extension, which could be partitioned with glazed metal-framed doors. If you have a narrow kitchen, often the only option is to have a single run of cabinets. This can look elegant though, and will also work in a bigger, more multifunctional room as keeps worksurfaces, sinks and ovens at one part of the room. Tall cabinets at one or both ends of the run, with open shelving or wall cabinets above the base units will provide the greatest amount of storage space.

kitchen 4

Brockwell moss and sweet chestnut cabinets from Pluck

Walls of storage

Creating functional zones for food preparation, cooking and eating can be useful in a big or open-plan room and when you want to include an island unit. Dedicating a single wall of cupboards that extend to the ceiling is a great way to confine storage to one area that’s close to the cooking zone. Keep the most frequently used items on lower shelves.

Photography by Alexis Hamilton for Plain English Design

Bespoke Long House cupboards and Osea island unit, Plain English

Ideas to make more of the storage potential of cupboard interiors

Improve an otherwise hard-to-access space in a corner cabinet by fitting a shelving solution, such
as a pull-out LeMans unit.

Charging stations can be included in a drawer or concealed in a cupboard to keep worksurface cable clutter to a minimum.

Deep drawers below the hob are great for keeping pasta and assorted dried foods within close reach.

Consider cabinets with 100mm high plinths, as opposed to a 150mm plinth where you lose 50mm in cabinet space.

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4 alternative ways of buying a kitchen

5 practical tips for reconfiguring a kitchen layout

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