These clever inspirations will certainly keep your cookspace in order
Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More
Smart storage is the holy grail of kitchen design: the thing that can make cooking pleasurable, stops cupboards turning into museums full of out-of-date tins of beans and exotic chutney jars, and ensures you never lose the lids of your plastic containers ever again. Take a look at these smart solutions to help you ensure your kitchen stays under control.
Rack it up
Why not use a blank section of wall as a place to consolidate a variety of hard-working (but cheap) metal racks and rails? These can look cool, especially against a dark colour (here, blackboard paint). It’s also an inexpensive option that works in small kitchens where space for cupboards is limited or extra wall units would make things feel cramped.
Here, metal shelves for crockery double up as a place to hang mugs and pans underneath; there’s a neat holder for kitchen paper; rails for utensils and tea towels; a magnetic knife holder; galvanised metal buckets for cutlery; and racks for spices. Truly sorted.
Make it an open and shut case
If you’re not sure whether to go for open shelving (which can make a room look bigger but can get dusty or be hard to keep neat) or closed cupboards, take a look at this in-between option. There’s space for the pretty or homely stuff – cookery books, decanters, nice bowls – to be left on show, while leaving plenty of room to hide a little kitchen chaos. We also love the canary yellow teamed with the grey.
Wall units, shelves or nothing: Which is best for your kitchen?
Pull it out
These cupboards might look standard from the outside, but inside they’ve been fitted with pull-out wire racks. These offer a functional but still good-looking alternative to wooden shelving, and are perfect if you want to know exactly where you put your peanut butter.
With six baskets in each cupboard, this design makes the most of the available space, and is ideal for packets and jars.
Let them eat cake
If you’re going for a bespoke larder, make your storage design work for your household’s habits. Really think about what you need, what you won’t use and what you’d miss, even if the version of it you already have isn’t quite perfect.
We love how this larder unashamedly reserves a section for ‘cake’. In fact, everything has been thought of, including a built-in wine rack and a shelf that’s just the right height for cereal boxes.
Divvy up a drawer
Hands up who has a cupboard or drawer crammed with a mishmash of hidden bakeware and chopping boards all stacked together and impossible to extricate. Storing tins, racks and boards on their side is actually a smart way to see exactly what you’ve got – so you don’t end up buying the same thing twice or simply give up on your hunt for that seldom-used bundt tin. The key is fitting drawers that are deep enough and dividers that aren’t too wide.
Spruce up your shelving
Shelving in the kitchen can look a little bit samey – which is why we love this on-trend, black-framed, industrial-chic shelving, complete with sliding ladder and Corian shelving. It’s been fitted into a pantry area just off the main kitchen and it’s a stylish way to add attitude to a plain white space. Wooden crates are another good-looking addition to kitchens, and can be used for fresh fruit and vegetables.
Go for the chop
If you’re the household cook, you’ll no doubt constantly be cleaning or hunting for clean chopping boards. That’s why this dedicated space for not one, but two bespoke wooden chopping boards is a joy to behold. Each bespoke board has a handy knob so you can slot them in and out with ease. There’s also a clever built-in peg for tea towels.
Kick into touch
Use every inch of your kitchen, like these homeowners, by putting crafty drawers in at the bottom of units, where you might normally just have a wasted gap behind a kickboard. These plinth drawers will provide a handy home for baking trays and other flattish items you don’t need to access every day. If you’re handy with a screwdriver, buy DIY plinth drawer packs or look for Ikea hacks online to help you create them yourself.
The tricks to using your under-sink area for kitchen storage
Make more of your doors
If you have a walk-in larder or utility space, consider utilising the back of the door as here – this clever rack manages to accommodate all manner of spices, condiments and packets. It also means you’ll know exactly when you run out of store-cupboard essentials. Don’t be scared to go tall when it comes to racks – the more you can see what you have, the less likely it will get wasted or forgotten. A simple kitchen stool (foldaway if you’re short on space) will help you reach the highest items.
Even if you don’t have a pantry like this with a large door, look at some of the ready-made add-ons for ordinary kitchen cupboards. They may also help you to squeeze more out of existing storage.
Give your pantry real panache
Food storage doesn’t have to be apologetic and tucked away or squeezed in. How about this – a walk-in pantry that sits boldly between sitting area and kitchen. If you’re planning an extension or a major layout overhaul, it could be one to factor in if it appeals. Here, it’s been integrated next to a big fridge-freezer so that all food can be kept together in one area.
Put a lid on it
Are your constantly losing the lids for your saucepans or don’t want them cluttering up your drawers? Here, a deeper pull-out for pans has been matched with a slimmer one for lids (which could equally be used for baking sheets). Sometimes it’s the simplest things that help your kitchen feel nicer to use…
And here’s the lids-on-top idea executed in a slightly different way, handy if you have a slimmer, vertical space to fill instead.
If your home is open plan and your kitchen adjoins your hallway, you could copy these smart homeowners and build storage in your under-stairs area. It’s a clever way to make the most of an awkwardly shaped space. These bespoke slide-outs with shelving provide extra storage for food packets, kitchen roll and cleaning items. Keeping doors in the same white finish as the kitchen units helps the whole area work together.
A pan rack doesn’t have to dominate your room, hanging grandly from the ceiling or taking up a whole wall. Here, a compact shelving unit with rail and hooks has been fixed between cooker hood and wall. It’s practical and the perfect size to accommodate a decent range of pans (and casserole dishes on top).
Planning a great pan rack
And here the racks have been hung with the same out-of-the-way ethos in mind – filling the often dead space above and around a cooker hood.
Tailor your pull-outs
Each of us has our own organisational bugbear in the kitchen. For these homeowners, presumably it’s having spatulas, spoons and whisks cluttering up worktops or lying in tangled heaps in drawers. These utensil holders mean you can grab a wooden spoon at lightning speed if you need to.
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