Above: Show off a large wine collection by incorporating bottle storage into a bespoke kitchen design. Created by Roundhouse in collaboration with Samantha Todhunter Design prices start at £35,000

There’s nothing like having a clean, clutter-free kitchen; whether it’s cooking dinner for the family or prepping for a casual supper with friends, having quick, easy access to all your store cupboard essentials and knowing where every utensil and gadget is hidden is key to a calming environment. That’s not to say that everything has to be concealed behind cabinet doors however, some of the best storage solutions are all about being open minded, literally. 
When planning your storage solutions, first consider how you use the space. ‘A busy, working kitchen will need to have the most used items to hand,’ explains Brani Hadzhi, manager at the Scavolini Store. ‘Extra worktop space we incorporate into a pantry or cupboard with fold-in doors and a pull-out work surface.’

Below left: The Diesel Social collection by Scavolini features painted metal cabinets in green, black or steel alongside mobile metal trolleys and large dresser bases with pull-handle drawers. Kitchen prices start from £30,000 at the Multi Living Store
Above Right: This Leicht storage unit conceals a clever half pull-out wire rack to store groceries, with easy access when needed. Available at Kitchens International, it can be fitted into many of the tall units available and is shown here in textured oak Abruzzo, with kitchens starting at £15,000
For Matt Higgins, designer at Sustainable Kitchens, the first rule is to make a note of the most vital items. ‘It’s not a question of where you store things but what you really need,’ he confirms. ‘It’s very easy to unnecessarily build storage and randomly fill empty space incorrectly.’ Think of the room having different zones and then plan for an efficient, ergonomic layout. For instance, keep cookware and dried foodstuffs near the oven and hob, dinnerware and glasses beside the table, breakfast bar or island and fresh ingredients close to a decent amount of work surface. To make your storage work even harder, Kiran Noonan, managing director at John Lewis of Hungerford, recommends deep pan drawers, Le Mans corner units and pull-out shelves along with bi-fold doors for hiding everyday bits and pieces. There are also ingenious new ways of incorporating storage into the smallest of spaces, as Paul O’Brien, business development director at Kitchens International, confirms: ‘New developments include plinth storage or dispensing with the plinths altogether. This can add an extra 15cm to each cabinet and an additional depth is excellent for galley kitchens where space is limited. Make use of awkward spaces with curved drawer units, pull-out corner cupboards and Cookware Centres where pots and pans are stored along with a prep area.’ 


Above: Sesame from Schmidt is a clever little drop-down telescopic shelf installed at the back of wall cabinets, producing a secret compartment space that drops down when needed. Operated electronically, use for spices, ceramics or glassware, with kitchens starting at £10,000

Open-plan settings can be more of a challenge so visualise whether you want closed-door storage or to go all out with carefully displayed pieces on open shelving systems. Islands make great dividers, with practical storage on the side facing the kitchen and a sleek, seamless run on the other. Some ranges are available for the living or dining room too, for a fully co-ordinated look.

Article by: Hayley Gilbert