Let’s be practical, whatever finish you have chosen for the doors of your kitchen cupboards and cabinets to make your kitchen look stunning - their most useful function is to provide storage space.
When planning a kitchen think carefully about the uses it will be put to.
It will affect totally what utensils and implements you own or are planning to buy. Leaving things out on display can seem like a good idea, but it can get wearying when you have to keep moving them to clean - and wipe them over as they attract dust, grease or just the detritus of kitchen living - a little flour or icing sugar can go a long way!
If you are radically changing the layout of your kitchen to provide more living space or just to create a more modern and spacious feel, does that men losing units? If so where will you put what has been stored in the past? A little thought can save a lot of frustration.
It is well worth looking around as modern ideas, such as carousel units, can help create valuable space and make good use of faraway corners that have been practically inaccessible in the past.
The area under work surfaces is the most logical place to store the heaviest items in your kitchen. Who wants to lift down weighty items, when they don’t need too?
Plan in space to store larger objects, it might also be an idea to create areas for future expansion as more utensils and equipment find their way into your kitchen.
The most logical way to start is by giving some thought to where electrical appliances will stand. They take up storage space but of course are essential. One of the best ways to decide how much storage space there will be, is to site appliances first, for example those needing water will have to be near the point of supply.
Then think about storage arrangements. Heavy pots, pans and dishes are handiest kept near the cooker. While somewhere cooler and away from heat is the best place for vegetables, they also prefer the dark.
Cutlery is best kept in draws, being shallower than cupboards they make finding sharp implements easier and you are less likely to cut yourself than if rooting around in a box in a cupboard. Alternatively of course, a knife rack for the sharpest blades, which is displayed on a work surface, is a safer solution still.
Not everything has to be hidden away - wine racks are an obvious way to display and keep your modern cellar. They give an air of sophistication to the kitchen.
But bottles and all manner of kitchen items can also be stored on a trolley that pulls out making locating that bottle, tin or packet which always gets forgotten at the back of the cupboard so much easier.
It could be that you don’t want a totally fitted kitchen. In which case you could consider using a mobile butcher’s block. It can be wheeled to wherever in the kitchen you want to work. Look for one with shelves to create more storage space.
Dressers have a place in many people’s hearts and there is no better time to introduce one to the kitchen than when it is having a refurbishment. Giving this kind of country-style look could lead the way to choosing the rest of the units.
A freestanding cupboard could be the answer to a difficult space to fill. Older houses, especially, may have nooks and crannies that would benefit from a tall cupboard. It could provide valuable space for taller pieces such as ironing boards and vacuum cleaners.
You don’t have to pack everything away - while no one wants a dog-eared cereal packet on display, some things can look very decorative using containers such as baskets or open shelving.
Just bear in mind that anything left out will need to be dusted or wiped down, and too much on display just ends up making your shiny new kitchen look cluttered and untidy.
Not everything has to be stored in base units - wall units have a very important role, not only practical but here you can be a little more creative in displaying things.
Glass fronted cabinets give the opportunity to display china, glassware or ornaments. Shelving can show to good effect displays of wine, smart utensils, cookery books or perhaps jars of pasta.
Spice racks can be as showy as they are practical, and mugs displayed on a rack or mug tree can add a splash of colour to a quieter corner.
Be practical as well as creative. What items do you use most and what do need to hand? It’s no good putting your favourite plates on a top shelf. Speaking of plates why not consider installing plate racks, for ease of handling and as an excellent way of preventing the kind of damage stacking can sometimes cause.
Some people like to display pots and utensil in the Continental fashion - a good idea if they are used often, and if you are willing to wash them often to remove the grime that everyday kitchen life produces.
If you are afraid that you will be short of storage space consider using taller wall cupboards - they can also be handy where space is limited.
When planning a kitchen you often get caught out by not providing a space for the smaller items.
Where are you going to put:
• Cookery books,
• Freezer or storage bags
• Spice jars
• Scissors, sellotape, string, matches
• Ovengloves, and teatowels
• Storage boxes for use in the freezer
And not forgetting the all important:
• Recycling box.
They may not be glamorous but they are important!