by Lisa O’Neill, Lead Designer of Lisa Wilkin Interiors – based in the Southern Highlands NSW
Follow Lisa on Instagram @lisawilkininteriors Website – www.lisawilkininteriors.com
When it comes to planning storage solutions for the house, the most important room to get right is really the Kitchen. It is the room that you will no doubt spend the most time in. A place where everyone gathers when they come over for dinner and drinks, the place where kids tend to come to do their homework while the parents cook dinner. It is a place that really functions as the hub of the home, so having it totally organised will be the key to making sure that life in here runs smoothly.
If you are planning a new build or a kitchen renovation, it is essential that you take note of the kitchen triangle when planning. Fridge, Sink and oven should all be in a neat triangle, easily accessible to everywhere you need to work. The rest of the kitchen comes down to smart planning. When designing a kitchen, think of how you will use the space and what you have to store in that work area. For example, pot drawers under the stove will make cooking easier when what you need is in reach. Pantry solutions are also handy to have somewhere near the prep and cook area of the kitchen for ease between stations. Even consider smart storage near the stove for herbs and spices if the pantry is a little further away.
In planning stages, if you have the height, make use of it. Cupboards and wall towers that run to the ceiling will always come in handy. Remove bulkheads if they aren’t necessary and give yourself the extra storage space. The higher shelves will be great to keep the platters and tea sets that you don’t use on a daily basis. It’s out of the reach of little hands this way too.
If you aren’t planning a kitchen renovation and looking at solutions for storage in your current space, draw a plan up of the cupboards you have. List what you have in there and look at the list. Work out what you really need in each, consider if that’s the most appropriate for that cupboard or if a shuffle of everything is worthwhile. By noting what’s in what, it means you can start looking for smart storage solutions for the space.
There is so many great ideas to help organise the innards that the options of how you can do this is endless. Wire baskets are a great idea to instal in cupboards that may not have a huge amount of shelving. You can easily screw these in and it will double the useable space you have. Wire baskets are a nifty idea for storing in the pantry, under the sink or as potato and onion storage in a cupboard. These come in a range of widths, so you can be sure that you can find one to suit your needs.
Tray organisers are a great solution for not only cutlery, but for your utensil draw and the junk draw that every kitchen seems to have. By smart planning, you can make sure that all the odds and ends are stored in easy to find places.
Stacking storage is also a great idea for the pantry, if you have deep cupboards. This can come in handy for cups and mugs too. By having various height tiers will allow you to bring the things at the back of the cupboard up a little higher to see and reach for it easier and put it back in it’s place with ease. This can be handy in the pantry to group things together by meals or ingredients.
An island bench is always a huge bonus to any kitchen, if you are looking at installing one in your new kitchen, make sure you have cupboards on both sides if the space allows for it. If your current kitchen doesn’t have one, but you have a little extra floor space to use, you could always look into a kitchen trolley that can be easily moved in and out of the way as you need it. It’s a great solution for prepping and giving you the extra workspace. They will always have storage solutions built in, so keep things that you need most for meal prep close by.. Paper towels and knives would be great to keep in the draws of the kitchen trolley.
The idea with smart solutions really comes down to making the most of the space. If you have tall cupboards, maximise the height you have available. Add shelves, add tiers, add hooks to hang cups if you have the room. Consider how you use the space and make sure that what you need is always easily accessible. What makes storage successful is an ease of flow between reaching for what you need, using it and popping it back. If any of that process is too hard, then it needs to be reconsidered.
The kitchen is always the busiest room of the house. If you have children who will sit at the bench and do their homework, have you considered having a drawer for their supplies? A cutlery drawer is great for their stationery and it’s all hidden away out of sight. The kids will know this is where they can find their things without having to bother you while you are cooking, they know it’s where they need to put it back. It’s a place that they can keep their homework books, home readers, any notes that they may need for school. It essentially becomes their hub. If you have the room, have you considered a notice board for them? Somewhere they can see a to-do list each day so they have prompts. Somewhere they can hang notes, artwork.
Every home has a space that everyone comes together in, it’s often the kitchen. So while the chaos of people under your feet can be a little much, give yourself a head start to alleviating the stress by making sure your kitchen is well thought out, well organised and that way you know where everything you need is, no matter how many cooks that kitchen will have.