INSIDE STORY Making the most of kitchen storage space
Increase the efficiency of your kitchen and make the most of the storage space with these clever ideas
There are so many different ways to make your kitchen more organised and efficient, while keeping it clutter free. Here are some smart innovations for both new and existing kitchens.
OPT FOR DRAWERS
“We always recommend using drawers instead of shelves,” says Izelle Janse van Rensburg of Easylife Kitchens. Often items on shelves get forgotten at the back, but drawers allow you to pull out the contents and access everything inside.
High-end systems like the Space Tower by Blum take the concept of the drawer to a whole new level. “It’s the perfect solution for a pantry cupboard,” explains Bronwyn Shell, marketing consultant at Eclipse. “The drawers are arranged at heights that suit you and each one extends completely, giving you access to the contents from three sides.” The drawers also have high sides so that even larger items like bottles are safely contained.
Drawers for heavier items like pots and crockery need runners that can take the weight. “Blum’s drawer systems are designed to open and close smoothly, even with a heavy weight inside,” says Bronwyn. The system also allows for add-ons such as power-assisted opening and closing. For example, Blum’s electrical Servo-Drive does this with a light touch.
If you’re upgrading an existing
kitchen, a carpenter or handyman can replace shelves with runners and drawers. Just make sure that the runners are strong enough to hold the contents and that the hinges allow the cabinet doors to open completely. Another point to consider is whether the carcasses are strong enough to bear the load of the drawers. “Make sure the runners are installed properly,” says Izelle. “Unfortunately, some installers exclude the front screws on some runners, resulting in damage to the carcass.”
Make more use of a corner cabinet by fitting a revolving carousel. “Our model makes for easier accessibility and smarter use of the space,” says Andrew Milne, managing director of UCAN. It can also accommodate smaller items like spices and groceries.
You could also consider the half-moon shaped shelving system from Leroy Merlin. The front is attached to the cabinet door so, as you open it, the shelves swivel outwards. It can be used for storing pots and crockery, and even groceries.
The Le Mans corner cabinet system by Kesseböhmer (available from Easylife Kitchens) is another option. The system consists of two shelves with non-slip bases, so that items like crockery don’t move around.
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
Cooking is much more pleasant when all your utensils are in one place and easy to find. Whether it’s cutlery or crockery, placing everything in compartments makes it more accessible.
One of the advantages of a new kitchen is that you can optimise the available space and choose wider, deeper drawers to increase storage. Customise each drawer using organising systems that create separate compartments for storing items neatly.
You can also maximise the storage space of existing drawers with expandable organisers like the OXO Good Grips utensil organiser and individual dividers like those by Progressive to partition the available space. Both products are available from Yuppiechef.
Blum ORGA-LINE stainless steel containers can be placed in multiple configurations to suit your needs and they can be popped in the dishwasher for cleaning.
If you’re worried about plates toppling off the top of the stack, the Blum plateholder stores 12 plates securely and can be adjusted to the size of the plate. Each holder has handles so you can lift out a whole stack of plates at the same time and the non-slip feet ensure they’re kept safely in one place. “You can also buy non-slip mats for crockery drawers,” adds Izelle.
MAKE RECYCLING A BREEZE
These days it’s compulsory in some areas to separate waste. As bins take up space and aren’t particularly attractive, the solution is an organised waste system such as Leroy Merlin’s, which can be installed under the sink. The large drawer holds the different bins, which have handles for easy emptying.
While it’s designed to fit into their
DIY kitchens, it can also be installed in an existing kitchen.
The Wasteboy from Eclipse also fits into the cupboard under the sink and has a shelf on top for bin bags and cleaning products. The unit consists of two bins, which slide out smoothly. The waste bin drawer can be equipped with Ninka bins, available in different sizes and configurations. The similar Unolux system from
Easylife Kitchens also has lids with built-in bio-filters, reducing odours and improving hygiene.
THIS SPREAD: 1. The Space Tower by Blum lets you access the contents from three sides. 2. Kesseböhmer‘s Cleaning Agent slides easily into a cupboard. 3. Stainless steel can dispenser from Neat Freak. 4. The carousel from UCAN is ideal for a corner cabinet. 5. The ORGA-LINE foil and film dispensers from Blum have built-in blades and are designed to fit in a drawer. 6. The non-slip bases on the Le Mans corner unit by Kesseböhmer ensures that your crockery stays put. 7. These shelves from Leroy Merlin swivel out as the door is opened.
THIS PAGE: 1. The knife-holder from Blum’s AMBIA-LINE range stores up to nine knives neatly in a drawer. 2. Adjustable to standard plate sizes, the plate-holder from Blum allows you to carry a whole stack of plates. 3. The OXO Good Grips utensil organiser is a good budget option for a cutlery drawer. 4. Blum ORGA-LINE dividers can be used to organise pantry items.
THIS PAGE: 1. The wastemanagement system from Leroy Merlin. 2. Unolux bins from Easylife Kitchens have optional bio-filter lids for extra odour protection. 3. The Wasteboy is a sliding unit that fits neatly into the space under the sink. 4. For flatlets and apartments, this kitchen in a cupboard from Milestone Kitchens stores everything you need in one unit.