Country Living (UK)
The MULTIPURPOSE kitchen
So many things can take place in a kitchen – cooking, cleaning, children’s homework and even running your business – that organised storage is more important in such a space than in almost any room. It’s not just about planning enough cabinets into your design, but also thinking creatively about how to best utilise the area. For example, if you have a lovely set of saucepans that are worth showing off, hang them on a rack above the cooker or over an island instead of taking up valuable space in cupboards. Above or either side of a window or door, there might be space for extra shelving. Use these for things you don’t need all the time, and, if they are high up, get a sturdy wooden ladder that you can also use for kitchen linens.
Be strategic with your main cabinets, too. Look for narrow cupboards you can squeeze into corners between units (these often have pivoting doors and hold much more than you think). Similarly, niches for chopping boards can be built in between cabinets – and a plate rack above the sink will save you sorting through precarious stacks of crockery.
Think about the usefulness of drawers versus cupboards. Deep drawers at ground level are useful for storing heavier items you don’t want to lift, or bulky things such as tablecloths; cupboards are better for smaller items (keep objects organised in labelled baskets). Utensils should be in drawers near the cooker; crockery and glass are best near the sink or dishwasher to save time when putting them away. Lastly, if space means the kitchen also doubles as the laundry room, hide big appliances behind doors – look for ones that feature the Quiet Mark, so you don’t have to talk over the rumble of a noisy washing machine.