As designers we focus a whole lot on finishes, look and feel, especially when it comes to kitchen design. However, before I get to any of that I really like to work out how the kitchen will function for my clients. So layout, appliance placement, working flow around the kitchen, (thinking about the working triangle here is important – connection between sink, fridge and oven). In addition to all of this I also like to consider where we can gain most storage volume and also steel back some sneaky spots for specific uses. Here are a few of my favourites:
Appliance cupboard when there is no space for a Butler’s pantry
Often there are wasted corners in a kitchen, awkward spaces that you may never use effectively. By adding a good quality roller door you can store your benchtop appliances in this corner and the door won’t need to swing open and interrupt the rest of your bench space. Store kettle, toaster, and blenders in here to make your morning routine simple and streamlined.
Bin drawers are a must
Please don’t design your kitchen and leave out a space for the bin. If you have the chance and can build it in somewhere near the sink and dishwasher do so. Utilise a space where you can fit 2 full height bins in a slim pull out system. This is great for your general waste and recycling.
Drawers, drawers and more drawers
For under bench storage if you can fit them use drawers. They will give you the best access to the back of the cabinetry, and also eliminate the need to crawl around on your hands and knees trying to find that platter that you haven’t seen in months. I like to try and fit in at least 3 to 4 banks of drawers at varying depths. Storage for crockery, serving platters, cutlery, utensils, storage containers and cookware.
Pull out pantry
If you don’t have the space for a full pantry either walk in or a pantry cupboard (I think these need to be at least 500mm wide internally to be useful), then install a good quality pull out system. Some units can fit in spaces as small as 350/400mm and you’ll get maximum storage volume with this.
This is my favourite part. It’s always hard to find space for the pet food and water bowls. And what about if you have an indoor cat, the litter tray always looks so ugly. Well I won’t suggest making space for the tray in the kitchen but what about an under bench space in the laundry specifically for the littler tray. If you leave width enough for tray itself and the height up to about 600mm is ample you can then install a drawer above under the benchtop so that this isn’t wasted space. If your cat would use it you could even pop a door on the front of the space so it looks like a cupboard and install a cat door.
For the feeding and water bowls for all pets how about leaving a niche in the side of an end panel with a ledge deep enough for your bowls to sit on. That way they are nicely tucked away and you aren’t always kicking them. Make sure you install them at a good height for your pet.
NOTE: Images used under Fair Use, and the above commentary is a personal view and not commercial in nature, and were sourced from a variety of online sources and personal archives.