A buyers guide to kitchen storage options
Looking beyond a basic cupboard is a great way of maximising the practicality and effectiveness of your new kitchen design. Here’s a summary of some options:
The simplest and cheapest option. The advantage is a cupboard with a shelf is the lowest cost option available. The disadvantages are that the back of a fixed shelf can be difficult to access and you may need to take things from the front to get to the back. A variation on the standard cupboard is a drawer line unit consisting of a shallow drawer above a cupboard door below.
Drawers are available in a range of heights and widths so they are a highly flexible storage solution. We can produce a wide range of configurations to suit your storage requirements. Deeper drawers are often referred to as pan drawers and this can restrict people's view of what to put in them. We suggest that you just think of them as a pull out shelf. They extend fully so access to items at the back without moving the items at the front is easy. The down side is the additional expense compared to a cupboard but, budget permitting, they provide much improved access.
Corner units are either “L” type (which goes either side of the corner) or the “blind” corner type (where one cupboard tucks behind the adjacent cupboard).
L Corners: These offer a great compromise between the amount of storage available, cost and accessibility. The doors on a L corner fold out of the way to provide good access to the cupboard and the shelf gives a large storage area. For easier access to the rear of the cupboard a carousel can be added. We specify carousels with solid shelves instead of the wire baskets found on the cheaper units supplied by some other kitchen companies because they provide more stable storage and stops small items falling through.
Corner pullouts: Where a “blind” corner is used in a design access to the back of a cupboard fitted with a standard shelf is much more restricted. A pullout greatly improves access. Corner pull outs fall into two main categories: “Le Mans” style and “Magic Corner” style. A Le mans is a kidney shaped shelf which pivots forwards out of the cupboard so that the back half of the shelf is brought forward for easier access. Magic corners work in a similar fashion – each tier is made up of two separate rectangular baskets as the front one slides out of the cupboard the back one slides across for easier access. We recommend the use of corner pull outs in blind corners because of improved access.
Pull out baskets
Pullout baskets come in a range of shapes and sizes but for simplicity’s sake we have grouped them together. The narrower ones (150, 200 or 300mm wide) often have the door attached to a double tier basket. If you are keen cook these can be great for storing bottles and spice jars next to a hob so that they are close to hand. Other narrow pull outs include tea towel rails and baking tray storage. Individual pull out baskets can be used to replace static shelves in a cupboard. The widths of these typically range from 300mm to 600mm and are a relatively easy retrofit option if you are looking to improve accessibility in an existing kitchen.
Larder storage is often high on a customer’s wish list for their new kitchen. A pull out larder provides a substantial amount of storage for the space it takes up – typically twice the storage you would get from the equivalent width base unit and standard wall cupboard. Just like carousels, we usually specify pull out larders with solid shelves for greater storage stability. The down sides are that pull out larders don’t carry as much weight as drawers (see below); access to a basket can be restricted by the basket above or the door fixed to the front; and if the cupboard door is hung from the larder pull out it can become misaligned compared to adjacent cupboards due to the weight in a loaded unit. We suggest pull out larders for narrower units of 300 or 400mm width and space towers (below) for wider units.
The Space tower is a stack of internal drawers (usually 5) hidden behind a hinged larder door. The advantages are numerous: each drawer can be pulled out individually so access and viewing of contents is easy; they carry more weight per drawer than an equivalent pull out larder basket; the larder doors are hinged independently of the drawers so they will not become misaligned as the drawers are loaded up. Internal drawers of a space tower can work well in much wider cupboards – if you have room, a double door space tower larder of 800, 900 or 1000mm width will give you a huge amount of storage. The main down side is the position of the drawers is fixed whereas the basket position in a pull out larder is adjustable.
If storage is at a premium and you have a built under oven then a plinth drawer can provide additional storage. They fit in the space under a built under oven to give a pan drawer depth unit – perfect for deeper roasting tins and baking trays in compact kitchens.
There are more storage options available which we can discuss with you when we know your specific kitchen design requirements. If you want to look at some of the sizes and options available to you then take a look at the Hafele page on our website or click through to their full site https://www.sjwarrington.com/hafele-kitchen-accessories