Ease the load with considered storage. All pictures show kitchens by Cantilever Interiors. Pictures: Martina Gemmola
WHETHER you’re splashing out on a custom-made design or going down the flatpack route, a new kitchen can be expensive.
And with most of us keeping our kitchens for at least 10 years, if not longer, it’s all the more important to get the design right.
While aesthetics are an important consideration, smart storage solutions are also crucial to the success of the space.
Cantilever Interiors co-founder and director Travis Dean said that clever storage would enhance your experience of using the kitchen and save time.
“While some people cook to entertain and because they enjoy it, a lot of the time it is about getting food quickly on the table for the kids,” he said.
“Having things set up properly with smart storage makes this task easier and more enjoyable.”
All the saucepans in this corner cupboard are easy to get to, thanks to a wire rack system.
Push and pull
Deep drawers under benchtops are now almost standard in kitchen design, so it’s difficult to believe that even 10 years ago, most new kitchens still featured cupboards above and below the bench.
“Smart storage solutions were often overlooked in the past,” Mr Dean said. “A lot of older kitchens were done on a budget — with lower cupboards and, perhaps, just one bank of drawers for cutlery and similar items.”
Pulling out a big drawer means you can easily see all the contents and is much more preferable to getting down on your hands and knees and rummaging at the back of a dark cupboard.
And advances in technology mean drawers can now take heavier weights.
“We can now do very big drawers that hold up to 70kg of weight, which has helped increase their appeal,” Mr Dean said.
Drawers are better than traditional cupboards for allowing you to access every item with ease.
Down to the wire
In the past, a corner cupboard would often feature a carousel in an attempt to use the dead space at the back.
“But they weren’t perfect. The hardware would often fail and, as they were round in a square space, they weren’t using all the space efficiently, either,” Mr Dean said.
Cantilever Interiors uses a wire rack system that unfolds as the cupboard door opens, giving ergonomic use of the entire corner.
A similar system is employed in its swing-out pantry systems, where wire shelves pull out ingredients so you can see exactly what’s there.
“The smart pantry systems bring everything out to you and ensure that you don’t double up with things you’ve already got,” Mr Dean said.
Changes in shopping habits mean pantries are often smaller than their earlier counterparts. “People tend to eat out a lot more and they often shop more regularly, so they don’t need vast areas of pantry storage,” Mr Dean added.
No more scrabbling down the back: this pantry helps you see exactly what is there.
Lift me up
Your granny was on to something with her sliding-door cabinets that saved space and could be left open during cooking, giving access to the contents.
The modern equivalent is an overhead cupboard that lifts up at the touch of a button.
“It enables you to use them without constantly having to open and close doors,” Mr Dean said. “From a design point of view, they also give you a nice, horizontal profile in your overheads that matches the base drawers.”
Cupboards that lift up at the touch of a button are practical.
Put it away
While we’re talking about your granny, you might have heard her say: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is no truer than in smart kitchen design.
Mr Dean said a mistake some people made was to use the benchtop for storage, cluttering the space. He’s a fan of built-in knife, cutlery and utensil storage, plus a drawer for all the detritus (such as paperwork and keys) that usually ends up on the kitchen bench.
Cantilever’s kitchens often feature a narrow vertical utility drawer separating the fridge and the oven that can be used to store olive oil, chopping boards or trays.
Sharp thinking: everything has its place in this dedicated knife drawer.
In a small kitchen, you might be tempted to cram in wall cupboards to maximise storage.
But Mr Dean suggested adding some open box shelving or shelves to increase the sense of space.
“You can use them to store platters, large salad bowls or just nice things you might want to display,” he said.
“And if you get bored, you can replace those items with something else. For us, it is important that there is a space in the kitchen that can evolve and change so you avoid looking at the same thing all the time.”
Open box shelves are ideal for displaying attractive items.