Kitchen Storage Buying Guide

Kitchen Storage Buying Guide

Location is just as important as space when choosing effective kitchen storage.
Make sure your choice of kitchen cabinets are best suited to your needs and budget
Kitchen storage also includes hooks, racks, containers, and more

While ample storage is a key ingredient to creating a kitchen that is comfortable and easy to work in, the location of individual storage spaces and smart design are just as crucial. We look at the uses of storage in a kitchen, and which sort of kitchen storage is best for each job.
FEATURES

Usage

Frequently-used items should be kept directly above or below bench height; less frequently-used items above or below these; and infrequently-used items in the highest and lowest levels of the kitchen.
So an item's storage location should be determined by how frequently it is used rather than its shape and size.
Proper storage allocation will shorten the distances travelled in the kitchen and save time taken to complete daily routines.
When selecting storage, imagine your kitchen divided into zones to work out what should be stored where. The zones to plan for are: consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation and cooking.
Zoning ensures that the items required to complete activities that occur within the context of each zone are stored close by. For example, the spice rack should be located next to the cooking area; plates and glassware near the dishwasher.
Height

The height of your kitchen storage is one of the most important ergonomic considerations. You want to be able to see and use your workspace but still be able to access your items. Putting storage at a higher level allows a better overview of the workspace, but makes things harder to reach. The lowest recommended distance between the countertop and the lower edge of the wall-mounted kitchen cabinets is 50cm. Kitchen cabinets positioned lower will block the view of the workspace.
Space

You should consider what storage option is best for the available space. Jars and tins sitting on your bench may add a good aesthetic, but it might be better to use cupboard door-mounted racks if you have a tight workspace. And remember, the higher your kitchen cabinets, the more storage you will have.
Doors

Consider what you want visible and what you want hidden. Kitchen cabinets with solid doors hide clutter; cabinets with glass doors and lighting showcase objects and create atmosphere.
TYPES OF KITCHEN STORAGE

Pull-out drawers and shelves

Use as many pull- or fold-out interior fittings as possible, especially for corner cabinets. Pull-out wire baskets or drawers make items in deep cabinets easily accessible. Pull-out larders make it easier to find and reach items in tall kitchen cabinets. You do have to think about what you're placing in wire though, sometimes things can slip through or fall over.
Pros
Excellent visibility
Excellent access to objects in recessed spaces
Cons
Runners can fail
Cutlery drawer

These are the smaller drawers used for storing utensils which generally sit just under or near the benchtop.
Pros
Convenient way of storing utensils for quick access
Cons
Divider is essential to organise cutlery and other fiddly objects
Runners may slip or fail from overuse - look for a good system
Pot/utility drawer

These are the large drawers for storing posts and pans which generally sit right at the bottom under your benchtop. Ideally they are on easy-glide runners and 450-600mm wide.
Pros
Easy to access
Good utilisation of available space
Cons
Need dividers to avoid clutter
Susceptible to being overloaded - always use quality runners
Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets can be split into three basic types, depending on quality of materials and finishes. 
Stock

These kitchen cabinets are bought from a catalogue with no customisation. They typically feature wood construction with a melamine finish, but can also be made of solid wood.
Pros
Cheapest option for your kitchen
Easy to obtain - less chance you'll have to wait
Cons
Finishes and styles limited to manufacturer's range
May require assembly
Semi-custom

These cabinets are taken from a standard range but modified to fit the shape of your kitchen.
Pros
Tailored to your kitchen
Generally feature higher quality workmanship than stock cabinets
Cons
Take longer to make and deliver than stock cabinets
Higher cost than stock cabinets
Custom

A custom-built kitchen cabinet is not constructed until it is ordered, but the upside is limitless possibilities.
Pros
Virtually any finish available
Tailored to exactly fit your space and needs
Cons
Most expensive cabinet type
Must provide precise measurements for your kitchen
Long delivery time
Corner cabinet

This kitchen cabinet generally has bi-fold doors to try and make use of an awkward storage space in the kitchen. It is commonly used to house rarely used items. Pros
Makes best use of corner space
Cons
Lots of mechanical parts that may need regular adjustment such as bi-fold doors
Requires storage system such as lazy susan to properly make use of space
Pantry

A pantry should be at least 900mm wide and 2/3m deep, with adjustable, shallow shelving. Or consider a 'pantry drawer' or cupboard with pull-out shelves.
Pros
Height of unit means extra storage capacity
Cons
Needs pull-out system to best see and access everything
Bulky unit may not be best use of space for everyone
Island bench

An island bench sits in the middle of a kitchen.
Pros
Added workspace
Added storage space
Cons
Must be properly sized, or access to rest of kitchen will be hampered
Requires pull-out access for optimal storage
Shelving

Shelves are used in kitchens for quick access and high visibility.
Pros
Good for quick access to larger, frequently used items like crockery
Allows items to be put on display
Cons
Exposed shelves offer little protection against germs, grime and damp
Hooks

Hooks are a great way to store things in your kitchen, with many types of hooks available to store everything including dishcloths by the side of the cupboard; cups suspended underneath or in cupboards; large spoons, tongs, mashers etc; and pots and pans from the ceiling.
Pros
Versatile uses
Make use of space under cabinets, inside and outside doors
Can be located for easy access, such as saucepans next to cooktop
Can free up drawer space by suspending bulky items
Adds interesting aesthetic element
Cons
Screw-in hooks leave permanent mark and may require drilling (adhesive tape hooks don't have this problem but often aren't as strong)
Need to be located properly so as not to impede other storage and workspace
Racks and baskets

Racks and baskets are another great way to increase kitchen storage, with big and small types used on benches, in cupboards, and hung on doors and walls.
Pros
Wall-mounted units give quick access to oft-used items like knives, paper towels and spices.
Make use of wall space and space inside doors
Free up bench space
Conveniently dry dishes
Organise items from cleaning materials to bottles of wine
Cons
Screw-in mounts leave permanent mark and may require drilling
Need to be located properly so as not to impede other storage and workspace
Portable storage

This type of storage encompasses trolleys and shelves and cabinets mounted on wheels.
Pros
Can adjust configuration of kitchen when need arises
Can move items around kitchen, or into dining area 
Cons
Braking system needed to avoid accidents
Should be co-ordinated with the look of the rest of your kitchen
Containers

Containers should not be underestimated, but should also be purchased smartly.
Pros
Large range to suit every use
Airtight containers preserve food
Metal, glass, and ceramic containers add aesthetic value
Can be purchased cheaply
Cons
Generally take up bench space unless racks or shelves are purchased
Visible containers should be co-ordinated with the look of the rest of your kitchen

Source - Home Tips India

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