16 Apr 2014

Designing the perfect kitchen

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Kerry Baulch, Head of Product Management at Häfele UK, discusses how to create an on-trend kitchen in your home, regardless of space limitations.

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Space no longer needs to be a limiting factor when it comes to designing the perfect kitchen. Clever storage solutions, alternative uses of space and kitchen component design can all be used to your advantage to create a light and airy kitchen that works hard to satisfy your individual needs.

Unhinge your kitchen

Fully extending drawers are a space-saving staple. Removing the need for hinges ensures that storage contents are presented to you for easy access, so nothing is lost at the back of the cupboard. By adding drawers of different depths you can create a kitchen customised for your storage needs. From cutlery and casserole dishes to plates and pans, there will be a place for everything and everything will be in its place.

When planning your kitchen space, think about how you’re going to access the normally ‘dead space’ at the corners of your kitchen. Bring the corner contents out by using pull-out or swing-out corner baskets. You can also add corner shelves that are sturdy enough to hold even the heaviest pans, or add a carousel system – ideal for bulky pans and cookware. Facilitating full access to your corner cupboard contents will not only keep everything at your fingertips but also prevent breakages of your favourite crockery.

Whether you’re the household chef or master of the microwave, keeping your utensils and ingredients close to hand makes a huge difference to the way you use your kitchen. Pull-out baskets are an ideal way of storing fresh ingredients and can be concealed behind a cupboard door to maintain clean lines and a sleek look. Adding a simple hanging rail to the wall above your worktops is another convenient way of storing everyday essentials such as kitchen roll and cooking utensils while also freeing up your work surface for ease and practicality.

Slim-line pull-out baskets can make the most of narrow gaps in your kitchen which can yield a surprising amount of storage space. Adding various baskets to pull-out units also creates bespoke storage for your kitchen accessories, including towels, spices, trays and cookware.

The sky’s the limit

Make the most of the height of your kitchen with a stylish pull-out larder. Custom designs can run from floor to ceiling and are ideal for keeping ingredients to hand. Not only do they offer high-density storage but they look great too. Another way of taking advantage of the height of your kitchen is by adding pull-down baskets to your top cupboards, which bring the contents to you without the need for stretching up.

Think inside the box

Some of the best storage solutions come from thinking inside the box, rather than outside it. If you’ve no room for an ironing board or breakfast bar, invest in a folding ironing board that can be stored in a drawer, and a pull-out table can be incorporated for use as an additional work surface or dining area.

An integrated bin is a great way of keeping the floor clear and making the area appear larger. If your family generates a lot of rubbish and you don’t have the space to store it add an integrated waste compactor to your kitchen design - top of the range compactors can turn over 150 litres of recyclable packaging into a bin as small as 39 litres. Worktop mounted waste bins are also useful for collecting vegetable peelings while cooking. Utility pull-outs are a clever way of putting an end to unused space around the sink. Designed to fit around the bowl, the latest solutions are flexible and robust enough to house a host of cleaning products. Lockable pull-outs are also great for storing cleaning products and prevent children accessing potentially harmful chemicals.

Brighten up your kitchen design

Guests at a party often make a beeline for the kitchen so you’ll want a quality music system that doesn’t take up essential shelf space. A Bluetooth audio system, where the speakers mount onto cabinets or plinths, is a great space saver. Alternatively, you can mount an iPod speaker dock underneath a cabinet and listen to your top tracks while following your favourite recipe on screen.

LED strip lighting is a flexible approach to illuminating your kitchen; with several colours to choose from you can add light along plinths, inside drawers to illuminate contents or under wall cabinets to brighten work tops without the need for bulky lamps that take up value room.

No matter what the style or size of your kitchen, it’s how it works for you that will make the difference, so when you’re planning your kitchen remember to make the most of the space available to you with imaginative storage, integrated systems and finishing touches that will make you the envy of the neighbourhood.

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