Furniture, Bedding, Cabinets, Countertops & Storage

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
Cons
Cutlery drawer
These are the smaller drawers used for storing utensils which generally sit just under or near the benchtop.
Pros
Cons

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
Cons

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
Cons

Semi-custom

These cabinets are taken from a standard range but modified to fit the shape of your kitchen.
Pros
Cons

Custom

A custom-built kitchen cabinet is not constructed until it is ordered, but the upside is limitless possibilities.
Pros
Cons

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
Cons

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
Cons

Island bench

An island bench sits in the middle of a kitchen.
Pros
Cons

Shelving

Shelves are used in kitchens for quick access and high visibility.
Pros
Cons

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
Cons

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
Cons

Portable storage

This type of storage encompasses trolleys and shelves and cabinets mounted on wheels.
Pros
Cons

Containers

Containers should not be underestimated, but should also be purchased smartly.
Pros
Cons


Also see,
Kitchen Cabinet Design
Modular Kitchen Buying Guide