The whole business of designing a kitchen is easier if you are starting with an empty one. But if you have to work around other people’s ideas, remember that the floor and wall cupboards can be moved to suit your needs quite easily.
If the kitchen is narrow, do not waste valuable floor space by installing units – shelves of varying widths from floor to ceiling can look really decorative and provide storage.
Shelving is probably the most versatile form of kitchen storage because it can be added to as and when you can afford a new piece of wood. Any kind of wood can be used in the kitchen as long as the brackets supporting it are good and strong.
You can use the underneath of shelves for storage jars – any old jars with metal screw-tops will do. Simply screw the lid to the underside of the shelf: you can then unscrew the jar from the lid as required. Alternatively, special storage containers are available which slot into a plastic track screwed to the bottom of the shelf.
It is usual to site wall cupboards over the worksurfaces, but if you find it rather dismal staring at blank cupboards while working, try putting all the wall cupboards together in a batch from ceiling to floor. Remember to adjust the handles on each cupboard according to their position in the cupboard stack.
As most wall cupboards are only about 350mm deep, they do not intrude on the room yet provide plenty of storage space. This is particularly useful in a narrow kitchen which also acts as a throughway. Space-saving cupboards should have sliding, rather than hinged, doors.
Try to position floor units so that they fit right into the corners. This helps give the kitchen a really fitted look as well as providing more surface and storage space. And you should not forget to exploit your ceiling – a hanging basket makes an unusual change from the usual plastic vegetable racks.
If you do not have room for wall cupboards or shelves on your walls, a shelf hanging from the ceiling looks most attractive. Use platicized rope through the front and back of both ends of the shelf to support it.
Wooden garden trellis can also be screwed through battens on to the ceiling and used to hang baking trays, frying pans, and other utensils which are not in daily use.