The kitchen is no longer a space that’s used solely for cooking and storing food; as the space in the home that sees the most traffic, the kitchen is more than where you feed your body – it’s the heart of the home. And that means it’s responsible for a lot more than cooking.
Kitchens have evolved into impromptu homework stations, coffee bars, bar bars, conversation, and living spaces, and makeshift offices. They exist somewhere on the fringe of culinary space in the modern home landscape, and that equates to a lot of stuff that needs its own space to be tidily stored away.
So, how much storage space do you really need? We’ve got a few ideas to help get your kitchen remodeling project started on the right track.
Decide What’s Important to Your Family First
Before any custom kitchen planning or storage calculations can begin, you’ll have to sit down and decide what’s best for you, your family and your space. How you use your kitchen most is a major deciding factor in how you plan to use your kitchen and finding what you’re currently missing from the storage equation will allow you to clearly spell out what you need from your kitchen design.
Even more critical in small kitchen spaces, this process is dependent on not only adding storage solution options but also considering what you can afford to be rid of in order to create a more open space from which to make your best choices.
- Are you a self-professed chef that enjoys rolling up their sleeves and getting creative in the kitchen?
- Are you a family?
- Are there specific ingredients, spices, or types of food that dominate your diet?
Ask yourself all these questions to begin to understand how your storage solution plans may take shape.
The deliberation stage can easily be infiltrated by the daydream and plan stage – thanks in part to the inevitable searching through design magazines and websites for innovative and unique storage ideas. We expect that, and frankly – encourage that. When we’re able to let our minds run wild with anticipation and excitement, we’re able to make some of our very best creative decisions; but there’s another side to that coin.
Coming back down to earth and reigning in our creativity is a critical aspect of honing our approach to finding purposeful storage solutions. Being realistic means addressing a few different factors:
- Some ideas are stunning, gorgeous, and desirable – but they may not be useful in your space, or attainable for economic reasons. Using a basic budget to siphon through ideas is a good way to stay humble and focused. Determining your ideal budget for kitchen cabinets and storage ahead of time can help you navigate the design process of your kitchen remodel.
- Small kitchen spaces may mean that cabinet installation and other storage solutions are tough to manage, so beginning your search with a critical eye regarding the physical space you have to work with is key to building the perfect space.
Needs vs. Wants
- We know that stunning frosted glass appliance garage would look perfect next to your new espresso machine – but do you need to invest that kind of money and effort into your renovation project? Maybe not. It’s important to distinguish between need and want; we’re all about collaborating on dream kitchens, but some foresight into excess is an important aspect of our job. We wouldn’t be helping our clients if we didn’t offer our honest opinions.
- Sometimes we overshoot by a longshot, or we underestimate how much storage space we need overall. Being realistic with the square feet you have to work with is critical to managing a timely and efficient renovation project that delivers the results you need to make your kitchen your dream kitchen.
Calculate Your Space
Every kitchen layout is different, and so are the ways people use their kitchens. This step is key to understanding how much kitchen storage you really need.
Collaborate with one of our experienced and professional kitchen designers to accurately and comprehensively measure your present space, after you’ve had a chance to discuss your creative vision. The measure will be able to provide a new informed basis so you can better determine your next steps, and where potential elements may end up residing.
When doing your measure, it’s important to work with your kitchen designer to address potential placement and layout for your new storage features. Always try to work collaboratively in person so you can give them access to your insight for the space.
Refer back to our ‘be realistic’ section, but go ahead and measure out potential space for:
- Open shelving
- Kitchen islands
- Custom cabinet doors
- Appliance garages
- Spice racks
Drawer Space is Key
Don’t discount the traditional methods of kitchen storage; not every new kitchen rebuild has to include flashy and new school cupboard and storage design – most of the time, humble drawers in varying sizes will more than suffice in providing you with a plethora of storage space, depending on your personal needs.
Drawers are staples of public storage in the kitchen and accommodate utensils, pots and pans, cutlery, dishware, etc. The highest quality drawers from custom cabinet manufacturers can easily hold up to 60-70 pounds when equipped with the right hardware. Drawer inserts can now create purposeful cabinet configurations that allow you to take advantage of every square inch of space.
Engineer Awkward Spaces to Work For You
It can be tough to keep a huge open drawer space optimal for storing cooking ingredients and kitchen equipment. Rotational and pull-out inserts are great ways to ensure awkward spaces can be utilized and optimized, giving you access to the entire cabinet.
Larders are an excellent way to boost useable storage space in the kitchen while making use of an awkward space. Larders are perfect for individuals who typically use a wealth of popular ingredients in a lot of their cooking. They’re essentially multi-functional pantries that are particularly useful in small kitchens, but also as a way to keep a few select ingredients – like olive oil, spices, rice and pasta, etc – available and free of the clutter in the pantry. They can be slim and tall, or can also take the form of a bread box or under mount cabinet.
Every last cubic inch of space matters in the kitchen.
Calculating kitchen storage space can be tricky for those who perceive storage to be places that hide clutter; that’s only the half of it. Kitchen storage is all about finding intuitive spaces to accommodate the things you need to continue living your best life, and providing a home for the appliances, food, and good company you need to thrive in the heart of your home.