Savvy storage ideas

The kitchen is one of the hardest working rooms of the house. It is used to feed, clean and entertain the household and their guests. It is the place where potatoes get peeled and pots get scrubbed. Yet it is also the area where guests tend to gather at the heart of a party. So it must be fully functional at the same time as looking effortlessly fabulous. A tall order?

Not if you know how to be clever with storage. Keeping everything you need for daily living close at hand, yet tidily stashed away will help you make the most of your kitchen, whatever it contains and however large or small it may be.

Shelf confidence
Having lots of shelving in your kitchen can help keep pots pans, crockery, books and all sorts of things tucked away. Shelves offer more versatility than cupboards, as items don't have to fit in quite so precisely. Shelves can be positioned up towards the ceiling or down low, underneath fridges, cookers and even breakfast bars. They can be large and expansive or just wide enough to hold a line of spice jars.

Cupboard cheats
Cupboards offer lots of storage space, but have you really made the most of yours? Adding a row of hooks to the inside of the doors adds an immediate storage option for utensils, oven gloves and tea towels. Having shelving inside that rotates or slides out allows you to access the very back of the cupboard area, while plate racks can be easily installed along the top or on the outside of the doors to add decoration and storage for delicate crockery.

Cunning corner spaces
So many kitchens fail to make use of the corner spaces, yet there are many ways to do just that. Installing a triangular shaped rubbish bin, for example, neatly tucks the trash away and uses up the awkward space. Installing a triangular shelf at waist height adds an extra dining area or a place to keep smaller appliances like the kettle or toaster.

Helpful hidey-holes
A hole cut into the counter top with a bin underneath produces a discreet rubbish chute. Or a wasted few inches next to some boxed in piping makes a great home for the kitchen roll. Use the windowsill to store some of your prettier pieces of china or glassware and keep chunky serving dishes and casserole dishes in the oven until you need to use it.

Homemade holders
If you need more storage and have some spare counter tops, invest in some sturdy square baskets to keep things in that you use regularly, but that you don't want out on permanent display. Screw a line of hooks into a dado rail and mount this on the wall. You could paint the rail to match your decor and help it blend in. Keep and wash attractive bottles and jars, add a pretty label and use them to store pasta, rice, flour and other staple ingredients.