For a kitchen to work properly, it’s not enough that it should just look beautiful, it must function beautifully as well. For Charlie Smallbone, founder of Ledbury Studio, this is the key to a well-designed kitchen. And the element at the heart of a practical kitchen? Good storage. Here, Charlie offers his five top tips for maximising storage.
1. A handy breakfast cupboard
Start your morning right with a breakfast cupboard. Serving as a handy spot to stash your toaster, kettle, coffee machine (or anything else cluttering up your worktop), it will keep breakfast paraphernalia out of sight and out of mind until required. The other benefit of a breakfast cupboard is that everything you need is close to hand with stacks of storage, from shelves and door racks to cupboards and drawers. The image above is our Housekeeper’s Cupboard with custom-designed matt paint finish, concave brass handles and walnut interior.
2. Customised drawers
Forgo kitchen cabinets for drawers. They’re easier to access and can be pulled all the way out to reveal what’s inside. This means no more scrabbling at the back of a cupboard to find what you need. Use deeper drawers for storing bulky pots and pans, and reserve shallow drawers for cutlery and cooking essentials. Add bespoke drawer inserts to ensure items are stored in the most efficient way and to suit the specific items you like to cook with. The drawer in the image above features an oak veneer interior, with compartments to organise cutlery.
3. Open shelving
Open shelving in the kitchen is a great way to showcase pieces you’re proud of and to keep cooking essentials close to hand. The beauty of shelves is that they slot in almost anywhere, regardless of how shallow or narrow the gap. If you are planning on including a kitchen island in your scheme, integrated shelving works well for discrete yet stylish storage. The owners of the Metallics Collection kitchen in pewter (image above) requested areas to display treasured pieces of pewter-ware, so we added open shelving in the island and above the splashback.
4. Glass-fronted cabinets
If you want to put certain pieces on display but still need practical storage, why not choose glass-fronted cabinets? They can be used to make a focal point with your best glassware, for example, but everything inside will stay clean and ready to use. Black-stained oak was used to create this cabinet in our Pimlico kitchen (image above). The dropped worktop is Bianco Macaubas Quartzite and the drawers below have concave stainless-steel handles.
5. An organised larder
The genius of a purpose-built larder or pantry is that you can kit it out to perfectly store the foods you like to eat. A combination of open shelves, different-sized drawers and compartments will give ample room for all your tins, packages and bottles. And by including shallow shelves on the inside of the door, you make great use of what would otherwise be wasted space. Shown in the image above is our copper-fronted pantry, which features an oak interior and quartz worktop, with internal drawers, pop-out chopping boards and space in the door for condiments.
Following closure due to Covid-19, Ledbury Studio’s Notting Hill showroom has reopened. Ledbury Studio kitchens start from £50,000.