Align yourself with the latest kitchen storage trends that merge streamlined appeal with convenience.

“A professionally designed kitchen is the heart of the home,” says Delene Kitching of Schmidt Kitchens and Interior Solutions. As functional spaces, most items need to be stored out of sight, but be close at hand. However, often clutter reigns supreme.

To solve your storage headaches, you need to look at items that enhance the practicality of your space. According to Stephanie Forbes of the Kitchen Specialists Association of South Africa, there’s a range of space-savvy storage solutions to keep your kitchen clutter-free.

Divisional tactics

When it comes to organising your drawers, it’s a question of divide and conquer. “Secret drawers can be inserted into the main drawer front – and you can add a ‘made-to-measure’ LED strip to switch on automatically when you open your drawers,” says Kitching.

Practical partitioning accessories make it easy to subdivide the drawer space for utensils, cutlery, crockery and even pots and pans.

Blum Plate Holder, available from Eclipse

Avoid dead space

“No part of your kitchen should be unutilised or inaccessible,” says Forbes. Ergonomical drawer-based solutions and corner units can help counter inaccessible nooks and crannies.

“Opt for units that swivel into the dead space and then pull out into the kitchen, so you can easily access the items stored in the hard-to-reach part of the corner cupboard,” suggests Forbes.

Le Mans corner unit, available Larson Industries Cape Town

Optimise accessibility by choosing a drawer unit that’s specifically designed for that awkward corner.

Blum Space corner cabinet, available from Eclipse

Organise your pantry

Are you constantly struggling to grab hold of bottles at the back of the pantry or on the top shelf? A pantry tower is a handy way to organise all your packets and bottles for easy access. “There’s a vast array of options that operate in various ways, from full pull-out units to pull-out shelves,” says Forbes.

Dolce Vita from Roco Fittings

Relook under-sink space

Make the most of your under-sink cupboard by considering waste pipes that run to the back of the cupboard. Forbes suggests: “Combine this with a pull-out internal shelf/ drawer for better access to your cleaning materials.”

Blum U-shaped sink cabinet available from Eclipse

TIP: Focus on integrated design. “Drawers and units without handles give your kitchen a sleek look – even the sink can be integrated and unobtrusive if it is placed in the Island,” says Kitching.

Optimise under-counter cupboards

According to Forbes, there are two ways to maximise storage and easy access with under-counter cupboards. The first option is to fit them with internal pull-out shelves. “These increase both storage capacity and accessibility.”

An increasingly popular option is under-counter drawer units. “These can vary in depth and you can even have a drawer within a drawer to separate items,” she notes.

Grass Vionaro Drawer System

TIP: Small appliances can take up a lot of space and work surface area. Look at providing for a special countertop cupboard where the smalls can be hidden from view by a roller door. This keeps them accessible without heavy lifting but not cluttering up the kitchen.

Small Wonders

When it comes to organising your kitchen, a little goes a long way. Create cohesion by investing in on-trend storage jars and canisters.

Kitchen Craft’s Natural Elements Bamboo Fibre coffee, tea and sugar canisters will ensure that your coffee station looks neat as a pin. Available at www.yuppiechef.com

Kitchen Craft

An organised kitchen exudes a sense of uniformity in terms of colour and display. Opt for jars and containers that suit the style of your kitchen – even when they’re stowed away in the cupboard or pantry. Tall storage jar available from www.lovemilo.co.za

Love Milo

Make sure there’s a place for everything, and everything is in its place. Invest in a sink caddy to store your dishwashing liquid, sponge and dishcloth. Perfect for where space around the sink is limited. Joseph Joseph sink caddy available from www.yuppiechef.com

Joseph Joseph

Look out for utensil holders that fit into narrow spaces or flush against a wall. Utensil holders with storage compartments, such as this one from OXO, are first prize.

OXO