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Behind Closed Doors: Clever Kitchen Storage Ideas Designed around Your Lifestyle

The kitchen is the beating heart of every home. It’s where we nourish our bodies, share moments with family and conjure memories with friends. Whether you’re a keen cook or social butterfly, clever kitchen storage ideas are essential in keeping this hub functioning and enjoyable to live in. 

So, if you’re looking for innovative ways to unleash your home’s potential or want to bank creative kitchen storage ideas before starting a new project, you’ll want to bookmark this page with top tips and advice from leading kitchen design experts. 

Assessing Your Kitchen Design Needs

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to a Tom Howley kitchen. Our talented designers will work closely with you from the beginning of your kitchen renovation journey to understand your needs and lifestyle. This is imperative to a successful design that is both functional and beautiful.

Grey Painted Hartford Kitchen

When determining your storage needs, we pay close attention to how you currently utilise your kitchen and ask a range of questions to inform the final design. Tom Howley Designer Sophie explains, “We may ask: how do you shop? Is this mostly frozen, cupboard or fresh? Do you shop once a week or stock up monthly? How many are in the family? Are you a keen cook, with lots of crockery or kitchenalia? Do you prefer cupboards or drawers? Or items on display with open shelves and glazed units?” By discussing your kitchen requirements and delving into the details of your lifestyle, we can create a bespoke kitchen that will suit all generations for years to come. 

Family Kitchen Storage Ideas

Breakfast Pantry

A modern family kitchen demands plenty of storage. A breakfast pantry can be incredibly valuable when designed and arranged to suit your routine. They can incorporate your entire morning, from a professional coffee machine, toaster, storage for everyday crockery and a whole host of cereal options for the kids. The best thing is that once you’ve had enough, you can close the doors behind you, concealing all the mess and clutter until it’s time to tidy.

Hartford Family Kitchen

Multifunctional Central Island 

A kitchen island is an excellent way to turn a chaotic family kitchen into an organised homely hub. It’s an easy way to pack in storage, seating and a whole host of appliances if you’re limited on wall space. It is essential to consider both internal solutions and exterior proportions when designing your island. Many aspects of your kitchen design can determine your island shape, including banquette seating, extra knee room for kitchen stools or a bespoke table that forms a separate dining area. You can opt for flexible storage solutions, bookshelves, power outlets, deep-pan drawers, integrated bins, and more to suit modern family living. You can even plumb in a separate prep sink or install a hob ideal for keeping you in the conversation when entertaining or cooking.

Hartford Family Kitchen

Reduce Food Waste with an Organised Fridge Freezer 

Appliances that host smart features, maximising storage capacity are essential for busy households. Liebherr appliances are packed with innovative technologies and come with a host of versatile storage solutions to help keep your food safely stored and organised, minimising waste in thelong run.

Just to put it into perspective, Liebherr says, “Of all food waste in the UK, a shocking 70% occurs in the kitchen at home. WRAP estimates that this equates to a whopping 6.6 million tonnes of food each year. Frustratingly, 4.5 million tonnes of that food is perfectly edible and equates to a monetary value of around £14 billion. That equates to £60 per month for an average family with children or eight meals a week. To help visualise that wastage, imagine 8 Wembley Stadiums full of edible food.”

Hartford Kitchen Design

When it comes to storage and organisation, food writing duo Joey and Katy, contributors of Liebherr’s FreshMAG, know a thing or two. Here are three top tips to help you keep your fridge and freezer clean and organised. 

The top shelf is best for all ‘ready to eat’ foods – left-overs, cooked meat, and deli-style foods. Next down, you’ve got dairy and eggs; the fridge door isn’t the ideal spot for milk and yoghurt as this is the area with the greatest fluctuations in temperature. 

The lowest shelf should be reserved for raw meat and fish to avoid any accidental contamination. Fruit and veg go in the BioFresh drawers, ideally removed from any plastic first, to preserve their nutritional content, optimum texture and freshness of flavour. Carrots, for example, which are in the top ten most wasted items, stay fresher for an extra 30 days inside a Liebherr BioFresh safe.

FIFO stands for ‘first in, first out’ – a.k.a. organised stock rotation. Try implementing this system at home by checking your fridge before you go shopping, only purchasing what you need, restocking the fresh produce at the back, and moving the older produce to the front. This way, you’ll naturally reach for the ingredients which need using up first.

All too often, we’ve whacked some left-overs in a tupperware and popped it in the freezer, certain we’ll remember it… The tricky thing is that the appearance of food changes significantly once frozen. Without popping a label on each container, you’ll be left scratching your head in front of an open freezer as warm air rushes in. Organised and accessible left-overs are much easier to make delicious use out of.

Storage for the Modern Cook 

The secret to successful cooking starts with the kitchen itself and the creation of a well-organised environment. The perfect layout includes banked appliances, ample surface space, an island for entertaining, organised drawers and a well-stocked pantry – all designed with a delicate balance between aesthetics and practicality.

Modern Open Plan Kitchen

Culinary Pantry Storage 

From large walk-in pantries to slim pull-out larders, these sought after solutions can be designed to fit seamlessly into any size kitchen. With so much accessible space and versatility for food storage, these satisfying solutions can bring order to the busiest of environments. Not only are Tom Howley pantries impressive to look at, but the inside can be equally remarkable too. Choose intelligent internal solutions from bespoke drawers and door racks with sections at varying heights to surface space and shelving designed to stow everything needed to create a Michelin starred meal.

Blue Shaker Kitchen Pantry

“Small appliances such as toasters, coffee machines, blenders, and mixers can often easily clutter a kitchen. We are finding that clients more than ever are looking for kitchen storage ideas such as appliance stations and pantries,” says kitchen designer, Emily. “These solutions can be designed to include a durable worktop and have power points installed at the back of the cabinets ready for the appliances to be used. Once you’ve finished, the doors can then be closed, hiding away the clutter, perfect for if you’re entertaining in the same space.”

Deep Drawers for Roasting Pans and Pots

Deep drawers can be a welcomed feature when the pressure is on in the kitchen. If you’re storing bulky pots and pans, ensure these drawers are positioned accordingly in your cook zone. You can even opt for graduated drawer units next to your cooker, perfect for storing lids at the top and bigger pots at the bottom. Kitchen designer Suzie explains, “Rather than stacking heavy saucepans, opt for wider drawers to give you one readily accessible space.” To optimise kitchen storage within otherwise wasted areas of your cook zone, you can also include intelligent pull-out corner units and streamlined pantry units to match the depth of the space available.

Blue Open Plan Kitchen

Inserts for Cooking Tools and Utensils 

Having the right tools to hand really can inspire creativity in the kitchen. Design Director Tom Howley comments, “How many minutes are lost every week looking for essentials in drawers or cupboards? Bespoke inserts provide a beautiful space to neatly store the things you use most often, like cutlery and cooking utensils. When everything is in its own area, you can reach for it instantly. Since you can see everything at a glance, you’ll know when you’re running out of an item.”

The beauty of choosing bespoke also means you can unleash your creativity and design storage to fit your personality and passions. If you see yourself as a bit of a chef, choose inserts to store your favourite set of knives or deep bespoke drawers for easy access to your cherished Le Creuset. 

Make Entertaining a Breeze with These Social Kitchen Storage Ideas

Bespoke Bars Areas

A bespoke bar or relaxed coffee station can seamlessly link two zones together and provide additional storage away from the primary food prep and cook area. 

When it comes to the most requested storage requirements in a kitchen designed for entertaining, our kitchen designer Emily explains, “When hosting a dinner party, we often buy a lot of fresh food and maybe even do a lot of preparation in advance. This can put a lot of pressure on the main fridge. A bespoke bar area with a second under counter fridge or wine cooler can help a client who loves to socialise – perfect for overflow, storing all your soft drinks, beverages or bottled water for the evening close to the action.”

Hartford Family Kitchen

You never have to compromise style over practicality with expertly crafted kitchen storage ideas. Separate areas for entertaining can be just as visually calm and beautiful as the rest of your kitchen, impressing guests time and time again. Finished in the same cabinetry style, encouraging flow between the kitchen and dining area, this bar and media unit features an integrated TV, closed storage for dinnerware, wine storage and a sleek quartz surface for preparing drinks after dark. Integrated lighting can change the mood from day to night, enhancing the elegant glass shelving and classic shaker style details. 

Double Island Design

Naturally, two islands mean you double the surface space and create even more storage and ample room to entertain guests. They can serve as impromptu workspaces, dinner party hubs, and food prep stations, a fantastic solution if you don’t want to crowd walls with bulky cabinetry.

Blue Hartford Kitchen

“Our homes are evolving, and with this comes the surge in demand for multifunctional double island designs. Typically, one island serves a more functional role – great for food prep and may include a second sink or even a dishwasher, streamlining the cooking process. The second island is then dedicated to entertaining or eating. It often has an area for kitchen island seating ideas, allowing guests to relax as you prepare a meal.’ Design Director Tom Howley explains.

Open Kitchen Storage Ideas

Open shelving can be an eye-catching edition, bringing functionality and a decorative flourish to the kitchen. Many people may shy away from open shelving as a storage option fearing that it may leave the kitchen looking cluttered or untidy but done well, it actually helps to open up the kitchen and create a sense of space.

Blue Fitted Kitchen

When positioning open shelving in a dining or social snug area, always consider the look of your kitchen and maintain a visual flow. Whether you lean towards simplicity or maximalist style, remember not to overload shelves. Curate thoughtful pieces as you go and consider symmetry, balance and colour, all essential elements in creating a kitchen full of interest and personality. 

Take the first step toward your dream kitchen today. Head to your nearest showroom or request a free home design visit to make your project a reality.