Kitchen storage has adapted to meet the changing demands of open-plan kitchens, as Charlotte Blackburn finds out
Open plan kitchens have become more commonplace; with the kitchen more on display. To create the look, of course it means the removal of a wall to necessitiate this, meaning less cupboard space in the kitchen. This, together with the ever-present demand for clean, uncluttered surfaces, and it’s easy to see how storage has really come into its own. And designers and retailers have to wise up to the need for storage components, suggest kitchen experts, as a recent Blum study found 66% of new kitchen buyers were dissatisfied with the amount of storage they had after instalment.
Larder and Le Mans
At the heart of storage sales are still the must-have tall, pull-out larder unit and Le Mans corner unit, both of which maximise space in the kitchen. The appeal of these storage options is evident, with larder units offering a large amount of easily reachable storage space. In addition to these popular forms of storage, customers are also favouring hidden storage, such as a concealed cutlery drawer within a drawer. This caters to the minimalist trend, which has become increasingly prevalent.
Out in open
But accomplished designers will keep an eye on the latest trends, such as the midway storage area. This fast-growing area of the storage component market offers a strong sales opportunity, suggests kitchen experts. Not only useful as it is near at hand, midway storage solutions can also act as a feature in the kitchen, perfect when visual appeal is at an all-time high. Consumers can really showcase their designer cooking utensils or cooking ingredients.
With such a wide variety of products available, accomplished designers will tailor the storage to the client’s requests. Think glass sided drawers for prestige, assisted opening or wirework pull-outs for ease of access. By demonstrating as many options as possible, kitchen storage components represent a huge opportunity for retailers to upsell. Offering loaded drawers and units will also showcase just how much space is on offer. For heavy load drawers, such as the 80kg capable ArciTech from Hettich, it is important to show how the drawer functions.
Moving to motorised
The ultimate upsell is arguably motorised and assisted opening components. But this ‘footballers’-type kitchen is not for aspirational looks alone. It is also highly functional, as it can meet the demand for inclusive kitchens, and makes the contents even easier to access for those with limited mobility – particularly heavy weight drawers.
But have storage components reached the peak of their design capabilities with the current crop of motorised models and midway systems? Industry experts suggest not, pointing to more slimline solutions, such as thinner drawer walls to store more in the same drawer footprint.
This article appeared in full in the March issue of Kitchens & Bathrooms News