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Which Kitchen Units to Use Where

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 23 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
 
Kitchen Units Kitchen Design Kitchen

Although every kitchen design is going to be different there are some general principles that can be applied when planning a fitted kitchen to help work out which sort of kitchen unit should go where. For the purposes of this article we'll assume that the kitchen planning is at a stage where the appliance locations have been fixed and you are fitting the other kitchen units around it.

Use the Height of Your Kitchen

Everyone loves the idea of an airy spacious kitchen but the reality is that few people have that kind of space available, unless you are building a large extension specifically for a fitted kitchen. If storage space is at a premium then the way to go is up, using the space from the floor to the ceiling to fit the maximum number of units in.

Of course, if you follow this to its extreme, then you won’t have any worktops to prepare food on, so you have to be a bit canny. Work out how much worktop space you need and try planning your kitchen in such a way that you can fit that in. Kitchen units that mount on the wall are not normally as deep as base units, so you can have a fitted kitchen with a run of wall cabinets mounted above the worktop and base units below and you should still be able to use it without banging your head.

You can mount wall units directly above the base units but the resulting worktop space is very narrow and you have to clear your chopping boards and things out of the way if you want to open the doors.

Base Kitchen Units with Drawers Make Good Sense

Use drawer base units to make the best use of storage space. Although kitchen units with draws are more expensive than plain shelves, you can sub-divide items in drawers more easily. You can also be a little less rigid about how you store things in drawers too, which is a polite way of saying that you can chuck things in any old how.

Consider plastic storage tubs and boxes. If you have them on a shelf you have to make sure they are stacked properly otherwise they fall over every time you open the door. If you have a nice two-drawer base unit, with deep drawers, you can just throw them in, root around when you're trying to find one, and they all stay roughly in place.

Get the Most Storage From Your Fitted Kitchen

Once you've planned the placement of all your major kitchen units, it's time to fill in the odd gaps that are left. Kitchen units usually come in 500 or 600mm widths, but most manufacturers have the odd unit that is slimmer to allow storage in the gaps where a standard kitchen unit won't go. Look for tall slide-out larder units, which make good use of this space for storage, or perhaps a wine rack

It can be really tricky to deal with corners when planning a kitchen but there are many units available that make use of the corners in a variety of ways. So many, in fact, that they have an article all to themselves in the 'Kitchen Ideas' section.

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