I’m not so keen on wall cabinets, but am worried about not having enough storage. What can I do to avoid having them without missing out?
Drawers are your first point of call. When I’m designing, drawers are always at the front of my mind because they’re far easier to use and can fit a great deal inside. We’re so used to seeing glassware or crockery in wall cabinets, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. Inside a drawer is a worthy option.
The other storage element that I’ll usually suggest if there’s space is a larder and/or a freestanding dresser. They look beautiful and they give you mountains of storage space. A countertop cabinet is another thing to consider. Yes, they cover some of your wall space, but because they sit on the worksurface rather than suspended on the wall, they look much less boxy.
Floating shelves are a great way to make a feature out of your storage as well.
In brief, there’s nothing to be worried about. We can work storage into a room in a whole host of ways.
I don’t want a freestanding cooker hood, but I don’t have space for one of your cooker surrounds, have you got any other suggestions?
Your builder should be able to box in a canopy hood and then paint it in the same colour as your walls to help it blend in. You can design it to be as small or as large as you like, but we can help you with deciding on that so you can be sure it’ll suit the style of your kitchen and the room’s architecture. For example, if you’ve chosen Chichester, we might suggest adding a cornice to the bottom edge to tie it back into the rest of the kitchen. Leaving it blank results in a much more contemporary look. It’s something we often do in-store in our Henley kitchen if you want to see an example in practise.
I want to keep my current freestanding washing machine and tumble dryer, but I want them hidden away. How can I do that without having to get integrated models instead?
You’ve got two options there. The first, you can have it factored into your run of cabinetry – we do ones that can house most standard machines. Even if yours isn’t standard, our bespoke workshop can always create a cabinet to suit your dimensions. The other option, which I think is far better, is one of our laundry cabinets. Unlike the base cabinet we talked about in the first idea, this cabinet has been specifically designed to take two machines – one on top of the other – with ventilation chambers built into the back and top. It means your machines aren’t taking up two lots of floor space. If you’ve got space, it’s always nice for us to create a small laundry room in a neighbouring utility with a few of the other pieces of our laundry cabinetry, like the broom cupboard (my personal favourite) and perhaps one of the washing basket cabinets.
I’m desperate to have a clutter-free work surface. I’ve thought about how I can hide away most things, but have no idea where I could put my kettle and toaster so that they’re still easy to access. Help!
Three words – bi-fold countertop cabinet. Countertop cabinets do exactly as they say – sit directly on top of your work surface. They’re much more spacious than a wall cabinet and they’re much more of a feature. Last year, we introduced a new countertop design in our Henley collection, which we’ve now brought into Suffolk too. What makes it perfect for what you’re after is that there isn’t a bottom shelf. When you open the bi-folding doors (another lovely feature that saves on space), you’ll see that the worktop runs into the cabinet instead of having a base shelf. It means that you can keep things like toasters, kettles, coffee machines or mixers on that low level, on your work surface, plugged in and easy to use, but they’ll be hidden behind the bi-fold doors when you aren’t using them. Some people like to turn these cabinets into a mini breakfast larder, with teas, coffees, cereals, bowls and so forth on the shelves above.