Single-Line Kitchens, Part 2

Space-Saving Doors Ordinary side-hinged doors are not the only or most compact options. Here are some space-saving ideas to think about if you are planning a single-line kitchen:

  • ” Piano hinge or bi-fold doors are hinged in the middle to fold back on themselves, offering access to the whole cupboard. Some bi-fold systems link four or more doors, others just two.
  • ” Sliding doors take up even less space but allow access to only half the cupboard at a time.
  • ” Tambour doors are made from joined pieces of slatted wood and roll up from the bottom, allowing access to all the cupboard. This is a stylish option available on more expensive kitchen cabinets.

Storage Space With the essentials in position, you can devote the remaining space to storage.

  • ” Wall units: Take wall units right up to the ceiling to make the best possible use of the space available. Use the top shelves for infrequently used items. Where a window breaks the row of wall units, incorporate it in the overall design by hanging cupboards at either side level with the top of the frame, then join them with an overhead storage shelf.
  • ” Base units: Pull-out racks help to make the contents of base units more accessible but do take up space. Installing narrow wire racks to the inside of the doors is useful for small jars and bags, without affecting the storage capacity of shelves.
  • ” Midway space: Don’t forget the wall space between the wall units and countertop. Many kitchen manufacturers make small midway units or narrow shelves for this area. Alternatively, you could install storage grids for hanging utensils, or buy a specially made storage rail with fittings such as a cookbook stand, kitchen towel holder, and wire shelves for spice jars. Utensils can be hung from the rail using S-shaped hooks.

A microwave is an asset in most households, but takes up counter space. Make use of the midway space by mounting the microwave on a shelf, or by installing it to a pivoting bracket. If you want a microwave but can’t afford either wall or counter space for it, consider an electric multi-function oven which also includes a microwave. This is an expensive option but offers two appliances in one.

Visual Tricks

  • ” You can fit integrated doors to the front of appliances to match the base units, giving a neat, uncluttered line. The drawback is that integrated appliances cost much more than their freestanding equivalents, even though the essential features are exactly the same. You can save money by using a wider than normal countertop, which projects about 3in beyond the front of appliances and base units, so that you can install matching fronts to hide the dishwasher, washing machine, and refrigerator. Doing this leaves a handy service space behind units which can be used for gas and water pipes and wiring.
  • ” An efficient range exhaust hood is a must in a small kitchen where a build up of cooking smells can soon become unpleasant. This also keeps surfaces free of airborne grease. Make the range hood into a focal point by choosing an eye-catching stainless steel chimney model, or by housing it in a chimney hood to match units. You can fit slimline pull-out range hoods beneath a wall closet. It is also possible to buy a range hood with a microwave built in above it.
  • ” Mix glass-paned and solid-front wall units with open shelving to avoid a boxy look. Mixing colors is another possibility. Cream and natural wood, red and black, black and white, and green and yellow are all stylish combinations.

The Facing Wall Don’t ignore the facing wall in a single-line kitchen. With ingenuity, you can make excellent use of the space.

  • ” Narrow shelves fitted from floor to ceiling add invaluable extra storage space. Put cup hooks beneath upper shelves and use them for hanging cups and mugs.
  • ” Fix a hinged shelf to the wall with a fold-down supporting leg beneath. You can use it as extra working space or as a breakfast bar and fold it up when not in use.
  • ” Install storage grids on the wall. Timber storage grids are strong enough to hold pans. Make sure the grid is attached securely to take the weight.

Base units measure 2ft from back to front. Wall units measure 1ft there is enough space for doors to open easily, you can fit cupboards along the facing wall by turning wall units upside down and fitting them with a countertop. You could also stack units to provide a double layer of useful storage space. Mix glass-paned and solid wood doors for an interesting effect.

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