Planning for small appliances
Designing a new kitchen isn’t just about benchtops and large appliances. Thinking and planning for your smaller appliances is also important. Our Mint Kitchen Group specialist designers give you their insights into small appliances, and what to consider in terms of your overall kitchen design.
We all love our kitchen gadgets! From the ones we use daily, like a toaster and kettle, to the occasional appliances such as a sandwich press or bread machine. When it comes to your kitchen design, all things should have their place.
It is not uncommon for many beautiful kitchens to have appliances stuffed and hidden in all sorts of places, causing endless headaches for the budding home chefs as they dig and forage through cupboards or drawers in search of the needed appliance and its attachments. Not only is this incredibly frustrating, but it can also add a level of frustration you don’t want to be feeling in your stunning new kitchen.
For this reason, careful planning is required when you consider your kitchen design. Not all home cooks are alike, and different appliances are used in different homes around the country. What you use and need to store will also depend on the types of cuisines you are more likely to cook, and how often, as well as taking into consideration other passions such as baking or entertaining.
Perfecting the Pantry
For many homeowners, the pantry is the main area small appliances are mostly stored – particularly the bulkier ones such as bread makers and food processors. Ensuring your pantry has plenty of large shelves can certainly help incorporate storage for the lesser-used appliances or ones you do not tend to use every day.
If space is not an issue, a butler’s pantry is a fantastic addition to any kitchen. These cleverly-hidden pantries have ample space for all your favourite appliances. They can be easily stored on benchtops and specially-designed cabinets. Storing them here not only keeps the main kitchen free of benchtop clutter, but it provides a wonderful area to also keep everything you need for entertaining and larger dining events. This makes food preparation easy and definitely helps prevent any bothersome searching for needed utensils and appliances during cooking.
If you are opting for a sleek pull-out style pantry then you may need to carefully consider where your smaller appliances will go. Installing a specially-designed appliance cupboard or dedicated appliance area will help with organisation and managing clutter.
Drawers and more drawers
The evolution of the kitchen drawer has certainly gone in leaps and bounds in the past few years. Today, your humble kitchen drawer can be specially-designed with full-extension runners – meaning you can access right at the back of the drawer – and different depths and holding capacity. Drawers can now hold up to 75kg making them a great option when considering which of your smaller appliances you might want to put away and the wider the drawer, the heavier the capacity can be.
When planning your kitchen consider what appliances you will need to store and where is the easiest place to put these. Having good-sized drawers at the correct depth, in the area where you will most likely need these implements will make your kitchen ultra-functional.
The most popular small appliances are:
- stand mixer
- air fryer
- Thermomix or thermal cooker
- Soda Stream
- slow cooker
- ice cream maker
- waffle iron or sandwich press
- food processors/mixers
- bread machine
- rice cooker
For the lesser-used items (such as your ice-cream maker or bread machine) consider having specialised storage for these closer to your pantry and keep the more popular appliances close to hand underneath prep areas.
If you are stuck for space, downsize your appliances. Can you have a food processor that is also a blender? Or do you really use that waffle iron? A good rule of thumb is to consider how often in a month you use specific appliances and remove those that are just taking up precious space or are not being utilised.
Think seasonal – you can also move your appliances around during the seasons to keep the flow and functionality of your storage. Ice-cream maker, juicer, and blender can move to be easier to gain access to in the summer, and perhaps in the winter the slow cooker returns to the prime location?
Let’s face it – some smaller appliances are used so often they need to permanently live on the benchtop or in cleverly concealed cupboards and appliances cabinets for easy access. Kettles and coffee machines normally fall into this category as well as the trusty toaster.
The key with benchtops is to keep clutter to a bare minimum and group your appliances. Have a special little area or nook for your hot drink preparation area and a hidden bench cabinet for your toaster. Today we are blessed to have so many beautiful smaller appliances that they can happily grace the benchtop with style. They can be colour matched to your kitchen or be stand-out pieces in their own respect.
During the kitchen design phase, it’s a good plan to think about where you will be making your cups of tea and showing off your barista style. Regardless of how sleek and minimalistic you want your kitchen to be, it’s imperative that it’s functional. This is where clever storage, design and layout becomes paramount.
You can also utilise upper cupboards for your appliances. This is particularly true for those appliances that you don’t use too often but also do not want to part with. Consider investing in a kitchen ladder or stool to make access to these storage locations easier and safer.
Many experts suggest keeping your most frequently used appliances on the benchtop – think kettle and coffee machine or on the lowest shelf of the upper cabinets. Then rate them in order of how much you use them, and store them in larger drawers, or higher up in the cabinet. Taking this into consideration during your design phase will really help.
Every homeowner is different and will require different needs when it comes to what appliances they use more often, and the types of small appliances they own. When making this a priority during design you can really customise your kitchen, cut down drastically on benchtop clutter, and ensure that everything has its place in your new kitchen. Happy planning!