Businesswoman, writer, TV personality and all-round industry guru Martha Stewart definitely knows her way around a kitchen, so when she doles out practical pieces of advice on how to create a cooking space that works hard for you, you sit up and take notice. Here she shares a wealth of clever kitchen ideas on her website MarthaStewart.com, from practical storage concepts to more unusual solutions.
Open up and use every inch. Shelving in place of upper cabinets makes the room look lighter and airier. "I use everything in my kitchen regularly, and shelves make it all accessible," Martha says. "These nearly reach the ceiling, putting underused space to work." A combination of shelving and cabinets makes sense if you don't want everything on display.
Martha favours 'bird's beak' supports, an old carpentry style with notches that allow shelves to slide in and out. This means no holes, no hardware, and the look is streamlined.
Keep everything that’s needed for a perfect cup of coffee or tea in one place. In Martha's kitchen the espresso machine is on the counter; assorted cups and teapots are on the shelves above; and everyday cutlery and teas are in the drawers below. Fresh coffee beans are kept in electric grinders next to the espresso machine.
An island provides a central spot to work and eat. Double the functionality and flexibility with a pair of marble-topped islands, one on wheels and one stationary – Martha uses one for prep work and the other to seat guests for an informal meal. "I also push the rolling island up to the stationary one for buffets," Martha says. To be most useful, an island must be at least four-foot long and two-and-a-half foot wide; with clearance of at least three-foot all around.
Using a rack will save space in your cabinets – and make your pots and pans easier to find. Martha hangs hers above the stationary island near the oven or hob.
Decide what you want to keep in the islands, and plan the space accordingly. "Upright steel slats provide perfect spots for heavy baking sheets," Martha says. She also has drawers for aprons and utensils, deep shelves for platters, books, and pet supplies, and small cubbies for towels and other items.
Kitchen Baskets and Bins
Corral items on open shelves using nice-looking containers. Basket are a good option to add warmth and texture to the room; while a chic tray keeps things looking neat and stylish. Westelm.co.uk have a good range.
A large cutting board is best left out on your countertop, so there's always a place to chop, prepare food, or place a hot pan. A non-skid pad beneath it keeps it from sliding.
Easy-To-Find Tea Towel
Mounted hooks put towels on the sides of the islands just where you always want them and give purpose to an unused space. Now, wiping up a spill or grabbing a hot handle are quick and easy tasks.
Keep out the items you use often or enjoy looking at – Martha keeps fruits, vegetables, and eggs, as well as a collection of mortars and pestles, on the counter. Just make sure there's plenty of room to work so you don't have to rearrange things when you're ready to cook.