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We’ve become so used to streamlined kitchens that everyday domestic ephemera, from fruit bowls to coffee cups, have all but disappeared from view. Yet such items bring immense personality to the kitchen. Unless you’re committed to minimalism proper, plan at least some storage that doubles as a decorative display. It’s not enough to fill shelves with an odd assortment of items. Actively plan the design with your thoughts on what will be displayed, and how.
Display storage works best within a confined space, to focus the eye and restrict the number of objects. Look for natural alcoves, which may be lined with shelves, in an existing kitchen, or plan to add a shelf unit to break up a run cupboards. If you’re doing construction, consider sinking one or more niches into a false plasterboard wall. Vary
built-in shelving, particularly above a counter, by using a grid design, which helps to organize items and also looks good. In a country-style kitchen, consider adding secondhand finds: a plate rack or quirky painted wood shelves are excellent choices.
As well as placing frequently used objects, such as a teapot or radio, in accessible spots, arrange everyday items with an eye for decorative potential. Line up foodstuffs in identical jars, sort cookbooks by size or color, or stack steel cookware attractively. Then consider ways to highlight the display. In a modern kitchen, install low-voltage lights to illuminate recessed shelves. More traditionally, paint the shelf interiors a contrast color to highlight the contents.
ABOVE: You can’t beat the appeal of varied foodstuffs in jars, especially glass. Look for jars with an efficient seal, In a style that matches the kitchen. For a modern look, choose cubed glass or stainless-steel styles. In a country kitchen, choose enamel or tin, perhaps with pretty lettering, or amass a varied collection of antique glass preserving jars.
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Above: Even if tableware and food are stored behind closed doors, no one wants to open them on chaos. Take time to plan cupboard interiors. Despite being fully stacked, this one is still neatly organized, with a place for everything. If the height of shelves permits, you might include cup hooks below shelves, to make mugs easier to access. Give as much decorative consideration to the insides of the cupboards as the exterior. Paint them a darker contrast color, or line shelves with patterned oilcloth.
Above: Carefully placed wall-hung storage can add character and a splash of color to a simple kitchen.
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