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Nine ways to store large and bulky items in your home

It’s always good to have a place for everything in our homes, but there are certain necessary items that don’t fit the easy-store mould. From hulking boilers to cumbersome dog beds, these larger features of daily life can ruin the flow of a sleek space. However, it’s perfectly possible to conceal these overbearing objects, and it can be done in the most stylish of ways.

 Traditional utility room, England
Photo by Lewis Alderson & Co. - More traditional utility room photos


Create a utility cupboard

Large utility items, such as vacuum cleaners and ironing boards, take up a lot of room. They’re also not particularly nice to look at, so you’ll probably want a nifty place to store them.

In the kitchen, a basic larder unit will work perfectly well. This useful cupboard has been carefully designed to provide a space for everything. There’s a neat, ground-level area for the vacuum cleaner and a long, narrow partition that’s perfect for an ironing board, or a broom and mop.

Alternatively, under-stairs space can provide excellent bespoke storage potential. Look at putting in different-sized cubbyholes or maybe even installing pull-out sections for easier access.

Contemporary kitchen, London
Vauxhall, London
Photo by Laura Gompertz Interiors Ltd - Look for contemporary kitchen design inspiration 


Build in your boiler

Believe it or not, this attractive bank of cabinets hides an obtrusive boiler. The useful yet ugly piece of equipment sits inside the central top unit and the storage continues all the way up, with a tidy cornice to hide even the flue as it disappears through the ceiling.

When building a cabinet around a boiler, make sure it’s ventilated properly, with a flow of air from bottom to top, and is easily accessible when it comes to servicing.

If the boiler is slimline, it can be made to fit in with a run of wall cabinets at the same depth. Alternatively, a deeper larder unit could be used to house both a boiler and other cleaning equipment for a functional utility cupboard.

 Contemporary kitchen, England
New Kitchen Huddersfield
Photo by in-toto kitchens Halifax - Browse contemporary kitchen photos


Ditch the radiator

In small kitchens, a radiator can take up vital wall space that could be used for storage or appliances. A neat solution to this is the plinth heater, which comes either as an electrically powered unit or as a plumbed-in version that switches on with the rest of the central heating in the home. Both operate with a small fan that pushes the warm air through a grille in the kickboard.

These plinth heaters usually include thermostatic settings and different fan speeds as standard and are perfect for warming the toes on a winter morning.

Find more ideas like this from these kitchen photos.

Traditional kitchen, London
O Road
Photo by Hughes Developments - Look for traditional kitchen design inspiration


Install a space for portable appliances

We can often accumulate useful but sizeable gadgets in our kitchens, which we may love but don’t want cluttering up the work surface. Bread makers, juicers, processors and mixers can find themselves tucked away in a cupboard, with little chance of being used, because of the hassle of getting them out.

Why not create a closed-off work station for these neglected items? Provide doors for when you want to tidy things away, but keep items easily accessible and plugged in. Go traditional with a bespoke wooden dresser unit, or utilitarian with an aluminium tambour shutter. When you’re open for business, all your appliances will be ready to go, but it’s easy to shut up shop and restore order after the work is done.

Check out more pantry ideas

Contemporary kitchen, England

A Grand Design in Malmesbury

Stash your rubbish

A place for rubbish is something we can completely forget about when designing a kitchen. If your floor and surfaces are feeling overcrowded by different receptacles, it may be time to put your waste disposal behind a closed door. There are various solutions, such as a small pull-out container, or a larger cupboard dedicated to separate sections for all the recycling.

Covering the container is advisable, as you don’t want smells lurking within your kitchen. Some designs have a lift-off lid, while others pull out from under a shelf, which acts as a seal.

The pull-out bin here is housed in a cupboard beneath the integrated chopping board. This makes it easy to scrape peelings and rubbish straight over the edge of the worktop into the open unit below.

Discover key things to remember when planning your kitchen

Contemporary kitchen, England
A Modern Kitchen in a country House Near Petworth
Photo by Dovetail Workers in Wood ltd - Look for contemporary kitchen pictures 

Carve out a cosy corner for your furry friend

Beds for dogs and cats, or even cages for smaller animals, are rarely good-looking items to have on display. You could allocate a spot in a fitted kitchen, such as an alcove in an island, for feeding bowls and bedding. Then your pet can still be with you, but won’t be a trip hazard. Here, a fireplace niche within the wall has been used as a built-in bed for one lucky pooch.

 Contemporary kids room, London
Refurbishing in Chelsea
Photo by Marco Joe Fazio, LBIPP - More contemporary kids' room ideas


Tame toys with a flexible wall

Toys have a habit of infiltrating every room and breaking a lot of style boundaries in the process. It’s worth accepting that it’s virtually impossible to stop the creep of plastic fantastic into your sleek, modernist kitchen.

The solution could be as simple as a large basket to put toys into at the end of playtime, or something a little more structural. This roll-out storage wall/door on casters provides an excellent toy zone when opened, with a fun blackboard fascia and tall storage revealed. Simply rolling it closed again hides the lot away.

Stow away suitcases

Practical luggage might not always be attractive to display, but it’s good to have close at hand. The bedroom is the ideal room, since that’s where your clothes are likely to be. If you’re choosing bedroom furniture, bear your travel bags in mind, and think about where you might stash them.

It may mean plumping for a taller wardrobe, so you can pop them on the top shelf. Or check out whether you have eaves storage potential that may be going to waste

In this room, the owners have made the most of the tall ceiling by carving out the cavity above the en suite bathroom and walk-in closet to store suitcases. The neat ladder perched against the wall makes for easy access.

Industrial entrance, London
Windgate Residence
Photo by Chris Dyson Architects - More industrial entrance photos

Suspend your wheels

If you don’t have room outside for a shed, it can be tricky to find a home for your bicycle. The simplest solution is to park it in the hallway, as that’s closest to the exit. However, this is often a narrow, high-traffic area, so getting wheels off the floor can really help with restoring calm.

You can install some carefully positioned bike hooks to hang your cycle out of the way and at the same time make a design feature of it. For those with very high ceilings, it’s also possible to suspend a bike overhead with a pulley system, removing it from main thoroughfares completely.

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Houzz Experts

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