Easy ways to make your kitchen work for you

20 April 2023

Muirwood Gardens Birch cottage flat

Kitchens can be daunting places if your mobility is less than optimal, but there are many ways to improve practicality.

The kitchen is the heart of the modern home, but it hasn’t always been this way. From 1930s sculleries to 1970s galley kitchens, food preparation has often taken a back seat to living accommodation. Even in the 1990s, houses tended to have open plan living and dining rooms, with the kitchens segregated off like an afterthought. It’s only since the millennium that people have knocked down walls and added extensions to help bring kitchens out of the cold.

An open-plan kitchen helps to maximise the social aspects of cooking, but it doesn’t always improve practicality. Happily, there are plenty of ways to tackle this separately. These are our recommendations for complementing and augmenting the high-quality cabinets and Bosch appliances fitted as standard in every Juniper kitchen…

Hardware and appliances

As standard, we give you everything you need in a modern kitchen, but some homeowners might wish to add extra appliances and accoutrements. Waste disposal units and hot water taps are two examples – some people might not be keen on near-boiling water coming out of a tap, whereas others regard it as a practical and time-saving measure. Similarly, if your chosen plot doesn’t come with an integral microwave as standard, a corner microwave occupies a smaller footprint to free up additional food preparation space.


Even with adjustable shelves, there can be a lot of dead airspace in cupboards. Home stores sell suspended baskets which clip onto a shelf, enabling you to potentially double the amount of storage. Another tip is to buy a ‘Lazy Susan’ and install it in a deep cupboard where objects might otherwise disappear towards the back and get forgotten about. Rotating its circular tray gives instant accessibility to packets, tins and small bottles. Corner carousel baskets perform a similar role, albeit at a higher price.


Brightness maximises safety and simplifies the task of reading (often tiny) text on packets, as well as ensuring dirt isn’t missed during cleaning. Pelmet lighting underneath wall units illuminates worktops, and adding the highest permissible wattage of bulbs into your pendant or spotlight fixings also maximises brightness. Try to keep windowsills clear, and consider motion-activated LED light bars for deep cupboards where objects might be lost in the gloom. These can cost very little, responding instantly to movement.

Wall space

There will inevitably be dead space in between floor and wall-mounted kitchen cabinets, which is ideal for mounting additional storage to accommodate daily-use items. Great uses of this otherwise redundant wall space include magnetic knife blocks, stick-on kitchen roll holders and spice racks – items that are handy to see but which won’t eat into the airspace above worktops. Another recommended investment is a cutlery tray which completely fills a drawer, maximising space for cutlery, utensils, stationery and miscellaneous accessories.


Effective kitchen organisation involves more than purchasing barstools to sit on while peeling potatoes. It can involve, for example, buying a label maker and printing out today’s date for every jar or packet that’s opened to track how long it’s been in use. It could mean allocating specific food/meal types to freezer drawers or cupboards, or placing occasional-use items on less accessible shelves. Above all, it requires planning – a good idea is a weekly meal plan pinned to a noticeboard, or a notepad attached inside a cupboard door for listing items to reorder whenever they’re running low.