More than a Drawer

Elegant Storage Solutions for Minimal Kitchens

May 2021
4 minute read
Minimal kitchen in ash and copper by Garde Hvalsøe with ceramic jugs

A minimal kitchen presents the ultimate dilemma.
Especially if you love to cook.
You need your equipment, but you don’t want clutter.

After all, your kitchen isn't a working museum where kids spill out of  a school bus to come and watch you make scones, 1800’s style. Black iron skillets, dented copper pans and bunches of dusty herbs cascading from the ceiling.
You want clean lines, quiet elegance, and seamless integration.

So how do you keep everything within easy reach but hidden away?
How do you optimise your space so your shelves aren’t packed in like Tetris?

The great news is, kitchen storage has come lightyears since the Victorian scullery. You don’t have to choose between rummaging in dark corners, or jars, oils, gadgets and recipe books strewn across the worktop. Now everything has a uniquely designed space.

Drawers and carousels glide open like magic carpets. Secret compartments levitate out of worktops. Entire kitchens fold out of a single cupboard. Rather than you working in the kitchen, your kitchen works for you. Cooking feels effortless and there’s no compromise on style.

Here’s how to store everything you need in your minimal kitchen.

Minimal Kitchen Storage

In my earlier article on minimal kitchens, I showed you how to use my Kitchen Discovery Sheet to include everything you need.

In this article, I’m going to show you innovative and intelligent kitchen storage solutions.

Taking four brands who’ve perfected the art, you’ll see how to rid yourself of clutter and have everything just an arms reach away.

Combine Evolution minimal kitchen by Boffi with integral dining table
Combine Evolution - a precision engineered 'monolithic' style kitchen with integral dining area

Boffi - precision kitchen engineering

Combine Evolution

The Italian brand Boffi are world leaders in precision engineered kitchens.

With doors that extend from floor to above counter level, their Combine design is an imposing 'monolithic' style kitchen.
It’s recently undergone a hidden transformation in the evolution version. By increasing the depth of the worktop, they've incorporated an equipment track behind the hob, sink and food preparation areas. This uses a space that’s never been considered for storage before.

storage compartments incorporated in minimal kitchen worktop - inside track system by Boffi
Inside System Track with storage compartments seamlessly incorporated into the worktop

Integrated into the worktop, sliding lids cover storage compartments with cutlery trays, knife blocks, spice and oil holders, and electric sets with hidden sockets.
You can also add an elegant hanging bar above the compartments with integral lighting. Now everything you need is instantly to hand and lit without the need for overhead spots or pendants.

hanging utensil bar with integral LED light - minimal kitchen by Boffi
Hanging Utensil Bar with integral LED light can be added to the Inside Track System

Aprile Sloane

Using the same hidden space, Boffi’s Aprile kitchen has a concealed knife block, chopping slab, and storage containers that rise from the worktop via a touch sensor.

knife block, chopping slab and storage containers rise out of minimal kitchen worktop
DD1-F accessory module rises from the worktop via a touch sensor

The same system can be adapted to become a splashback behind your hob with integrated down draft suction. No need for dated overhead extractors. Fumes are sucked into a filtering system in the island, and return to the room as clean air.

splashback and integrated extractor rises out of minimal kitchen worktop
DD1-F extractor creates a splashback with integrated down draft suction that disappears into the worktop

A new handle system called Sloane was recently added to Aprile. It's carved into the cabinet door and can be lined in contrasting materials like wood or stainless steel. An interesting addition to an elegant kitchen.

Aprile Sloane minimal kitchen by Boffi in dark brown and oak
Aprile kitchen with the new Sloane handle carved into the cabinet front

Bulthaup - sleek minimalism


I mentioned b2, by the German kitchen maker Bulthaup, in my Creating a Calm Home article, but it’s such a masterclass in organised storage, there’s more you need to see.

Inspired by a carpenter’s workshop, minus Pinocchio and the sawdust, there’s 3 freestanding elements.

The Workbench - sink, hob and food prep.
The Tool Cabinet - pots, pans and pasta.
The Appliance Cabinet - no prizes for guessing.

Bulthaup calculated the exact space you need for tools, gadgets, tableware and food. Then compressed this with cleverly interlocking storage elements to the minimum dimensions.
The result - The Tool Cabinet.
When closed an elegant piece of furniture. When open, an entire kitchen ready to go.

minimal kitchen storage cabinet and worktop - b2 by Bulthaup
When closed the b2 Kitchen Tool Cabinet is an elegant full height cupboard
minimal b2 kitchen tool cabinet store by Bulthaup
Open the b2 to reveal an entire kitchen at your fingertips

Doors can be configured with holding rails, rods, hooks, and knife boards. You can also add a metal framed door with jars, containers and shelves, giving you three layers of storage in one.

kitchen tool cabinet in walnut wood with holding rails, rods, hooks, knife boards and additional internal metal door to give three layers of storage in one cabinet
An additional metal framed door gives you three layers of storage in one Kitchen Tool Cabinet

Usually you can hide every appliance in the kitchen except your oven. The Appliance Cabinet takes care of this by concealing everything behind matching wood doors. I love how the doors rotate and slide down the side of the cabinet. 

b2 is available in walnut or oak, with slatted maple shelves and aluminium inserts. A beautifully crafted, minimalist’s dream.

b2 kitchen appliance cabinet by Bulthaup open to show oven, dishwasher and fridge freezer
b2 Kitchen Appliance Cabinet will even hide your oven


Bulthaup are always creating new ways to store your kitchen essentials. My favourite’s the drawer organisation in their b3 kitchen.

The flat bottom drawer’s been abandoned in favour of horizontal V-shaped troughs. Inserts have a triangular base to slot into place. Storage containers, boxes, trays, knife blocks and foil roll holders. Now even spice jars want to get in your drawers!

kitchen drawer storage - containers, boxes, trays, utensil inserts and knife blocks slot into the b3 drawer system
Storage containers, boxes, trays, utensil inserts and knife blocks all slot into the b3 drawer system

Everything’s neatly laid out and immediately to hand. Wood, metal or perspex prisms allow you to subdivide compartments and endlessly adapt.

horizontal V shape troughs in base of b3 kitchen storage drawer
b3 - the flat bottom drawer’s been reinvented with a base of horizontal V-shaped troughs
perspex prism to divide storage in b3 kitchen drawer
Wood, metal or perspex prisms allow you to endlessly reconfigure the b3 drawers

If you’ve read this far and thinking - 'gorgeous designs and great ideas Dan, but I just have too much stuff!' And you’ve put your kitchen on a diet six times already, but not shed a pound of clutter. All’s not lost.

The answer to your bloated kitchen is my Move to Minimal 3 Step Fix. Three super simple questions that tell you what to keep, and what to throw.

And if you want more inspiration, there's over 300 kitchen designs on our minimal kitchen Pinterest board.

Poliform - refined elegance


Poliform’s focus is to bring the contents of your cabinets and drawers to you, so you never have to reach for anything.

I particularly love their Phoenix design. An ultra slim worktop, it’s seamless on all sides except for the neatly cut away handle along the drawer edge. Perfect for an open plan space, with no high level cupboards and an island unit that contains storage in a single block.

modern, minimal luxury Phoenix kitchen by Poliform, ultra slim worktop and seamless kitchen island
The refined elegance of Phoenix kitchen with ultra slim worktop

As you open their full height cupboard, the doors slide into hidden compartments to reveal a miniature kitchen. There are high level shelves, small recessed sections, a worktop and low level drawers.

This could work as a breakfast bar, coffee area or drinks cabinet complete with toaster and cereals; coffee machine and cups; plates, glasses and cutlery. The interior finish is so immaculate with integrated lighting it looks more like a walk in wardrobe.

open Phoenix full height kitchen storage cabinet with shelves, drawers and integral lighting in modern interior
Doors of the Phoenix full height cabinet slide into hidden compartments to reveal a miniature kitchen

Below counter level uniform cabinet fronts maintain symmetry. But open them up to find hidden drawers. The subdivided space is fully used without spoiling the minimal exterior.

Black minimal kitchen with open lower level storage cabinet with hidden walnut wood drawers
Open the lower level cabinet fronts to reveal hidden drawers

An alternative full height cabinet reveals shelves that glide out. Again the door slides invisibly down the side of the cabinet and integrated lighting automatically illuminates. A low retaining edge means nothing falls from the shelves with access from three sides. Leave it open while cooking and neatly fold it away when you’re done.

Minimal kitchen with metal doors by Poliform. Door folds into side of storage cabinet and shelves glide out.
Shelves glide out of a full height cabinet as the door folds away giving access on three sides
Open storage drawers of minimal kitchen by Poliform. Metal fronts, lined wood compartments and integrated lighting.
The interior finish of Phoenix kitchen is like a walk in wardrobe with automatic integrated lighting and lined drawers

Garde Hvalsøe - contemporary Danish


If you value craftsmanship, but want a contemporary design, then the Danish cabinet maker Garde Hvalsøe is for you.
Not a kitchen composed of modules you select from a collection. Framed is individually handmade by skilled craftsmen as a single unit.

Custom handmade wood and metal, modern Danish kitchen
Each Framed kitchen is custom handmade by skilled craftsman as a single piece
Garde Hvalsøe

Mounted on legs or a recessed block for a lighter appearance, there are shallow drawers for cutlery, utensils and linen, and deep drawers for pans and crockery. The cabinet frame is recessed, so the drawer fronts appear to float. Carved from a single piece of Ash or Oregon Pine, the wood grain beautifully flows from one drawer to the next.

Minimal kitchen island made of ash and copper on concrete floor in white room
Drawer fronts of Framed appear to float. Carved from a single piece of Ash, the wood grain beautifully flows from one drawer to the next
Garde Hvalsøe

The metal sides glide up and over to become the worktop and then down to form the sink as one seamless piece. You’ll want to run your hand over the cool surface. Available in copper or zinc, the metal develops a unique patination over time.

Kitchen worktop and sink made from continuous sheet of copper metal
The sides, worktop and sink of Framed are a seamless continuous sheet of copper
Garde Hvalsøe

The exquisite craftsmanship continues with dovetail jointed drawers. Peek inside and you feel you’re onboard an old sailing ship on the spice route from Zanzibar. The intricate wooden compartments store knives like cutlasses, and jars nestle in curved channels like barrels. You can almost smell the cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. Everything for culinary adventures in the kitchen.

The restrained palette of two natural materials with clean lines, two drawer depths and no handles makes Framed a minimal masterpiece.

Kitchen storage drawer made of ash wood with dovetail joints
Exquisite craftsmanship of the dovetail joints and wooden drawer inserts. Framed is a minimal masterpiece
Garde Hvalsøe

Gone are the days when it's a choice between minimal, or the convenience of having things in easy reach.
Now storage is so sophisticated and seamless, you can have everything neatly hidden but immediately to hand.

So clear the clutter of oils, pepper grinders, knife blocks, and spice racks. Enjoy the calm elegance of minimal design instead.

Passionate Minimalist
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