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Last night I straightened out the pantry, cleaning away a few out of date products, consolidating half empty packets and so on. This led me to a contemplation of kitchen efficiency.

When our kitchen was renovated, in 2005, our cabinet maker, Tim, was enamoured of drum cupboards. These are rotating cupboards, lazy-susan style. This worked particularly well for the pantry.

It’s easy to find things and you can leave the pantry open for quick access while you cook without any doors getting in the way.

You may be able to see that Tim also curved the front panels of the cupboards. He is an artist in wood and loves curves. Straight lines are an affront to his creativity. There is also no need for handles. A gentle nudge spins the cupboard slowly around.

This is very efficient for storing pots and pans; nothing gets stuck in the corners or lost in the back of a deep cupboard.

However, he got a bit carried away. All the cupboards you see above are drum cupboards. I wanted drawers here and in retrospect, I should have trusted my instinct. These smaller rotating cupboards are less useful.

Their small size limits what you can store in them. But they are all beautifully curved.

I was a bit distracted by other events that year and basically conceded the kitchen design completely to Tim, which I would not have otherwise done. He makes beautiful furniture, however I don’t think he cooks much, so perhaps didn’t realise how useful extra drawers are. I’m not whinging; I feel very lucky to have my lovely kitchen. It’s just the small cupboards niggle at me because I suspected they wouldn’t work, but I didn’t fight for what I wanted. C’est la vie.

But my advice to anyone contemplating a renovation- don’t undertake it if you are short of the time or energy to put up the fight. And trust your instincts.

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