Dalek Stools - The Perfect Kitchen Solution for Small People
Rolling Step Stool - AKA Dalek
Rolling Step Stool for easy and safe step up to high places around the home.
Step up With a Dalek Step Stool
The Perfect Kitchen Solution for Short People
We're only a little shorter than average, just a few inches, but those few inches makes a world of difference in a kitchen when trying to reach something from the top shelf in kitchen wall cupboards; compounded by having full height wall units in our kitchen to maximise on storage space. So I wonder how short people manage; especially people shorter than us.
None of my ancestors were tall but I can't remember my grandmother struggling to reach things from the top shelf; but then again it was in the days before fitted kitchens. In those days it was the cupboard under the sink, a larder, pantry in some houses, and floor standing furniture such as sideboards or a small table in the corner to put things on.
Kitchen Wall Units Full Height and Hard to Reach for the Smaller person
Space Saver and Maximise on Storage Space
Not one who likes wasting space and always looking for ways to maximise on useable space when I renovated the kitchen a few years ago installing full height wall units (rather than the standard wall units) was the natural option.
Standard kitchen wall units always leaves a large gap at the top between wall unit and ceiling, which often gets used as an informal shelf for storing saucepans, frying pans and lots of kitchen junk that never gets used. By fitting full size kitchen wall units that reach right to the ceiling loses this informal shelf space above the wall units but increases the storage space of the wall units by 50%. I know the gain of additional storage space in the wall units is equal to the loss of storage space above the wall units.
As well as being tidier by having things stored out of sight inside cupboards rather than on show on top of the cupboards, incorporating this space to within the cupboards does provide more storage space for food products; albeit you then have to find a new home for all your saucepans and frying pans, that new home being a base unit where saucepans are more accessible. And by utilising space in this way it does encourage a more efficient use of the kitchen in that all that junk that would normally find a home above the wall units, to be never used again, is more likely to be weeded out and thrown away.
However, having full height kitchen wall units can be challenging for shorter people; when no one can reach the top shelves without standing on something. I can reach the middle shelves in our kitchen but my wife can only reach the bottom ones.
Therefore we've organised the kitchen so that everything that is used daily is either stored on the bottom shelves or in an easily accessible base unit. The food items weekly is stored on the middle shelves and items used less frequently, often monthly, are stored on the top shelf; with items used infrequently being shoved in the less assessable base units e.g. the corner base units.
The Dalek Stool
The Ultimate Solution
So a few years ago (just after we renovated our kitchen) I managed to salvage an office step stool that was being disposed of; seeing its potential for use in the kitchen. Although it’s not as convenient to sit on as a step stool, and perhaps it’s not as aesthetic, its ease of use won us over immediately; with our old step stool quickly being assigned to the garden shed and eventually finding a new owner when we gave it away to a home in need.
We fell in love with the office step stool, which we affectionately call the Dalek. When not in use it sits quite happily under the work service keeping the waste bin company, and when needed just rolls out on casters at a moment’s notice, easier and quicker to use than step stools; saving valuable energy and seconds. And it’s just the right height so that even the smallest household member doesn’t have to stretch to reach the top shelves.
Rolling (Dalek) Step Stools
Dalek Stools for Your Kitchen and Home
These are the step stools that are the subject of this review article. They’re all solid steel construction with the usual retractable wheels that automatically retract under your weight to provide stability, and rubber bumpers to prevent any damage to your furniture. Some models are available in a variety of colours so you can choose the one that best suits your décor and others are a choice of just one colour.
They can be used anywhere around the home or office, as we do but where we find our step stool most useful is in the kitchen to reach the tops of tall cupboards. They’re lightweight and easy to carry around to where needed, making them most convenient, in fact I find they’re easier to cart around to where needed and use than conventional step stools; and when not in use conveniently sits under a table or quietly in a corner.
When choosing a model I think the most important consideration is the weight capacity; some, as you will see below have a capacity of 300 lbs. and others 500 lbs. The ones with the higher weight capacity are not any more expensive so unless you have any other reasons I would suggest and recommend choosing a model with the higher 500 lbs. captivity.
Conventional Solutions to Reaching High Places
Step Stools and Small Steps
Previously we used the conventional solution of a step stool; which we used for years and found invaluable. With the bonus that they double up as a kitchen stool, and can look quite respectable.
Although for a period, when one step stool broke and before we got a new one, we resulted to using a small step ladder (pictured here); which is now assigned to the garden shed for DIY use. Step ladders work equally as well as step stools except for the slight delay in pulling the steps out for use, and not being able to use it as a stool.
Also, a small step ladder isn't as aesthetic as a step stool; although its main advantage is being able to fold it away and discreetly store it in any small available gap or corner in the kitchen; whereas step stools need to find a home under a kitchen worktop, or somewhere out of the way, where you're not going to be constantly bumping into and tripping over it.
Other Step Stools for the Kitchen
Weight Capacity up to 300 lbs.
A selection of handy step stools to give that extra height when needed to reach high places anywhere in your home, including your kitchen; some give you just an extra few inches of height, others more, and most foldaway for easy storage.
Although the chair step stool reviewed here has a duel use in that (apart from being red) would make it a handy addition to many dining rooms and kitchen dinners.
Other Space Saving Ideas in the Kitchen
Better Utilising Kitchen Space
Being one who likes to maximise on space whenever possible when building our new kitchen rather than fitting the usual mouldings to the underside of the wall units (often to conceal lighting) I opted to use the space instead for cup hooks.
It didn’t cost much, just the price of a bit of skirting board and some cup hooks; and wasn’t difficult to make or fix. All I did to make this under kitchen wall units’ cup rack was:-
- Measure and cut 75mm (3 inch) skirting board to the right length.
- Applied two coats of oak finish yacht varnish to match the colour of our oak wall units.
- Screw in cup hooks at regular intervals, about 50mm (2 inches) from the edge that would be against the wall; just under 150mm apart (just under 6 inches).
- Screw and glue the cup hook rack at the back, against the wall, underneath the length of the kitchen wall units.
Do You Use a Dalek or Step Stool?
Are you tall enough or do you need a lift up to reach things in your kitchen.