Small kitchens might be limited in space but with some clever storage, layout and lighting techniques they can be big on both style and efficiency.
If you don’t have the luxury of making large structural changes to the size of your kitchen or layout, you may find the following tips beneficial when working with the space you currently have…
Clever lighting in key areas can make your kitchen look and feel more spacious. Lights under cupboards can make small, dark spaces come to life and provide you with a brighter area in which to work. Decorative lighting can be used to showcase certain kitchen features such as glass cabinets and lights can even be incorporated in plinths at the foot of cupboards to illuminate the flooring, creating the illusion of a bigger, brighter space.
If you are already working with an L-shaped floor layout, you don’t have to have wasted space in those hard to reach corner areas. Corners often go unused for this reason so be clever and make the most of every inch of space you have by considering a ‘lazy Susan’ carousel storage system inside your corner cupboards, making awkward areas a bit more practical.
Space is at a premium in a small kitchen and worktop surfaces in particular but it’s important to remember that you’ll need sufficient space to work on too. If you find that you’ve too many items cluttering up the worktops, consider things such as wall hangers for chopping boards. Give consideration to those items that you use almost every day as you’ll want them stored somewhere convenient and close to hand. By keeping your worktops as clutter free as possible, this will also create the illusion of a bigger, more open space.
When planning cabinets for a small kitchen, using the full height of the room ensures that every inch is put to good use. But, sometimes leaving an empty space will give you more room to store larger, more awkward shaped items like serving trays. And the extra bit of worktop can also be used for small appliances. While cupboard storage is important in a small kitchen, empty spaces and the use of open plan shelving can actually work towards creating the illusion of a larger space too. A solid run of wall cabinets can sometimes dominate the space and make the kitchen feel enclosed. Open shelving, as well as being functional, decorative and versatile, can break up a run of wall units to prevent them overwhelming the space. Glass open shelving will further enhance this space saving effect as glass reflects light.
If you don't have room for a proper kitchen table, a kitchen countertop or island unit can double up as both a preparation area and an eating area. An overhanging kitchen worktop can provide some space for leg room and high bar stools are ideal for some seating and can even be tucked away to save even more space.
You could save yourself a foot or more of worktop space if you opt for a single bowl sink and even one which is under mounted and recessed into the worktop. These types of sinks are becoming increasingly popular with the greater use of worktops made from natural stone materials. Under mounted sinks allow your kitchen to appear seamless as they’re uninterrupted at the edges and integrate with the worktop surface. The same goes for appliances and you don’t have to sacrifice quality when choosing smaller more compact items. Slimline dishwashers, undercounter fridges and a range of combination appliances exist now specifically for the smaller kitchen. As well as saving space, compact appliances very often offer savings in terms of energy and efficiency and price too.
If you’re working with a small space it stands to reason that things such as materials and colour schemes should be kept nice and simple to create the illusion of space. Light, reflective materials and minimal designs are key so consider light coloured hardwearing worktop surfaces, neutral or soft coloured walls and even white splashbacks.
If you like contemporary styles too it may be worth considering handless style doors to create a seamless, clean look and even doors with a high gloss finish which will help reflect the light too.
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