When designing a small kitchen, it is important to think carefully about the layout. With a small space, elements such as overall aesthetic, décor, colour scheme, as well as functionality and organisation, become even more important.
In order to make your small kitchen as efficient as possible, storage and layout will need to be taken into account. The so-called “work triangle” (the triangle between your cooking, cleaning and preparation spaces) needs to be optimised as much as possible. This will help make your layout work for you and make daily kitchen use a lot more efficient.
With décor, there are certain best practices that can help make the design of your kitchen seem more spacious and maximise your small space.
Here we share our top tips for maximising space in a small kitchen including clever design hacks, improving functionality and optimising storage space.
1. Colour Scheme
Colour scheme becomes even more important when dealing with a small space as it has the potential to create space or, alternatively, create a feeling of enclosure.
The general rule of thumb is that the lighter the colour scheme, the more spacious the space will feel. If there are any windows or natural light, this can be maximised through the use of reflective surfaces such as backsplashes, countertops and cabinet cupboards.
Experts suggest using white paint, be it for the walls or the cabinets, as this will help to create a more open and light space. If you have any open shelving, you can also display any white crockery or white ornaments to extend this spaciousness.
You can also use a light colour palette for any kitchen accessories, from the appliances you choose to the linens you pick for your tea towels.
Design experts suggest steering away from any stark colour contrasts as this can make your kitchen feel even smaller by drawing attention to limited space. Thus, any differences in colour should be very subtle and should be from the same colour palette.
2. Kitchen Island
Having a kitchen island is not just reserved for those with a big kitchen. In fact, a kitchen island can be a very useful tool for even the smallest of kitchen spaces. Kitchen islands are great for their versatility and their ability to double up as a food preparation space as well as extra seating.
Portable kitchen islands offer a flexible space-saving solution and offer a clever way to create more space. Rolling islands, for example, can be used for food preparation but then easily stored away once the food is prepared. Additionally, kitchen islands which can fit bar stools underneath are a smart way to offer extra seating and then tuck them away when they are not needed.
Finally, kitchen islands can offer a storage solution with extra shelving, cabinets, or even an additional sink. Whatever way you choose to store things in your island, this will have a huge impact on the amount of space in the kitchen.
3. Smart Storage Solutions
One of the biggest enemies of a small kitchen is clutter so when creating your small kitchen layout make sure to declutter your space and think about the best ways to store your necessary items.
Small storage items such as baskets can act not only as a way of storing small items, they also double up as decor. Think about including small storage solutions that match the aesthetic of your kitchen or ones that can be easily tucked away or stored in a convenient place.
You can maximise wall space for extra storage by implementing high shelves above the oven or any low-hanging kitchen features. Hanging mugs or pots and pans is a storage solution which also serves as a decorative feature for your kitchen.
For large-scale storage, think about the cabinets, drawers and shelves that you want. Concealed storage, rather than open shelving, can often prove to be a neater way of storing things away. Nice doors, pullout pantries and concealed outlets are all smart ways to keep things out of the way and contribute to a clean-looking aesthetic.
4. Choose Appliances Carefully
When working with a limited space, it forces you to be ruthless about the appliances you buy in order to keep a clutter-free kitchen area.
It is advisable to choose space-saving kitchen appliances or appliances that are multifunctional so that they are able to combine multiple products in one.
If you have limited storage and are going to be displaying your appliances on the countertop, think about the aesthetic and make sure to choose appliances that are in-keeping with any themes or colour schemes.
Appliances and accessories are a fun way to implement colour in a small kitchen. Rather than committing to a full coloured wall, appliances such as stand mixers or coffee makers can add a pop of colour to a neutral space without impacting the feeling of the overall room.
Good lighting is crucial for small kitchens. As well as a light scheme, your design should try to maximise natural light as much as possible. If there are any windows, these can really help open up the space and make it feel brighter. Any reflective materials should be placed opposite the window in order to reflect the light.
Try to avoid clutter around the windows (such as ornaments or plants) so that they do not decrease the amount of light getting into the kitchen. Experts also suggest blinds instead of curtains for the same reason.
Spotlights, rather than any hanging lights, will help create light in your kitchen without adding to the clutter. It is also advisable to opt for several smaller lights throughout the kitchen rather than one large light.
6. Breakfast Bars
A breakfast bar or dining nook can be a great solution for smaller kitchen spaces. Not only do they create a dining area, they can also double up as a food preparation area, making your kitchen operate more flexibly.
Dining nooks can also be a good way of maximising small spaces. For example, a round dining table can be added to a small dining nook which will allow seating for more people than a square table would.
Pull-down tables or portable tables can also be a way of incorporating a dining area in the kitchen without permanently impacting the space.