Small is beautiful

Most kitchens in the UK are not the vast spaces so often featured in interiors magazines or on tv shows. So if your kitchen is more on the compact side, don’t be deterred from being creative.. Here we look at ways of enhancing smaller kitchens to maximise space.

Keep it simple

The standard advice when planning the overall design for a smaller space is to keep things simple: the desired effect is to create an open feeling of space so keep your decoration light and neutral. Avoid breaking up colour and instead, opt for similar shades for worktops and door fronts, walls and floors to achieve a fresh, clean look. The effect of decorating like this will instantly create a feeling of a larger space. Make the most of the height in your kitchen cabinetry, incorporate eye-level appliances and integrate appliances to establish a seamless, efficient layout.

How to plan a small kitchen

With some careful planning and the expertise of a kitchen designer, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve a small kitchen that looks great and functions brilliantly. . Clever planning is the key to maximising space. Your designer should work with you to find out exactly how you plan to use your kitchen to create an ergonomic design.

Be smart about space

As we all know too well, you can never have enough storage. Therefore, making the most of every little bit of space is paramount. Be creative about the kitchen areas that can be used and don’t forget walls and even ceilings for clever storage solutions. It’s not always viable to have a vast array of cupboards so here are some suggestions for what to have instead.

Plate racks which can be custom-built for your own storage needs, open shelves and wall hung knife blocks are stylish space-savers If you have lots of saucepans and utensils for cooking, take inspiration from professional restaurants and use a stylish stainless steel storage rack from the ceiling. This keeps everything to hand as you cook.

As hidden spaces, areas that are often overlooked are the plinth recesses under base cabinets. Increasingly, designers are building pull-out plinth drawers that are great for storing items such as table linen and large baking trays. Equally, the space above units can often be overlooked and are useful for displaying large china dishes, terrines and vases.

The splash back area of your oven is another forgotten space you can keep a huge number of cooking utensils and knives along a storage rail.

Maximise internal storage

In recent years, kitchen designers have really embraced deep pan drawers for storing saucepans and plates. The great thing about pull-out drawers is their ease of access and increased capacity compared with the traditional kitchen cupboard. Whatever cabinetry you choose, increase available space by using internal drawer dividers. It is often inevitable that an awkward corner space will be left and traditionally, corner cabinets are tricky to access. Today, however, there are some great carousel systems that allow contents to be bought out into the kitchen effortlessly.

If you buy kitchen units off the peg from a large retailer, the cupboards will be made to a standard size. More often than not, this one-size-fits all, is anything but that for smaller kitchens. The benefits of having your own cabinetry custom-made is that a kitchen designer will accommodate the awkward areas of your space and make units to fit your exact dimensions.

Island units are hugely popular and although they are often shown in very large kitchens, they can also work well in a smaller space. A custom-built island can give extra preparation and storage space and achieve a more welcoming, sociable layout.

Good lighting is another crucial element used by designers to make a small space look bigger. Make sure you have good task lighting for cooking and as the evening approaches you have ambient light to brighten any darker areas. If you are lucky to have lots of natural light be sure to keep window treatments to a minimum and opt for a less fussy look.

Custom furniture, good design principles and lots of vision can really make a difference in a small kitchen. We hope this blog has inspired you to get creative in your own space and achieve a kitchen that not only looks good but works effortlessly for you and your family.