The world is getting smaller, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the kitchen.
Many people dream of having a spacious country kitchen with a big wooden table, copper cooking pots hanging from the ceiling, bunches of herbs drying in a warm corner, a walk-in larder…
For most of us, it’s a dream and nothing more. Urban living puts space at a premium. For better or worse, the average size of a British kitchen has shrunk dramatically in the past 50 years and the trend looks set to continue. We set our top kitchen designers the task of making the most of a limited space, and here’s what they came up with to help you.
Tip number 1: Use every centimetre of space to the best effect
Having a small kitchen can seem like a challenge if you’re used to something more spacious. But actually, it comes with lots of advantages. For one thing, you’ve got less space to get dirty and less space to clean afterwards.
All it takes is a little planning and you’ll find a smaller kitchen can be blessing rather than a curse.
The operative word there is ‘planning’. Have a good think about how to use every spare inch of space, plan your kitchen layout to avoid any dead area. Consider floor to ceiling cabinets with drawers, baskets and storage boxes to maximise the available storage space. Be organised and avoid clutter at all costs. Really sort through what you have already, and what you need.
Tip number 2: Use colours and reflective surfaces to make the space look bigger
This tip is about creating the illusion of space. If you’ve got a small kitchen, keep the colours light and airy. This is especially important in the upper areas. Crisp, light colours create a feeling of openness and space. Darker shades will make a small room claustrophobic.
A top tip here is to keep your cupboards the same colour as the walls. This will help them to blend in, creating the illusion of more space. Another way to do this is to make the most of your lighting, use windows, pictures on walls and even mirrors to reflect light around the room giving the illusion of space.
Having a bold design on the floor can also serve to create a focal point distracting from the size of the room. Consider a patterned vinyl or light-coloured wood flooring.
Tip number 3: Research and use smart storage options
Most kitchens, no matter how cleverly they’ve been designed will have some areas of dead space. It’s normally in a corner, somewhere hard to reach that collects dust and cobwebs.
At Smile Kitchens, we offer lots of different storage solutions ideal for small kitchens. We’ve got cupboards with basket storage options that will swing into those dark corners utilizing every square inch of space.
Other smart storage options include hanging items like pots and pans from hooks on the walls. This frees up storage space in cupboards. Use a magnetic knife bar to keep valuable counter space free of clutter, and consider hanging options for other things like, wine glasses.
Tip Number 4: Use shelves and windows sills to maximum effect
Cupboards and cabinets are not the only place where you can store items.
Shelves can be bought cheaply and put up with a minimum of hassle, and the best thing is they can be cut to size specially to fit any available space. There’s always somewhere you could put a shelf and use that extra space to keep jars of dried food like pasta, beans, and pulses. Maximise the space with decorative baskets and attractive storage boxes.
Use a radiator cover to create even more shelf space. It’s a matter of identifying space you’re not currently using to the best effect. Make simple changes to improve the way you utilise the space you have. The area above a radiator is a classic example of this. There are some very attractive, off the shelf (excuse the pun) options available.
Tip 5: Avoid bulky appliances in the kitchen
Having a dishwasher might seem like one of life’s necessities, but consider for a moment the alternative. If you ditch the dishwasher you’ll be saving quite a bit of space for other items.
Before you dismiss this out of hand, stop and think for a moment. Doing the dishes can become one of those rare times when you’re alone with your thoughts. Put the radio on, listen to an audio book, take a deep breath and relax.
Check out this rather poetic blog post by a fantastic writer, Danielle Spinks-Earl: Zen & the Art of Washing Dishes.
What are thoughts on making the most of the space in a small kitchen? Is yours just not meeting your needs at the minute? We’d love to hear from you.
If you’re looking for a new kitchen, or just to make some changes to your existing one, then please contact us via the form on our website, or call 0333 015 6515 to speak directly to our lovely team.