The glossy magazines make it very easy for us to pine for a huge, sweeping, kitchen and living space. They’re full of them aren’t they? Ginormous rooms in gargantuan homes. But there aren’t as many small kitchen design ideas that still look luxurious and practical, with everything you could want from a kitchen. Here are some tips to remember if you don’t have the kitchen the size of a small country:
Well, it’s the obvious one, but important. With small kitchen design ideas, storage is always at the forefront of the mind.
Since most small kitchens have at least 1 corner, and quite often more, you really don’t want to lose that space. We’ve all had a corner cupboard; stuff gets lost in the dark corner, never to be seen again. The best way to make use of corner space is with Le Mans units (named for their resemblance of the French race track). The soft close shelves swing completely outside of the cupboard, allowing access to the (not so) mysterious depths of the corner cupboard.
Drawers and inserts
Drawers, of course, reduce the space within cabinets as a whole, but very minimally, and make the space a lot more usable. The same applies for cutlery inserts and drawer organisers. They make it easier to have a specific place for everything, and allow you to enjoy having an organised kitchen where everything is accessible.
Those with more traditional style kitchens should forego the wide, 2-door open out pantry units you may be tempted by as, although attractive, particularly in Shaker style kitchens, they leave lots of wasted space. Instead, opt for tall units with drawers inside to make the space as accessible as possible. Pocket doors are also an option here. Even though they shave off a few centimetres of space, they allow you to use the contents continuously while cooking without having awkward larder doors getting in your way in a small space. If you immerse yourself in hours of cooking, this is a really practical way to design your kitchen, and may be worth sacrificing that small amount of space for.
Tall units and wall units right up to the ceiling are some of the best ways to make use of vertical space. Depending on your height, some of this space may be tricky to get to and you therefore wouldn’t want daily use object stored there, but for kitchens with very limited space, this is sometimes the only option. It is important to know if it is needed though, because designing with taller units can make a small kitchen seem closed in and heavy, but they do streamline and reduce clutter.
Advances in technology arguably help those with a compact home more than anyone. Rather than having 1 oven and 1 microwave, a lot of small kitchens designs would be better off with 1 oven and 1 microwave combination. A microwave combi has full use as a microwave, a grill and as an oven, a 3-in-1 appliance, which is excellent for space saving.
When thinking of small kitchen design ideas you may not initially think of taps, but choosing the right tap can create a focal point, and can clear the work surface of a clunky electrical item you might be please to get rid of. Rather than cluttering up your work surface with a kettle, by getting a boiling water tap (all in one mixer), you can have a single tap with hot and cold, chilled, instant boiling water, and even sparkling if you want. Perfect for those of us who drink tea until the cows come home.
In small kitchens, any single centimetre of your kitchen must be usable or have a good reason to not be, poor lighting is NOT a good reason, so making sure the right lighting option is in place for each area is important. Task lighting, placed under wall units or open shelving should be a priority and is the responsibility of your kitchen designer. At The Kitchen Partners, we include under cabinet lighting as standard because we know how important this is. No one wants to be casting a shadow with their head while chopping their tomatoes.
Of course, every kitchen is different, and every customer has different needs, so talk through these options with your kitchen designer to get the most out of your small kitchen design. What’s the point of having a new kitchen if you don’t enjoy using it? Even if it isn’t a ginormous size!