Many properties are a little short on kitchen space. This is particularly the case in older terraces and semi-detached homes where cooking and living spaces are kept separate.
Because of tight budgets or structural issues, knocking walls isn’t always an option.
So – how do you make the most of your small kitchen when there is no scope to change the size of the room? Read on for a few handy tips…
Counter Space is Everything
Try to increase the number of accessible surfaces where possible in order to maximise available prep areas and avoid a cramped feel.
This may mean finding places to stow away your “countertop” appliances and working to reduce the amount of unused “dead” space – i.e. counter corners.
Be Smart with Storage
You can find some highly sophisticated kitchen storage options, including pull-out baskets, carousels and “magic corners” that can double or triple the capacity of your base units.
Use Walls, Doors and Cabinet Undersides
If you opt for shelves instead of wall cabinets, you’ll achieve a greater sense of space without losing any storage capacity. Corner shelves are great for using up dead space.
Over-door hooks and hanging caddies – whether placed over your main kitchen door or a cabinet or cupboard door, or even attached safely to your extractor hood – are also a great space-saving addition.
You could even install hooks under your cabinets to hang mugs, utensils or anything else that might otherwise take up drawer or counter space.
We’ve already mentioned the need to keep counter space clear by carefully storing all appliances – but maybe you just have too many gadgets to start with!
Go through your kitchen equipment and try to make sure that you keep just one essential thing for each task. Multi-use items, such as food processors that blend, chop, grate and mix all in one, can come in very handy.
Ruban Selvanayagam from ‘we buy house fast’ firm Property Solvers in the UK comments: “this is one of the hardest things to do, especially if you’re a cookery fan. But, at the same time, many of the appliances are only used fairly irregularly. One idea may be to store items like blenders, portable grills and other kitchen accessories somewhere else (perhaps in a storage box close by?) and then dig them out as and when you need them.”
You can also make a difference just by changing your light fittings. Remove bulky lampshades and try a minimalist pendant light instead, or consider ceiling spots. The visual difference may surprise you!
Go for an Oven Stack
Choosing a vertical arrangement for your oven, grill and any other cooking appliances of this kind means that you can save valuable space elsewhere.
Switch Out Your Table
A bulky dining table in your kitchen can take up a huge amount of space. One option is to install a “floating table”, affixed to a wall, where diners can eat side by side.
You can even find designs that fold up against the wall to offer even more space.
Improve the Flow of Light
Introducing more light into a space will always make it feel bigger. Paler paint colours, metallic surfaces, mirrors and gloss units will enable more light to bounce around your kitchen, allowing for a more airy feel and a greater sense of scale.
Installing doors with glass in them – whether between the kitchen and the rest of the house, or the kitchen and the outdoors – will also improve the flow of light and add a sense of depth and connection to other areas.
These are just a few tried and tested ideas to help make your small kitchen feel bigger and improve its functionality. The final choices you make will, of course, depend on taste, budget and the unique features and limitations of your own property.