Would you consider your kitchen to be on the small side? We’ve had our fair share of tiny kitchens in the past, and I know from experience just how tricky they can be to design and style in a way that’s both functional and nice to look at.
How to make a small kitchen look bigger
If a kitchen extension isn’t an option, you can still make the most of your existing space by using a few clever design tricks. Read on for lots of small kitchen design tips that will help your kitchen work harder and look smarter.
Create a simple design
Small rooms really benefit from a simple, unfussy design, and I think this is particularly true of kitchens. You’re aiming to create a space that feels uncluttered, functional and stylish here, so go for pale colours and modern accessories. Consider also painting the walls in the same colour as the units to blur the room’s boundaries and create a cohesive look.
Think about the layout carefully too. Creating a triangle of sink, oven and fridge will allow you to work efficiently, and also help you to avoid bumping into someone else if there’s more than one of you working in there.
Choose a focal point
As with any small room, you don’t want the space to end up feeling too busy. Lots of different patterns, colours and materials will just make the room feel smaller.
A clever design tip to avoid this is to choose a focal point in your kitchen, and make that the main feature. It could be flooring, a statement cooker hood, light fittings or brightly coloured chairs. Tiles are another brilliant option for creating a focal point, as you can change them without having to completely re-design the room. This post on ways to make a statement with your kitchen splashback has lots of nice ideas.
Once you’ve got your focal point, aim to subtly complement it with the rest of the room’s features and accessories. This will create a coherent look which helps to make the space feel bigger.
Banish clutter with clever storage
Do any of us ever feel like we’ve got enough storage in our kitchen?!
Getting the storage right can make an enormous difference to how easy your kitchen is to use and to keep tidy, so it’s an absolutely crucial part of any re-design.
Obviously space is limited in a small kitchen, but there are so many clever things you can use to really make those cupboards and drawers work hard. Racks that fit on the inside of doors, deep drawers and swing-out corner shelves are all great options in cabinets. I love those little shelves that allow you to create two stacks of crockery on a single shelf too, they make it so much easier to get to the contents of crammed cupboards.
And while we’re talking about cabinets, it’s a good idea to make use of the full height of the room and fit them right up to the ceiling. This works particularly well with lighter shades of units which will help to reflect light around the room.
Max out on the lighting
The right lighting can hugely influence how big your kitchen feels, not to mention how easy it is to work in.
Aim to make the most of any natural light that the room receives. Avoid fitting deep wall units right next to windows, and choose window dressings that don’t cover lots of glass when open. Narrow slatted venetian blinds are particularly good for this. Another super-simple trick is to keep the windows clean, it’s amazing how big an effect this has!
When it comes to artificial light, it’s really important to take a layered approach. You need overhead lighting, plus good task lighting focused on your worktops and cooking areas. If you’ve got wall units you can recess lights into the underside, if not consider wall lights or angled spotlights in the ceiling.
Include hidden features
If you’ve done all of the above and your kitchen still needs help, it’s time to get clever with hidden features. Kitchen manufacturers are definitely focusing on this area, and given that the general trend is towards smaller living spaces it’s not hard to see why.
The idea here is to include additional workspace or storage space that isn’t permanently on display and taking up room. So that could be a pullout cupboard with worktop, a wall-mounted folding table, a chopping board-style sink cover, or even pop-up shelves. If you’re replacing your existing kitchen it’s well worth exploring the options before settling on a supplier.
Have you used any of these small kitchen design tips? What do you do to make the most of the space you have?