The kitchen is arguably the most important room in the modern home. It is where you prepare all your meals, and for many where you eat them as well – particularly if you have a smaller property with a combined kitchen-diner rather than two separate spaces. Its warmth and cozy, communal atmosphere make the kitchen a great social and entertainment space, too.
No one wants to feel cramped and crowded in their home, particularly in one of the rooms that is central to day-to-day life. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks you can leverage to get the most from your kitchen space which will go a long way to transforming even the smallest room.
Downsize your appliances
First things first – if you don’t have much room in your home, chances are you will find it difficult to fit in huge appliances. A full-size, 110cm cooker is going to dominate a small kitchen. However, for most meals, you’ll probably find that you’re just using a single hob, and perhaps the oven. The same applies to the other appliances in your kitchen. This demonstrates that you do not need your appliances to be of standard size, particularly if you live alone or do not cook on a regular basis. Half-size dishwashers and built-in microwaves will help to reduce space. You could also consider upgrading your heating system: combi-boilers are smaller and more compact than traditional models, but perfectly efficient enough for a small home. Minimizing the space taken up by technology means more room for counters and cupboards.
Get creative with cupboards
When you’re renovating a very small kitchen, you need to be canny with your kitchen storage ideas. This might involve installing pull-out drawers to maximize cupboard space, fitting extra shelves into your cupboards, and even installing additional worktop space in drawers under the counter that be pulled out when needed and then shut safely away day-to-day. This will provide you with extra room for chopping when the counter is packed with ingredients but will otherwise be invisible.
Use hooks to create more space
You can use walls, doors, and the inside of cupboards to create more storage space simply by adding hooks. This works brilliantly for items that are lightweight, like miniature spice pots. The space around your cooker hood might be used to hang utensils, like potato mashers, ladles, and spatulas. The space under your hanging cupboards might be used to suspend mugs, which has the added advantage of being decorative as well as practical. Shopping bags and other lightweight fabric items can be stored hanging on the back of the door.
Be Strategic with your décor
When you’re decorating a kitchen, it makes sense to adjust your plans to try to give the illusion of room. This tends to mean favoring lighter, more muted color schemes and eschewing dense patterns and complicated tiling in favor of clean, simple lines. A little bit of greenery on the windowsill might be all that’s required to inject some personality.
Ideally, you’ll have a lot of natural light pouring into the space, which will make it feel bigger than it is. Where this isn’t possible (or if you’re going to be doing a lot of cooking in the late evening), it makes sense to install several different kinds of lighting. You might have under-cupboard lighting, downlighters from overhead, and a few standing lamps that can be positioned wherever you’re working. You could also have a mirror on the wall and use the reflection to cheat the eye.