Most people renovate to create more space. When their current lifestyle no longer fits their home, they look to extend or knock down existing walls. What happens when space is nonnegotiable, when you literally can’t access another square inch of it? Well, you have to get creative. You have to really step back and think about how you may be able to better organise the area.
One room in the home where this recipe of reorganisation really needs to work, is in the kitchen. If the thought of that alone is overwhelming, don’t be discouraged. Alton Brown said “cooking is an observation based process that you can’t do if you’re so completely focused on a recipe.” If you apply this thought pattern to the design of a kitchen, then having a small kitchen should not be the focus. The focus should be on how you currently use that space, where you encounter issues and then, brainstorming ways in which you may be able to solve this.
A large kitchen with endless storage, integrated appliances and a butler’s pantry may not be possible for you right now but, that doesn't mean you have to compromise on everything just because you are constrained by space. You have to be realistic about your choices and at times, even like with larger kitchen designs, everything will not fall your way but, there's no need to be discouraged.
Read More: Practical Kitchen Design Advice
The following five tips are a good starting point to consider when planning your design of your small kitchen.
Minimising clutter will help create a feeling of space. As such, are there ways you can address this in your current space? For example, can your everyday appliances like the toaster and kettle be built into a cupboard space so you free up much needed bench-space. Can you look at a magnetic strip to store your knives, rather than in a bulky knife block on the bench? Do you have room on your walls to install a floating shelf to stack your cookbooks? Every little inch of bench space you can claim back will make a positive difference to your work flow in the kitchen.
2. Let There Be Light
We all know the feeling you get when you walk into a room and there is lots of natural light flooding in, the space feels larger doesn't. Can you increase your window size or perhaps consider a skylight to allow more natural light to flood through and, in turn give the appearance of bigger space? If not, would incorporating a mirror splashback or feature wall give the illusion of greater depth or width? You need to consider what image will be reflected in the mirror when choosing this as a possible design solution. Lastly, don't under estimate just how much of an impact a terrific lighting plan can have on a kitchen's space. There are some great advancements in lighting technology on the market and having things like LED strip lighting underneath the overhead cabinets or at the base kicker can really enhance the appearance of space in a small kitchen.
3. Select The Right Appliances
Do you really need a four-burner stove top or, could you down size to a two-burner and in turn, increase bench space. A french door fridge would be wonderful but, is pantry space equally valuable and therefore a more suitable choice a one door, upright fridge. Are you not utilizing your corner space cupboard and, would putting a kitchen carousel insert create greater access? Is your rubbish bin at the end of the bench and not only a little unsightly but, also taking up space? Why not install a streamlined pullout garbage bin under the sink then? All these little suggestions are just that but, once you employ a few of them - you'll start to see the results and your kitchen will become a more enjoyable place to spend time.
4. Kitchen Breakfast Nooks
If you have to include a kitchen table into your small kitchen space, perhaps consider creating a kitchen breakfast nook. This could sit nicely at one end of the kitchen and, allows you the opportunity to incorporate more much need storage space. You can install built in drawers underneath the bench seats - perfect for storing large kitchen pots and pans, baking trays and "the good cutlery and dinnerware"!
5. Colour Scheme
Choosing a colour scheme for your small kitchen space is something that needs considerable thought. As s general rule of thumb, selecting a cool colour that recedes (like blue, blue/green, green and blue/violet) will make your space feel as though it's moving away from you and in turn, the paler versions of these coulours are particularly good choices in helping create an illusion of more space.
We hope these tips have inspired you to embrace the great design challenge a small kitchen is and, to realise that you can create your dream kitchen - regardless of size! Happy styling!
(Image credit: www.decoholic.org/, www.myparadissi.com/, www.thekitchn.com/)