Monday, 22 April 2019

How to design a small kitchen: 5 things to think about

things to think about when designing a small kitchen including storage tips, ways to trick the eye into thinking the room is bigger, lighting and layout options.

Small kitchens are definitely one of the hardest spaces to work with - how do you fit all your appliances and storage into a tiny kitchen, whilst also giving you a decent amount of worktop area, somewhere to sit to eat, and if you're lucky, to swing a ca (no cats were harmed in the making of my kitchen, I promise)

Here's five things to think about when designing your dream kitchen, regardless of how much space you've got...

Seating 
No space for that dream island? How about a butchers block to create a farmhouse feel, and provide some all important additional storage? If you've got space for a table, fab, otherwise why not use up any lost space at the end of the room for a breakfast bar? Ideal space to slot that butchers block out of the way when you're not using it too.

Trick the eye
This is one of my favourite ways of transforming a small space (my post 7 ways to make your home appear bigger is one of my most-read posts ever!), and a lot can be said for tricking the eye into thinking a room is bigger than it really is. Simple things like removing the wall cupboards and having open shelving will make a kitchen seem miles bigger, but obviously you'll have to be really clever with your storage to be able to get rid of lots of cupboard space. Which brings me nicely onto...

things to think about when designing a small kitchen including storage tips, ways to trick the eye into thinking the room is bigger, lighting and layout options.


Storage is key
This really is the most important thing - you need to have enough space to store all your shopping (even all the Christmas goodies!) without things cluttering up vital work spaces. The very first thing to do before you even start planning your layout would be to have a huge de-clutter (I previously shared some de-cluttering tips here) Get rid of anything you realistically don't use, be brutal - how many times have you really used that bread maker in the past five years, and do you need all those 30 cook books? Once you've got everything you want to keep in front of you, you'll be able to work out exactly how much storage space you'll need, and how to realistically squeeze everything in without it becoming cluttered.

When planning cupboards give everything you've decided to keep a home - for me having too many things out on the side makes me feel anxious. So if you're wanting to keep that waffle-making machine, make sure there's somewhere for it to go.

If you're struggling with fitting everything in, how about utilising cupboard space somewhere else in your home? For example could your under-stairs cupboard be used as a pantry, or how about putting those 'only-to-be-used-at-Christmas' plates in a cupboard in the dining room?

things to think about when designing a small kitchen including storage tips, ways to trick the eye into thinking the room is bigger, lighting and layout options.
Image courtesy of Burbridge 


Think outside the box
Don't be afraid to turn the space on its head - the fridge doesn't absolutely have to be in that particular position just because its always been there, is somewhere else that might work better? It's also a good idea to think about exactly what you'll be doing in the kitchen, and how each appliance works with others. For example, in our kitchen you can't get to a particular cupboard to put the pans away if the dishwasher is open - if we were having a new kitchen installed that's definitely something I'd want to rethink.

Lighting
This is one of those things that usually gets thought about last I think, but statement lighting can work wonders to brighten up a small space, and create some warmth too. What about beautiful pendant lights above your breakfast bar? Or built-in spot lights under the kitchen cupboards can work really well to light up a small space.

And just because a girl can dream, here's a mood board of everything I'd have in my dream kitchen (if I was thinking about designing a kitchen, of course) ...

things to think about when designing a small kitchen including storage tips, ways to trick the eye into thinking the room is bigger, lighting and layout options.
Image credits (clockwise starting top left): Chopping board, Very.com / Tea towels, Tolly McRae / Patterned tiles, Tile Mountain / Herringbone tiles, Walls & Floors / Pendant light, Garden Trading / Dresser, Cuckooland.com / Basket, IKEA / Bread bin, Garden Trading / Jar, IKEA / Wooden shelf, Garden Trading / Artificial plant, Homesense / Jug, Sophie Allport / Clock, Hurn & Hurn / Tap, IKEA / Paint, School House White by Farrow & Ball / Flooring, Tile Mountain / Bar stool, Garden Trading / Kettle, Garden Trading / Cake stand, Garden Trading / Marble chopping board, Garden Trading 


What are your tips for living with a small kitchen?

Thanks for reading,
Sam Xx
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10 comments

  1. Thanks for the tips, what do you use to create your mood board?

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  2. Completely agree with all your points! I remember having a teeny kitchen in our first flat and the best thing we did was clear out. We definitely didn't need THAT much baking stuff and 3 sets of knives. Sometimes, less is more :)

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  3. Some great ideas here. We had a breakfast bar put in when we have our kitchen fitted, we love it! x

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  4. Great ideas! And I think they all came into play when designing our own kitchen recently!

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  5. Such great advice Sam, only because the kitchen is small doesn't mean it can't be perfect! We are in the middle of a kitchen renovation (longest project in the history!) and used to have a small kitchen, so I know how impoortant it is to make it work - storage being one of the main things!!

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  6. those are absolutley fantastic ideas hun !! i so would love to re design my kitchen soon

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  7. Some great ideas here. Having a smaller space really makes you think about how you will use the room and what's important to have which are key starting points when thinking about design

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  8. What wonderful ideas you've shared. I have a tiny kitchen but it's functional and I love it dearly.

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  9. As my kitchen makeover is halfway through I agree with every tip!

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