Small Kitchen Ideas: How to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen
We can’t all have super-sized kitchens with the latest mod cons and space to host fabulous dinner parties, with oodles of room to spare. But that doesn’t mean a small kitchen cannot give you just as much pleasure and fun. The secret to a small kitchen is to make the most of what you have. And, with just a few clever touches and some ingenious space saving hacks you can create a small but perfectly formed kitchen you will love to spend time in.
We take a look at some of the best small kitchen renovation ideas that will make a big difference to any tiny kitchen and help you to get the very best out of your smaller cooking space.
Simplify Your Color Scheme
If you are looking for small kitchen ideas on a budget, then one of the most cost-effect ways of revamping a compact and bijou kitchen is to repaint. When redecorating a smaller kitchen, your aim is to create an illusion of more space and the best way to do this is to opt for a light neutral color scheme that gives an airy feel. Stark white walls look fresh and contemporary and create a clean backdrop for your kitchen units, furniture, and accessories. Or add crisp white tiles to your existing color scheme. And if your current kitchen cupboards and cabinet units are dark then you can look at painting them a lighter, fresher color to really open your small kitchen up. Always aim to have no more than two main colors in your kitchen to avoid it feeling too busy, closed in and cramped. And another great tip is to go for a bold floor – a strong pattern to the floor tiles, offset by a more minimalist and neutral décor can really distract the eye and give the feel of a much larger room.
Re-think Your Appliances
While your kitchen appliances are essential, they could be adding extra bulk to your smaller kitchen and taking up precious space. But a rethink of what appliances you use and where you store them can make a big difference to a tiny room. If you are planning a small kitchen remodel or have the budget to replace your existing appliances, check out some of the latest cookers, microwave ovens, and refrigerators that are specifically designed for tighter spaces, without losing any of the functionality. And you could consider swapping that bulky over cooker hood for a hob with a built-in extractor which will free up extra space over your cooker that could be used for additional shelving or storage. You don’t always have to have all of your appliances in your kitchen either, for example, your washing machine can be stored in your bathroom or in an under stairs cupboard if you have the additional space.
Add a Multi-use Kitchen Island
With a smaller kitchen it is tempting to keep everything around the edge and against the walls, but if you have some floor space and budget, consider adding a multi-use kitchen island to the middle of the room. These ingenious islands are space-saving wonders and also serve a range of uses which means you can save precious space elsewhere. A well-built kitchen island will work as a table, food preparation area, breakfast bar, and storage space, all in one. Opt for a design that has plenty of under-counter storage as well as some open shelves and you will have a versatile piece of furniture that will bring any smaller kitchen to life. But if you don’t have the space – or budget – for a full-on kitchen island, then consider a smaller, freestanding, and ideally portable version you can move around without taking up too much space.
Make Your Ceiling Work for You
Your kitchen isn’t just four walls and a floor, you have extra space to play with if you look up so make your ceiling work for you and your tiny kitchen won’t seem so small. Drawing eyes upwards creates an extra sense of space and height and with a little creative thinking – think coving and a statement lightshade – you can make a distinct look that’s pretty cool. Ceiling hung racking, especially over a central kitchen island, is also practical, as it gives you easy, overhead access to kitchen kit such as pots and pans. And don’t forget to hang up your best pots as copper or bright ceramics will add a pop of color as well as reflective light that can add to the overall bigger kitchen vibe.
Go for Full Height Cabinets
Still, on the subject of ceilings, compact kitchens can be boosted by taking those kitchen cabinets all the way up, giving you extra storage space that would otherwise just be gathering dust. Cabinets that go fully up to the ceiling or have cupboards added to the top to fill the space also create a sleek look that can elongate a room and create an extra sense of height. Store those kitchen items you rarely use but still need and you will soon make use of that extra cupboard space.
Create a Sense of Space With Light
When it comes to the best kitchen ideas for small spaces, you can really open up a tiny kitchen with a few quick changes that will add extra light to create a sense of space. Light colored high gloss kitchen work surfaces, cupboards, and doors reflect light around a smaller room, giving an airy and spacious feel while clever use of mirrors really does give a sense of a more open room. Also, by opting for a theme of metallic or high gloss white accessories help to bounce around all that extra light around the room. And don’t neglect your kitchen’s lighting or leave it as an afterthought – a balance between effective ambient light as well as spot lighting will take your newly created sense of space from day to night.
Embrace Savvy Shelving
Getting savvy with how you use shelving can really make a difference to a smaller kitchen. The key is not to totally plaster your free walls with shelving but to think a little outside the shelving box. Double-sided shelving such as modular units which can be built into your existing kitchen design are super multi-taskers and are also easy to access and maintain. Or assess where you may have some wasted wall space and fit some tiered shelving, with the lower shelves for practical kitchenware and the upper shelves for your recipe books or nice pieces to display. Savvy shelving can also be used to help clear your limited workspace – adding rods underneath existing shelves to hang utensils from is one of the easiest but most effective small kitchen storage ideas.
Display Your Pots and Pans
Bulky kitchen items such as pots and pans are often the most space-taking when it comes to valuable cabinet storage so if you have a free end wall to a cupboard, why not look to store them in plain sight? By adding hooks or a pot rack frame to a cabinet side or even a kitchen wall means you can create some super-handy vertical space to hang your larger cooking items. You could even make a feature of your colored or copper pans for a practical display that can also create a more vintage or retro style feel.
Invest in Some Space-saving Accessories
Even if you don’t have the budget for a full-on redesign or re-fit of your tiny kitchen, a few added space-saving accessories can make your day-to-day kitchen life feel much more spacious and easier to work with. First, consider where you are finding lack of space problematic and you will soon know where the best investments will be. For example, if you are struggling with a lack of counter space, a hanging rack with hooks and pockets will take the bulky items up and out of the way. And if you are short of space near to your sink, then an over the sink dish drying rack is a simple but effective way to make dishwashing time less of a cluttered chore.
Turn Awkward Spaces Into Clever Storage
OK, your kitchen may be small, but you still may have some wasted space which only serves to make it feel and work as a tiny room. Especially if your kitchen is an awkward shape or a galley style, conventional cupboards and cabinets are not always going to work and may even create inaccessible or unusual unworkable spaces. If this is the case, then you need to think a little differently as to how you create a more functional kitchen. If your pan cupboard is too small or not that easy to access, then consider moving your pots and pans to a deep drawer that maximizes on the space available. Bench seating in a dining corner can also be converted into a really handy – and invisible – storage space. And look for any other smaller spaces that are going to waste. Gaps between cupboards or shelves can be brought back to useful life with the addition of a slim storage trolley while a simple shelf above a window or door frame can be a handy storage space. Also look for swing out shelving inserts for cupboards to make organizing and finding your accessories or food staples a breeze, without cluttering up your countertop.
Add a Breakfast Bar
Having somewhere to sit, eat, or simply chill and drink your morning coffee is a positive in any kitchen and even if you have a really tiny space, it still should be possible. If there is no room for a table or kitchen island, then a breakfast bar could well be the answer. From a simple, one or two-seater fixed ‘shelf’ to adapting part of your kitchen worktop, adding a breakfast bar is a great way to create a seated eating area without taking up any unnecessary floor space. Even adapting a windowsill with an extending small tabletop can make all the difference to a small kitchen and means it can be tucked away when not in use. When it comes to seating in a small kitchen, always go slim and streamlined – no-back stools or a bench that can be hidden away under the breakfast bar will add a contemporary style to your kitchen without getting in your way. And if you pick your seating well – we’re thinking box chairs or benches – you could well squeeze in some extra storage in the body of the chair.
Clear Away Clutter
Our final tip when it comes to the best tiny kitchen ideas is also the cheapest, in fact, its free: to make the most of a small kitchen space, clear away any clutter. There’s no point dressing and filling a tiny kitchen in the same way you would with a much larger cooking space so an audit of all the things you really need is a must. And decluttering can also be a positive thing all-round. When space is at a premium, you only need the essentials, everything else can go into storage or to the charity shop. And try to have a place for everything, and always ensure it’s put back where it is meant to be once you have finished using it. It may all seem a tad disciplined, but a decluttered kitchen of any size means you will always have exactly what you need to hand. And many kitchen accessories can also multi-task, for example, do you really need a separate crepe pan when a normal, multi-purpose frying pan will work just as well. Add in a couple of cute countertop caddies, put up some hanging rails and install extra in-cupboard storage racks and before you know it, your small kitchen will be sleek, light, deceptively spacious and clutter free.