How to maximise space in a small kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of any home, but, for some homes, it can be lacking space making it hard to fully enjoy. If you have a small kitchen or are just looking for ways to make the most out of your kitchen, this article features some wonderful small kitchen ideas that can make a big difference.
Make use of all of your vertical space
Oftentimes, kitchen cabinets might not go right up to the ceiling of a room and leave unused space that isn’t functional. If this is the case in your small kitchen, making sure that space is available for extra storage can make a big difference. There are two ways to do this.
The first is to use the space on top of your cupboards for discrete storage. You don’t want to place items up here you’ll need every day, but if you have appliances you don’t use often, then why not store them here between uses to free up some counter space?
The second is moving your cabinets. A slightly larger job, however, is moving your cabinets up so they are in line with the ceiling. By doing so, not only are you taking advantage of that space, but you will have created more wall space beneath which will make your counter space feel larger.
Petra, from A Mum Reviews, did just this: “When you have a small kitchen, it’s all about clever storage ideas to make sure you can fit everything you need and still keep the room looking uncluttered. One thing that can make a huge difference is to use the height of the room. Choose cupboards that go all the way up to the ceiling or put shelves on the walls and don’t forget the precious space under the cupboards - you can install special drawers here which can hold a surprising amount of stuff. Much more useful than a plinth!”
Ben from Wood Create has another small kitchen storage idea that can help if your cabinets feel bulky and unnecessary: “We removed the high kitchen cupboards from one side of the room and replaced them with rustic shelving. This made the room feel bigger as the shelving didn’t protrude into the room so much.”
READ MORE: How to style your kitchen for every season
Keep counter space as clear as possible
The counter space in your kitchen will be the space you need to use most on a day-to-day basis, so you’ll quickly notice if it’s clogged up. Making sure you have as little as possible on your counters can make the space you do have more functional and a lot less crowded. This can mean minimising the number of small appliances you have (could some that are not so frequently used be stored away somewhere when not in use?) and looking for unique ways to store items you do want to have to hand at all times.
Ben had an ingenious idea for this also: “we swapped our tall fridge freezer for two under-counter units. This allowed us to install more worktops and increase the work surface area in the kitchen.”
Victoria from Lylia Rose told us her solution for increasing her counter space: “Our kitchen was on the ground floor and had a side door we never used, so we decided to convert this into a window and extend our kitchen worktop, giving us around 50% more worktop space and of course cupboard space underneath. If you have a side door that you just end up putting things in front of like bins or recycling, then consider whether you really need it as you could use the space more effectively.”
Chloe from Nyxie’s Nook had some small tips and tricks for keeping frequently used items off the counter: “We used command tape hooks for hanging up towels and even fashioned them into a hand utensil holder. If utensils such as large spoons etc could be hung up, we would hang them on the hooks.”
“We also managed to get our hands on a magnetic tool belt used for holding hammers etc. We used this for our tongs, magnetic stirring spoons and even some knives to save counter space.”
Use smart storage solutions in cupboards
How you use your storage space is going to go a long way to how your kitchen looks and feels when using it. Making sure that all of your space is functional to your everyday needs and isn’t overflowing with items will make your kitchen not only appear bigger but feel bigger when you are using it. The first step to making sure your cupboard usage is as functional as possible is to make sure you aren’t storing anything there you don’t need to be. This can mean cutting down on unnecessary items (the somehow never-ending collection of mugs – we are looking at you!) or choosing to move items that aren’t used or needed out of the kitchen.
Once that’s done and you are happy that everything in your kitchen should be there, it’s time to install some smart storage options. This can mean adding more shelving in cupboards to make sure you are using the full height. It can also mean using clever tricks and new products. One example could be spice racks that pull out allowing you easy access to all of your spices without having them take up as much space.
What Rachel Says blogger Rachel made sure to do this, telling us: “My kitchen is really small! As somebody who loves to cook, I've adapted the space and made the most of the limited amount of storage. I've used smart storage solutions in all of our cupboards. We've got storage racks on the inside of each cupboard door, and hooks to hang mugs. Doing this, I've made the most of our tiny kitchen, and I've still got room to cook my favourite dishes.”
This is also something that Chloe from Nyxie’s Nook did, she told us her favourite hack: “I recommend investing in a small lazy susan for use with tins, spices, Tupperware etc. We kept two lazy susans for our tins, non-perishables and spices. This meant it was easy to see everything you had by just turning it around which meant you used what you had before buying more.”
Let in as much natural light as possible
Natural light can be something that makes or breaks a small space, with a lack of it causing rooms to look dingy and compact. So, if you have natural light in your kitchen make sure you are allowing it to enter the room as freely as possible. This can mean not cutting it off with cabinets installed right up to the window’s edge, minimising the amount you keep on the windowsill and even looking outside to make sure there are no plants or trees blocking your light source. For those without much natural light, bringing more light into the space with tricks like adding downlighters underneath cupboards can make a big difference.
Upgrade your décor
Something simple like upgrading your décor might seem pointless in the hunt for more space but giving your room an airier facelift is certain to make your kitchen feel bigger, even if it isn’t. This can be done with some white paint or white tiles, by adding bright flashes of colour to highlight certain areas and with the flooring choice you pick.
Victoria from Lylia Rose told us some of the small kitchen design tricks she used: “We used some décor tricks to make the kitchen feel larger such as changing the original black lino flooring for a lighter vertically striped wood effect laminate floor, as well as painting all the walls white. These tricks didn't actually make the kitchen any larger, but made it feel larger and more spacious.”
How to maximise space in a small kitchen
- Make use of all of your vertical space
- Keep counter space as clear as possible
- Use smart storage solutions in cupboards
- Let in as much natural light as possible
- Upgrade your décor
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