Not all of us are lucky enough to own a kitchen with adequate space for a six-burner stove, large double sink, double-door fridge and a cappuccino and snow-cone maker (or whatever grabs your fancy). However, that being said, a small and narrow kitchen is no excuse to sacrifice function or style.
Friends and family always seem to gather in the kitchen so what could be more perfect than socialising while you’re cooking? But in order to do that, you need a kitchen you can be proud of – not one you’ll avoid in shame.
Today, we will be looking at 10 simple tips to help you emphasise your limited space and make your tiny kitchen sizzle with style! From islands and glass cabinets, to paint colours and countertops, let’s examine some clever tricks…
Open plan space with a large living room and tiny kitchen? Emphasise your limited cooking space with a neat kitchen island, which will not only add a welcome addition to your kitchen, but will also separate the two rooms.
The kitchen island creates a welcome additional space for your cooking/baking, and can be used for eating, or for placing some decoration.
Tip: to incorporate more space in your tiny kitchen, opt for an island with open storage. An island with open shelves can help your space looking light and airy, while also adding some additional kitchen décor opportunities (i.e. used cookbooks, utensils, perhaps a vase?).
Does your kitchen have a blank wall? Forget artwork, hold the calendar, and save the kids’ drawings for the fridge – you need that wall space! Utilise your blank wall to incorporate rows or racks, and what do you get? More storage space!
Hang up your kitchen cloths, or use S-hooks for your cups and mugs. How about a magnetic knife rack? Or simply store some bowls, pots and pans on the shelves. Hey, it’s your space, so use it wisely!
Tip: don’t hide that ancient dining set (or new wine glasses / ceramic mixing bowls / whatever) you’re so proud of. Display it proudly on your new wall-mounted storage!
A lot of modern tables can be folded, slid, rotated and/or extended, perfect for those who have small kitchens in their homes or apartments. Many homeowners go for the folding option when it comes to kitchen tables (the leaves flip up to add more space for guests, and simply fold back down when’re done and need the space). Plus the table centre can serve as prep space – think of it as a mobile island!
Call it creative or call it practical, but traditional and innovative folding table designs add functionality and convenience to a small kitchen—and with the right materials and colour scheme, they can be a great addition to your tiny kitchen.
Light-coloured walls can add a world of wonder to small-spaced rooms by making them look bigger. And don’t get caught up with plain white; remember, there’s a very broad colour spectrum waiting to be explored, so play around with ideas before you settle on your final choice. See what tone fits well with your kitchen set, floor and appliances.
But don’t stop at the walls – pale cabinets, countertops and furniture also help to brighten a room and impart a sense of openness into your cooking space.
Tip: windows add natural lighting, plus a view of the outside, which immediately makes your kitchen seem lighter and bigger. Hang a mirror for some extra spacing effect.
A kitchen island is not an option for most tiny kitchens; however, that extra preparation space does come in handy. So, get a wheeled cart!
As practical (and welcome) as an island, the wheeled cart provides you with extra space to prepare your meals, and then simply rolls out of the way when done / not needed. A lot of wheeled carts have additional shelves/cabinets, providing you with more space for your utensils.
Let’s take a look at some stunning layout and decor ideas that could be perfect for your kitchen.
Opt for geometric and striped floors that draw your eye lengthwise or vertically – this will make your kitchen seem longer than it actually is. Checked tiles laid squarely (versus diagonally) does add a certain chic factor to any floor, but makes a floor seem more stunted and chopped up, and should only be used when you have the space to play with.
If changing the floor tiles isn’t an option, consider adding a patterned runner – it will add the same effect, and your kitchen will thank you!
Regardless of the layout and structure of your tiny kitchen, reconfiguring the countertop design can maximise both effectiveness and style. You’d be surprised at how much practical your countertop becomes by adding only 30 cm to it, giving you more room for food preparation, or decoration space.
Add a multi-tasking element to your countertop: install a pull-out cutting board just below its surface to increase your prep space. Also, make sure you have appropriate drawer storage that can make up for lost countertop space, saving your surfaces from becoming cluttered.
If you’re pressed for space, chances are that you won’t be sitting down for a meal at a long dining table in your kitchen. This is where corner built-in seating can come in handy.
Built-in seating is ideal for formal dining, casual eating, your morning coffee and newspaper, or a simple gossip session in your kitchen. They require very little space (depending on how big you want to go), are great for weird nooks/crooks, and can neatly fill up your kitchen corner!
But you’re not pressured to dine in your kitchen corner. Built-in seating can even be free-standing to nicely define a room. They can be round, square, large, small… whatever you desire. As pictured here, you can have a built-in seating and countertop 2-in-1 design!
The best part? You can add in scatter cushions and throws to nicely incorporate an added element of colour in your kitchen.
When deciding on patterns and styles for your kitchen walls, go for designs that will direct the eye upward. Vertical lines on the wall and ceiling boards will guide your gaze toward the ceiling, and will bring the entire room into your vision (instead of just focusing on, for example, the cabinetry). This will give your kitchen an impression of greater height.
Tips: for a double space-enhancing effect, opt for a pale background colour (for instance, light blue), with darker lines travelling up.
Take a look at Creative Kitchen Ideas to get some fresh inspiration for your kitchen layout.
Consider replacing your solid cabinet doors with glass ones. Glass fronts lighten the look of your cabinetry and allow your eye to travel through to the back. This adds more depth to your room, which helps to visually expand your kitchen. However, if you decide to go for this option, then beware not to clutter the cabinet interiors—this will defeat the purpose.
Looking for some inspiration when it comes to kitchen cabinetry? Take a look at what the professionals of Maple & Gray can accomplish.