Todays’ households can get busy, with everyone having individual commitments outside home as well as inside. Whether it’s school, work, social lives, errands or caring responsibilities, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Living in cramped conditions only adds to the burden, and small kitchens are often the hardest to maintain and make space in.
There are some clever design tricks and strategies that can help make your compact kitchen feel more spacious without the need for major renovations. If you sometimes struggle to keep the kitchen organised so you can get on with what needs doing, one or two of these practical tips might work for you.
Declutter and Organise Efficiently
Getting rid of clutter and keeping work surfaces as clear as possible will instantly make your kitchen feel more spacious without you having to do anything else. So, at the very least, give decluttering some attention. You can invest in storage solutions like pull-out pantry shelves, hanging racks, and drawer dividers, as well as removing appliances and gadgets you don’t use all the time. Pack those things away and store them safely. Renting a storage space can help, so you don’t have to find storage inside the kitchen cupboards for items you don’t need right now. Things you use seasonally or in fads and phases are what you’re looking for, such as bread makers, deep fat fryers, ice cream makers, food processors, oversized roasting or baking trays – all the things that clutter your space for no good reason. It’s easy to get items out of storage when you want to use them again.
Choose Light and Neutral Colours
Having cleared the decks a bit, it’s time to look at your kitchen décor. In small spaces, darker colours or overly patterned walls can have a shrinking effect on rooms. Instead, choose softer neutral or pale colours for your walls, cabinets, and countertops. Light colours, such as whites, gentle greys, or pale pastels reflect light and make the space feel airier and more open. They’re also a good background for any kitchen wall art or decoration you want to incorporate.
Maximise Light of All Kinds
Whether it comes from natural sources or is electricity powered, good light is vital in any kitchen, but especially so in smaller ones. You could go to the extremes of getting the builders in to enlarge existing windows, but it’s easier, quicker and cheaper to opt for sheer window dressings and treatments that allow light in but still offer privacy where needed.
Enhance your natural light with well-placed artificial lighting. Install under-cabinet lighting to eliminate shadows on countertops, pendant lights above a kitchen island or dining area and task lighting such as recessed ceiling lights to ensure every corner is well-lit and visually open.
Use Reflective Surfaces
Incorporating reflective surfaces into your kitchen design can add depth and brightness. Consider using glossy or mirrored tiles for your backsplash or stainless-steel appliances for a sleek, professional look. Similarly, choosing a high-gloss finish for your cabinets can make a difference in how light interacts with your space.
While it may seem counterintuitive, open shelving can make a small kitchen feel more expansive. It creates the illusion of more space, allows you to display attractive dishes and utensils, and reduces the visual weight of closed cabinets. If you go for open shelves, be aware you need to keep them clean and attractively arranged otherwise it looks a jumbly mess. If you struggle with things like that, stick with cupboards you can close the door on. Flat panel cabinets without handles can give a more modern and minimalist feel.
Go for Slimmer Fixtures
Sometimes in a narrow or galley kitchen you need to get clever. You can use slimmer wall units as floor units in place of the standard sized ones, and fit slimline appliances to maintain as much floor space as possible. Yes, you will have less cabinet space because they’re narrower, but that’s why you choose storage unit rental – so you can streamline your kitchen equipment.
Use Multi-Functional Furniture
Make every inch of a small kitchen work harder by using multi-function furnishings where possible. If you have an island, make sure it includes storage spaces, and use folding tables and chairs to maximise space when you’re not dining. A small table can also double as a prep area when you need more room.
A small family kitchen can certainly be a challenge, not least because there are times when everyone wants to be in there at the same time. Whether it’s through better storage, including self storage, lighter décor or simply better organisation, it’s still possible to have the kind of kitchen that’s functional but also visually spacious and welcoming for all the family.