06 January 2022

Small Kitchens: Compact and Practical Solutions for Busy People

Small Kitchens: Compact and Practical Solutions for Busy People

There are many sizes of kitchens, but you don’t need to have a massive kitchen to remodel it and make it your own. Small kitchens have a unique charm, and you can make your space functional with ample storage no matter the size. There are many benefits of a small kitchen - you have all your items within reach and can move around freely without travelling too far for appliances. Everything is within reach, and it’s undeniably cosy and homely. Smaller spaces in your kitchen help to declutter and keep things organized, which is another great bonus to having that bit less space!

So, if you are looking to get ideas for small kitchens, or want to design a small kitchen and don't know where to start, or how to make the most of your space, then our experts in kitchen design can explain.

How do I plan a small kitchen?

If you are asking yourself ‘How do I plan a small kitchen?’ then you are one of many people who have a kitchen you want to redesign, but don't know how or where to start. An innovative idea for planning a small kitchen is to keep it simple. It is quite easy to plan for your kitchen to have everything, but if you have a restricted space, starting with the overall layout of your kitchen units is the best way to go, and then start working from there.

What is the best design for a small kitchen?

Some tips for keeping in mind during the designing process are:

  • Keep it simple
  • Make the most of your kitchen shape
  • Use as much natural light as possible
  • Think about smart storage

Depending on your style you can use any design you wish. Many options are available for smaller kitchens - you can adapt your storage and kitchen units to be slimline, or you can use the floor to ceiling space with kitchen cupboards designed to minimise clutter on your kitchen worktops and worksurfaces. A good choice is to go for a crisp and light colour scheme, and match the colour of your cupboards and worktops to your walls to make the room seem bigger and brighter. However, you don't have to follow this light colour palette.

You can always add a feature wall using a brighter or darker colour, or use a gorgeous patterned wallpaper to make the wall pop. In 2021, lots of people have been opting for a darker kitchen with a dramatic style that is on trend and aesthetically pleasing, and this is certainly something you can do with smaller kitchens. Lean into the cosiness of the space and go for darker colour with atmospheric and homely lighting.

Giving your kitchen personality that matches your own is a great choice to make your kitchen truly unique. Add some texture to your flooring with a bold pattern, or switch out your drawers and cupboard doors with new ones that have a fresh style to get a quick kitchen makeover in no time.

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

A good idea for a small kitchen is to make sure that you include plenty of smart storage space, and ways to make the kitchen seem bigger if you want a roomier feel to your space. You could add extra space by swapping traditional doors with sliding doors or glass ones. Siding doors are also perfect for keeping the central walkways of your small kitchen clear and easy to navigate.

Another idea is to combine an induction hob with an extractor hood built in on top. This is how you can reduce space taken up from appliances. If possible, slimming down your appliances can also be an effective way to take up less space, so perhaps go for a slimline dishwasher or move the washing machine into a spare room or bathroom.

Other ideas include collapsible furniture that can be stored away when not in use, and glass front kitchen cupboards to add depth to your kitchen and display your items. If you would like a streamlined kitchen, a clever design choice would be handleless kitchen units and cupboard doors for your storage. Handleless kitchen cupboards are also family friendly and can reduce the number of incidences with children injuring themselves from getting caught on protruding handles.

Another trendy kitchen design in 2021 is lighter colours on top, including the top part of the walls and hanging kitchen cupboards, and deeper colours for the lower part of the walls and worktops. This painted design is simple but allows the ceiling to appear higher and makes the appliances and worksurfaces stand out. Solid wood worktops also offer a stunning warmth in light, pale or darker kitchens that can bring a small kitchen to life.

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

Storage in a small kitchen doesn't have to be challenging. Some smaller kitchens have corners and nooks that are perfect to transform into smart storage, or even a breakfast bar or cupboard to store appliances. If you prefer a minimalist approach to your kitchen design utilise your storage for storing anything that is usually on your worktops and free up the space to make it look more open and spacious. However, if you prefer a more lived in look to your kitchen you can store your appliances in a way that can be displayed through glass cupboards or shelving.

In a small kitchen it is important to use high spaces for storage solutions, so make the most of the space you do have in your kitchen. Movable storage, kitchen worksurfaces and worktops, and flexible storage ideas are also perfect when hosting in a small space and for storing away when not in use.

If you have windows and windowsill space in your kitchen then try adding plants or other items to the windowsill to add a touch of personality.

How Do You Organize Small Kitchens?

Every inch of your kitchen space needs to work twice as hard when you live in a tiny place, as any small-space inhabitant knows. That could entail coming up with some ideas, such as hanging spices on an open wall or storing sponges and cleaning items on the inside of your cabinet door.

Some tips we suggest are:

  • Make use of every corner! Whether it’s a storage tin for coffee and tea, or a perfect sized basket or box for storing snacks. Make use of the space you have and come up with some creative solutions! Mini wine rack anyone?
  • ­­Invest in movable worktops and pantries. These can be handy when entertaining or if you are limited on space, or both! Move these out of the way for more room and move them back in for a quick and affordable storage solution!
  • Switch a table for a kitchen island. Tables can be large and hard to find room for, but a small island could be the perfect trick to making more room in your kitchen as it doubles up as a worksurface when needed. Add some stools and you have a cute breakfast bar or dining area!
  • Clear the clutter. If you run a busy life, it can be hard to keep counters and surfaces free. If possible, reduce the clutter and store what is taking up space.

Small Kitchen Ideas on A Budget

You don’t have to have a huge budget for changing up your kitchen. There are many ways you can switch up your style without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas that you could use when you design your kitchen.

  • Upcycle bed slats and turn them into boxes and other storage solutions perfect for small kitchens.
  • Replace just the cupboard doors and worktops in your kitchen for a fresh look without the expense of a full remodel.
  • Invest in high gloss kitchen cabinets and worktops to give the illusion of more light and space.
  • Organise your storage and access to items, and reduce clutter to allow for more worktop space.
  • Display your favourite items and use them as décor while allowing easy access.

Fabulous Feature Walls

Painting an entire kitchen can be tiring and expensive but choosing to renew a single wall into a feature wall is a terrific way to liven up your kitchen space without going over budget.

You could even use chalkboard paint for a stylish and on trend black feature wall that doubles as a notice board and family friendly space for creativity. Perfect for a shopping list you won’t forget!

Feature walls draw attention, and you can direct all gazes to a stunning display of pots and pans, or a gorgeous wallpaper that stands out from the crowd.

Out With The Old, In With The New!

If you are busy and don’t have time for too many projects, simply renew your cabinet handles and kitchen accessories. Maybe add a touch of metal to your sink and taps with a copper or brass, as these warm metals pair nicely with black or darker themed kitchens.

If you have an older property, you could find yourself with painted over fixings or hinges that blend into the walls. You can refurbish existing fixings by gently removing them and cleaning off the paint to reveal the brass and other metal fixings that were hiding away under the paintwork. Metal is very trendy, and old homes have a lot, so make the most of it!

Small and Sweet Décor

With smaller kitchens, large decorations can be tricky to add in, but decorating doesn’t have to mean large art prints or huge plants. Small items and renovating kitchen cupboards can really add to smaller spaces without taking up too much room. Here are some examples:

Switch Kitchen Cupboards and Cabinets for Open Displays

Take storage a step further by putting dishes on display in a tiny kitchen. Add textured baskets, bins, and elegant glass storage containers to the now-open storage for added elegance. The glass storage containers keep what you need neatly on show, while the tiny kitchen decoration concept adds texture and colour.

Tiny Treats and Trinkets

Everyone loves a good mason jar, and there are smaller and similar jars that are perfect for a budget. Small, clasped jars can be a cute idea to store tea, coffee, or even sweets, with an airtight seal. If you have a sweet tooth, a small candy store on a spare section of wall would add style to your kitchen – perfect for hosting or a night in with the kids!

Fancy Fabrics

You don’t have to decorate with items you don’t technically use. You can decorate with kitchen towels or tablecloths that have a theme, pattern or colour. In more traditional kitchens, you can use a fabric cover for your appliances and under the sink space! If you have seating in your space, use bright and decorative pillows and throws to jazz up your kitchen.

Lively Lighting

Because many tiny kitchens only have one light, this is the ideal opportunity to try something different. Make a bold statement with a one-of-a-kind flush-mount light or a vibrant pendant.

In a tiny area, consider a big light to create a statement, since one huge light may enlarge the space while several little lights might make it appear congested. Always take measurements of your room beforehand to verify that the size of your light fixture or shade does not interfere with its operation. A light fixture should dangle at least 7 feet above the floor, unless it's over a kitchen island, to allow ample clearance for passing under. Another great lighting idea for smaller kitchens is to add under-cupboard lighting, which will add real depth and atmosphere to the space.

No matter the size of your kitchen, you can always make an impact with only a few changes that don’t need to break the bank. Some take away tips are to reduce clutter and store everything you need in boxes or add a decorative display. Make the most of every corner and get the functionality of a full-size kitchen but with a cosier and more homely touch.

Chat with a Dream Doors kitchen designer about your smaller kitchen, and together we will make sure your dream kitchen is brought to life, no matter the size of your space! Find your local showroom, and start your kitchen transformation journey today.

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Kitchen Showroom Couple Nick and Catherine
Nick & Catherine, Local Showroom Owners in Newport