25 Sep 5 Design Ideas to Maximise Small Kitchens
Whether you live in a vintage flat, a studio apartment or a newer style complex development, chances are your kitchen takes up a relatively small portion of your overall floor space. Tiny, galley-style kitchens, usually set up in an open plan arrangement communicating with the lounge and dining area, are very much the fashion these days.
Even these small spaces can be maximised though, and can be made to appear more spacious than they are. If the time has come to refurbish your kitchen, and full-blown expansion is not an option, then there are still a number of ways you can use the opportunity. We at HomeConcept want to help you to make more of the space you have and to cleverly employ design elements to make it look and feel bigger and brighter. Here are five top tips…
Increase Your Work and Eating Space
From a purely functional perspective, one of the biggest limitations in small kitchens is a lack of preparation and dining space. You probably have only one wall’s worth of built-in counter space – two if you have an L-shaped design. Increase the surface area by installing an island or a collapsible table that attaches to the wall and can be folded away when not in use. Add a couple of seats that can be safely stowed under the counter when not needed.
Open Up the Space
A galley-shaped kitchen can be extremely cramped, and knocking out a wall to expand the space is not always an option. There are some small but effective ways to add more space though. Start by choosing open shelves rather than cabinets for above the counter and overhead areas. Then, pack these shelves very lightly to avoid clutter. Even better, you can opt not to have any storage space above your head at all. This can already give you half a metre to a metre of extra space from wall to wall, and that’s enough to provide an increased sense of roominess. If possible, you can also add a portal that opens up the kitchen to the dining or living area.
Make Use of Patterns
When you have limited space and not much opportunity to open up more, maximising the area often comes down to optical illusion. The creative use of patterning, particularly in your choice of flooring, can go a long way in this regard. A chevron or herringbone patterned wooden floor is particularly effective in this regard.
The Magic of Mirrors
Speaking of optical illusions, simply placing a mirror or other reflective surface on your back wall creates a sense of openness. This is especially effective in kitchens with limited light sources, as available natural light bounces around the space and illuminates your small kitchen.
Keep It Light
Light is perhaps the single most important factor in creating space. The more light colours you use, the more expansive your kitchen will feel. So as a rule, avoid dark colours in your palette. Consider light colours on countertops and walls, and you’ll be surprised how airy your kitchen will start to feel.