Kube Kitchens

Small Kitchen Planning - Make The Most Of Limited Space

One common problem that people often have with the current kitchen layout in their home is that they find their kitchen is just too small.  Lack of worktop space, lack of storage space and lack of light are complaints that I hear a lot.  So how do you plan your small kitchen so that you make the most of it, gain more storage and worktop space while creating a brighter more spacious feel?

Small Functional Kitchen   Small Modern Kitchen

Small Kitchen - A simple style works well

  Small Modern Kitchen with Peninsular Island

Above, you see two small kitchens.  One is a classic style while the other is a contemporary kitchen, but they have one thing in common.  They are designed to make the most of the space and give a spacious feel. My advice when designing a small kitchen is to keep out fuss!  By choosing kitchen doors that are simple in design like a shaker style or a modern flat door style you will achieve this.

So what should you consider when planning a small kitchen?

1. Worktop Space
 
Worktop space is key in any kitchen.  It is especially vital around the cooking area and food prep area.  Try to give as much space to these areas of the kitchen as possible.  Having enough worktop space leaves life in the kitchen much more pleasurable.  If your room layout allows, consider planning in an island unit or peninsular area.  Either of these will give you more worktop space and in addition more storage space.

2. Storage Space

As mentioned above, an island unit or peninsular area will give you more storage space in your kitchen.  Another great way of boosting your storage space is by designing in a larder unit.  A larder unit is not only a convenient way of storing food, but because they are mainly tall units, no space is waisted.  You should always take time to plan your kitchen storage needs so that you take all things into consideration.  Pots and pans, chopping boards, dinner plates, cups and glasses and small appliances all have to be planned for.  Pull out storage and drawers offer an easy way to access all these items.

3. Colour Schemes & Materials

The colours and materials you choose for a small kitchen can have a huge impact on the finished look and feel.  You need to be clever when choosing so that you give the illusion of more space.  In small kitchens, I always recommend going for light coloured kitchen units.  Whether this be a cream painted kitchen or other light colour, or a high gloss kitchen, you can achieve the classic or modern style to suit your tastes while achieving the feeling of space.  If you are considering a modern style, then high gloss flat style doors are a good option.  The door design is uncluttered and the high gloss will reflect light creating a brighter atmosphere.

If your kitchen is a dark area, then it might be a good idea to choose a bright coloured worktop.  Try to imagine a small kitchen with black worktops.  Now imagine what happens when light hits the worktop.  The dark colour will kill the light straight away whereas a light coloured worktop will shine and reflect light, again giving an brighter feel.  It's not always necessary, but a bright worktop can be a good choice.

The same goes for your kitchen floor.  Try to keep your floor tiles or linoleum a bright colour again to reflect light.  If your floor can be a shiny finish as well this will help.

One other thing that's important in any kitchen, but particularly a small kitchen, is to plan your lighting.  Natural light can't be beaten but also plan in cabinet lights to lighten up the worktop area.  To brighten up the floor space, why not consider lighting in the kick board.  LED lights give a wonderful effect and can help eliminate dark shadows on the floor.
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Irish Kitchen Designers Institute