So, you’d like more kitchen space? Well, join the club – there are literally millions of households the world over with the same problem! Of course, you could move house to a bigger property. You could even build an extension to your current home to give you that much needed space.
However, while these two solutions might be an option for some homeowners, for many more they simply aren’t practical or realistic.
So, what can you do? Well, by carefully (even cunningly) making the most of the space you do have – and by taking on a few tips – you can transform even the smallest of kitchens into a space where cooking, socialising, and all other aspects of your daily routine involving the kitchen feel effortless and enjoyable.
Simply follow our guide for How to maximise your kitchen space.
Kitchen Space: Maximise storage
If you want to make the most of your kitchen space, you must maximise the storage you have. The first stage of this is to declutter your cabinets, drawers and worktops. This means decluttering like you’ve never decluttered before. You might call it the spring clean to end all spring cleans! You need to be ruthless. Only if an object or appliance gets regular use should it be in the kitchen. Otherwise, shift it elsewhere. Just as you might adjust your wardrobes according to the changing seasons, do a similar thing with the kitchen. The slow cooker probably won’t get much use during the summer; the juicer might not be particularly busy in the winter.
Decluttering is important and it will make a real difference – but it will only get you so far. Ultimately, adding new storage solutions will be necessary if you are to maximise your kitchen space. For example, integration of accessories and appliances is a great idea to save space, wherever possible. A great and ingenious idea is an integrated chopping board. This is a godsend in a small kitchen. It will be easy to access and when you are not using it, it can be hidden away from view. This frees up valuable countertop space and helps you to achieve a tidy and uncluttered look.
Storage, storage, storage
With a small room, it’s even more important to make the most of all available space. This includes tricky areas and corners. Narrow shelves and cupboards are ideal for short walls and are a brilliant way to house mugs or glasses. These days, you can find some truly ingenious rotating corner storage ideas too. Often known as floating storage, it effectively brings the contents of the cupboard to you. Corner storage comes in a variety of styles. They can be curved base, magic corner or twin-carousel. They can be the ideal place to accommodate spice racks, wine coolers, or even the likes of oven trays.
Drawer Storage Solutions
The days of drawers becoming the land that time forgot and a catch-all for every piece of junk imaginable could be a thing of the past. Cutlery inserts and all manner of drawer inserts can provide excellent solutions for everything from standard cutlery to specialist knives to scissors or pizza slicers. The modern kitchen is home to a wide range of gizmos and gadgets and there’s no reason now why everything can’t be stored neatly in the kitchen.
Other ways to maximise storage
If cabinet and drawer space is in short supply, you need to make the most of the walls. Shelving can be a genuine design statement and it is also a fabulous way to house anything from pots and pans to tea, coffee and sugar canisters. Just make sure you don’t over-fill the shelves. You don’t want them to become a dumping ground and to look messy and cluttered.
Perhaps surprisingly, even bins and recycling containers can be aesthetically-pleasing in the kitchen. Okay, this might be because you hide them away, but still… when hidden behind a cupboard door, integrated bins are a stylish addition to any kitchen. If you can, remove unsightly bins from view and create extra floor space to boot.
If space is tight, you are unlikely to have the luxury of a larder or pantry. However, cabinet door racks and pull-out organisers are the next best thing. Not only are you maximising kitchen space, you are also keeping everyday items, such as jars and tins, in easy reach.
Make the most of your kitchen space with a kitchen island
If your kitchen is on the small side, a kitchen island might not be the most obvious choice of space-saving solution that immediately springs to mind. It’s probably something that you have dismissed out of hand because you don’t think you’ll have enough space.
The truth is that virtually any size and layout of kitchen can accommodate an island design to enhance its décor and ambience – and make best use of space. There are caveats, of course. As a general rule of thumb, you should leave at least 42 to 48 inches of open space around your island. Similarly, if your kitchen is less than 13 feet wide, you probably do need to concede that an island isn’t for you.
The beauty of a kitchen island
The key thing to remember about a kitchen island is that, although it takes up a lot of floor space, it also offers a variety of storage and space-saving solutions – regardless of what the main uses you want to get from an island are.
For example, if food preparation is to be the main use of your future kitchen island, consider how the unit can enhance the whole cooking process. An island can contribute to the space and layout of your kitchen design and create an effortless and seamless cooking experience, as you move between the worktop space to the fridge, cooker and sink.
Having a central space to operate from (something you can only get with an island) just makes everything easier. Furthermore, include a sink on the kitchen island and you save even more time, as you are not continually having to move between counter and sink, as you have it right there in front of you.
Make more effective use of the kitchen space you have
A kitchen island also presents you with many opportunities for clever storage solutions. Islands can be gadget heaven. Knife blocks and other accessories can be integrated into drawers. This makes utensils easy to access and keeps the countertop free. Similarly, an integrated chopping board can be a really handy addition.
Even if you have relatively small floor space, the amount of storage an island can provide still makes it a viable option. From integrated bins to food storage solutions, a kitchen island can be what you want it to be. Also, remember that an island also offers dining and entertaining space – and can be the perfect spot for the kids to be doing their homework too.
A kitchen island – even if it doesn’t give you any more space – will almost certainly help you make more effective use of space. At the end of the day, that’s what maximising your kitchen space is all about.
How to make your colour scheme work for you
The long and short of it is that any colour scheme can be applied to any room to good effect – but you need to carefully consider the size and shape of the kitchen, and the amount of natural lighting you have in the kitchen space.
Although it’s too simplistic to just say choose dark colours for larger spaces and light colours for smaller spaces, there are some guiding principles to bear in mind.
For example, in small, narrow or low-ceilinged kitchens, any darker tones run the risk of feeling oppressive and could make the space look even smaller, especially if there isn’t much natural light. Your colour scheme should incorporate a light tint. This will bring elements of white into the mix within the colour. It will make it feel brighter – even when darker shades are incorporated into the colour scheme.
With a larger kitchen space with plenty of natural light and a high ceiling, you can be more experimental with darker tones. You can be safe in the knowledge that the amount of space and natural light that the room has will ensure that it still feels light and airy. Conversely, although white is often the go-to pick in a really small kitchen, if you go all-white in a large space, the effect can be that it makes everywhere look sparse and cold. Lighter shades really need to be balanced with warmer and darker ones.
Getting the finish and colour right
Storage will keep things neat, tidy and uncluttered – and make it easier to move around. However, the colours and finishes that you choose will have a big part in making the room feel open and airy. For example, a gloss finish can really help to create the impression that the space is larger than it really is, as light is bounced around the room. Handleless cabinets can have a similar effect too, as well as creating a sleek and uncluttered look.
Lighter colours are the simple way to make the kitchen feel bigger. Neutral colours and pastels work with both traditional and contemporary design schemes. Darker colours can still be used. In fact, they can look truly stunning. It’s just important to make sure that they are balanced with lighter walls or flooring, so that the space isn’t overwhelmed.
Adding extra bits and pieces
In a small space, it is important not to overcrowd things as it will make things feel cluttered before you know it. However, adding a few clever bits and pieces can help you to save more space than they use up. From hooks on the back of doors to stylish wicker backets, there are effective storage solutions everywhere you turn.
Being savvy with the space you have is one of the most effective to maximise your kitchen space. If you like more advice or have any questions about creating space in your kitchen, just get in touch with the Kitchen Warehouse team.