Making the Most of your Small Kitchen without Compromising on Style
Calling All Over-Crowded Kitchens!
We’ve all been there; struggling to find space in our kitchens, especially with all the new, exciting and innovating 'must-have' appliances that are regularly becoming available to us. Cupboards begin to overflow and counter tops become over-crowded with the latest gadgets that you feel inclined to keep out on display, even though it hardly gets used.
This short guide aims to help you utilise the space you have in your kitchen and bring to light the innovative and multi-tasking appliances which will save you space in the long run.
Kitchen Image by 'briancarlock'/ Flickr
Tip 1 - Limit Your Appliances
Too many appliances bulking out your counter top space? Here are some appliances that can save the day.
The Quooker. Sick of constantly re-filling your kettle, twiddling your thumbs while waiting for it to boil? Let me introduce: the Quooker. The Quooker is a revolutionary integration of the kitchen tap and kettle, allowing it to provide cold, hot and boiling water immediately. The Quooker is ultra-safe and child protected, meaning it can be securely used in a family home without the concern of injury.
With its super-efficient design, the Quooker comes with a tap and a slim line tank which is hidden underneath. The Quooker’s standby usage is around 3 pence a day due to its patented high vacuum insulation. Whilst the Quooker is unfortunately not the most wallet-friendly purchase at £850 upwards, this piece is a real investment if you’re a fan of efficiency, space and innovation.
Tefal Actifry. Upon first sight, the Actifry looks like a fad, one-use chip fryer that can supposedly create a healthy batch of chips and more using only one spoonful of oil - that's unheard of, isn't it? And yet, its true, this innovative appliance out performs itself and can do so much more than make a batch of chips. The Actifry has the ability to create tasty stir-fry's, stews, casseroles, curries, risottos and even desserts. Say goodbye to your oven cooker!
Tip 2 - Magnetic Knife Racks
An attachable magnetic rack for kitchen walls is a great way to save space in a small or over-crowded kitchen. These racks can be used to display knives and kitchen utensils to generate further drawer or cupboard space. Magnetic racks add a modernized, industrial feeling to the kitchen, giving a professional and stylish edge in comparison to generic knife blocks and utensil holders that are taking up more space than necessary.
Due to the ultra strong magnet of around 800 Gauss, a magnetic rack will ensure your knives stay soundly on the wall. The placement of the rack is down to personal preference, so it’s easy to allocate enough space to keep them out of reach of children but convenient enough to reach for everyday use.
Magnetic racks can be extremely cheap to buy at around £10 upwards, and are available through a variety of brands. The standout brand for magnetic knife racks is Stellar, priced at around £18/£19, where they are available in two popular sizes of 30 – 45cm.
Magnetic Knife Rack Prices
VonShef Magnetic Knife Rack
GRUNDTAL Magnetic Knife Rack
Vogue Magnetic Knife Rack
Stellar Magnetic Knife Rack
Tip 3 - Portable counter tops
To tackle the need for more storage drawers or counter top space, a portable counter top, or a butchers block trolley can be introduced to provide a fresh area to prepare food. This is a great advantage to smaller kitchens, not only because of the additional storage, but because of their wheel function, which means the blocks can be easily transported from one place in the kitchen to another.
Depending on how much extra storage is needed, butchers blocks can come in various sizes and can come with various functions, including drawers, baskets, shelves, hooks and cubby holes. Whether you prefer the sleek and modern look or the warm, rustic and traditional look, most butchers blocks generally adds something to any kitchen space. However, it is possible to find one to perfectly match your kitchen in a large range of retailers such as IKEA, John Lewis, Argos and Wayfair.com.
Tip 4 - Colour is Key
White is always best for small spaces - you can make your small kitchen look indefinitely larger and more spacious just by using a dash of white paint. By using light colors, walls and cabinets seem to stretch out and viola!, you have yourself a bigger room than when you started.
Remember to use an understated colour scheme within your kitchen, its usually best to use pastels or colors close to white.
Which of these themes best describes your kitchen?
Tip 5 - Let in Some Light
Small or over-crowded kitchens can often feel dark and dingy, especially if there is an overflow of products and appliances against darkly-colored cupboards.
To counteract this, it is important that the kitchen is kept light to eliminate visual theft. Using open shelving is one way to introduce more light into your kitchen as well as utilising the wall space which may have previously been left bare. Floating shelves and glass doors add a stylish and contemporary way to display crockery or glassware.
One thing to remember when choosing open shelving in small kitchens is to stick to a cohesive colour palette and to display items which are similar in design, in order to minimise any clutter and make the room feel bigger than it actually is.
Try paring a white wall with an all white dinner set, for a modern look which disappears straight into its background.
Tip 6 - Plinth Drawers
Do you have unused space underneath your cabinets? Why waste it? Make the most of the space by installing Plinth drawers in the void between the floor and your cabinets and use them to store items such as oven trays, tea towels, unused crockery, cookbooks and anything else that would be easily store-able within them.
Greentree modern stylish Kitchens in North Wales use some of these special drawers. Plinth drawers are new and innovative, and can help transform a small crowded space into a resourceful and stylish one. Plinth drawers are available in many manufacturers, including Howdens, Hafele, Daro and more.
Tip 7 - Ceiling-high storage
Use every bit of your space by using ceiling-high cabinets and shelves. If your floor space is limited, wall space can make up for it! Why use halfhearted, short cabinets when it is possible to store so much more in larger ones? Place rarely used items or appliances on the higher shelving in order to quell your clutter, without having to get rid of absolutely everything!
Ensure a small gap exists between the cabinet and the ceiling, so that your room doesn't look cramped or even smaller than before you set out. This also gives your shelving or cabinets a 'floating' look, giving your kitchen a stylish and fashionable feel. Use sleek cabinets and, if possible, avoid handles so that your cabinets blend in to the wall without overly-dominating. Give it a go!
Tip 8 - The Smaller Details
Use hidden elements that are guaranteed to save room and provide a multitude of smart uses. By staying hidden these items save space while also making your kitchen look innovative, new and fashionable. Hidden details and items include:
A pull out/integrated chopping board - choose between a chopping board that can be installed and pulled out from a cabinet, or as a cheaper alternative, a chopping board that can be placed easily over your sink, acting as both a handy work space and a sink cover - perfect for hiding dirty dishes!
Clear room in your cupboards by installing a slim pull-out spice rack that can be easily pulled out for cooking. This is perfect for storing your many herbs, spices and seasonings in a secure and hidden rack, altogether allowing you more space in other cupboards that would otherwise be taken over by countless small jars! Not only does this handy invention allow you to easily and quickly find what you're looking for - its sleek look gives your kitchen an innovative and futuristic edge, and can come in a huge variation of styles and materials. Perfect for small spaces! You'll find these handy gems in an array of manufacturers including Wickes and Screwfix.com, even Amazon and Ebay, with prices starting at around £15 upwards depending on style and quality.
Suspended dish drying racks are the perfect solution to clear more counter top space. There are racks that hang above your sink, drying your plates and utensils mid-air. The racks come in numerous styles and materials - great to match any kitchen, and are sold in retailers such as IKEA with their GRUNDTAL rack is priced at a cheap £17, Argos and Lakeland.
Tip 9 - Use Every Nook and Cranny
A simple tip - but a useful one. Do you have sloping ceilings and awkwardly placed walls? why not make use of them by installing personalized cupboards and shelving units that can be built to suit the exact shape of your kitchen. Use up every corner to make the most of your small space!
These cute and useful spaces will make your kitchen look homely, while adding the huge benefit of more storage. From corner cabinets to shelves on doors - be creative!
Tip 10 - Hide the Washer and Dryer
Another handy tip would be to hide washing and drying machines in separate room - a common way to provide space for more cabinetry and appliances. This will declutter your kitchen while providing you with more space to store and cook.
An added bonus is the hidden washing!
Last Tip - Have Fun With Your Kitchen!
With these tips in mind you'll be well on your way to a clutter free, stylish kitchen within a small space. The main thing is - have fun with down-scaling your kitchen, be creative and ensure that your kitchen becomes the calming and stress-free space that everybody needs!