Whether a large or small kitchen space, if it is poorly laid out this can easily lead to annoyance and frustration for the user. Often this means not enough storage space, an inadequate working space, and the incapacity for more than one person to be present in or else work in the kitchen at the same time. If you have ever experienced this you will fully understand the importance of a small kitchen design with a layout that has been specifically and carefully planned to meet all of the homeowner’s needs. This in turn results in a far happier user experience! For anyone currently considering a new kitchen for a space of limited size, the following guidelines will help you avoid a poor design, and instead help you achieve the most from a small kitchen space!
Small kitchen design layout and functionality
Achieving a workable, useable kitchen layout should be your starting point in small kitchen planning, which we strongly advise you do with the help of a professional kitchen designer. Work with them to establish your kitchen uses and needs so they can incorporate all of the features and components you require within the best possible layout. By assessing the size and shape of a space, a designer can establish what kitchen layout it lends itself best to, whether Galley, L-Shape, G-shape etc., and a fresh pair of eyes can often suggest a layout you hadn’t thought of yourself or considered workable. What’s more, even for a very small kitchen space a highly efficient layout is still essential for enabling comfortable use. LWK Kitchens achieve this by defining areas for specific tasks within a kitchen, including an area or zone for storage, preparing food, cooking, and washing up. And even the smallest of kitchen spaces can still include an area for sitting and eating at if you require it. Key to making the kitchen efficient is ensuring a fluid and easy movement between kitchen zones, enabling rather than hindering everyday tasks.
Small kitchen storage options
Frequently in a small kitchen space a lack of storage is a problem so should be carefully planned at an early stage of the design process. Ensuring enough storage options makes it possible to achieve as well as maintain a cleaner, tidier kitchen space. This, along with more free space makes using the kitchen instantly easier and more enjoyable. Where space is limited in a small kitchen it is essential not to waste it and there are many integrated kitchen storage options available that can help with this. For example, pop up sockets maintain a smooth worksurface when not in use, plinth drawers add extra, accessible space, whilst narrow shelving can easily offer storage of small items such as sauces and spices in place of a filler panel. Similarly corner units including Le mans pull outs make use of otherwise dead kitchen corner space. Another option is wall cupboards. These are spacious and well-placed for easy access above worktops, or else can fill otherwise empty kitchen recesses. Wall cupboards can also provide storage space above them for more infrequently used items such as blenders or bread makers. When planning small kitchen storage it is important not to forget taller household items such as vacuums, mops or brooms. If you have nowhere else to store them in your house but the kitchen then including a tall cupboard within your small kitchen design is essential.
Smart small kitchen appliances
Integrated appliances are the way forward for small kitchen designs, representing excellent space savers. Compact appliances such as a slimline 45cm dishwasher (rather than the standard 60cm width), variable length warming drawers and narrow fridge freezers are all highly functional whilst freeing up space for other use within the kitchen. A further advantage of compact kitchen appliances is that being smaller they frequently cost less and are more energy efficient. The Neff Slide and Hide oven is a perfect appliance for a small kitchen design, with a retractable door that opens to allow full, practical and safe access to the oven. Alternatively you can save on space by including combination kitchen appliances within your design such as a washer/dryer, fridge with freezer drawer or a combination oven with microwave function. All of these options are fully functional whilst purposely designed to save on space. Of course, the other way you can save on space is to limit the number of appliances included within your small kitchen design. This comes down to personal choice and requirement, but if you never use or can easily manage without a microwave or tumble dryer, then simply don’t include one!
The best small kitchen colours and finishes
The general recommendation is that lighter colour kitchen doors are best for small kitchen spaces, such as white, cream, light grey or cashmere, though this is by no means a hard or fast rule. Darker tones can be very successful for small kitchen spaces too, but often rely on additional factors to work. For example they usually require plenteous natural light into the kitchen via skylights, glazed bi-fold doors or a south facing kitchen space. Plentiful lighting will prevent a dark or gloomy kitchen environment and make for a much more comfortable, open working space. Light colours encourage this feeling, and especially so within a gloss kitchen door. Gloss kitchen finishes reflect light back across the room as it hits their surface, giving a sense of a larger, roomier space, which is ideal for small kitchens. Alternatively, or if you simply can’t make up your mind, you might opt for a two tone kitchen colour scheme for your design. In this arrangement dark base units will ground the kitchen, whilst lighter wall units will create the much needed bright and fresh feel without overpowering the already restricted space.
For further help in planning an efficient and successful small kitchen design please don’t hesitate to contact us.