Having a small kitchen isn’t the most practical situation, especially when you’ve just done a ‘big shop’ or you’re having people around for dinner. It can often leave you running out of cupboard space or tripping over yourself which is far from ideal. If you’re one of the hundreds of people struggling in your small or unusually shaped kitchen then it’s time to start doing something about it. In this blog we’re going to cover all the little life-hacks that will help you maximise your kitchen space.
Make the most of your kitchen storage
Without getting in to a panic and throwing shelves up everywhere, the first thing you can do is maximise the storage space you have already. You can do this my replacing cupboards with drawers; this will make things easier to pack, and easier to find. Unlike cupboards where you can often find yourself rummaging around for pots and pans, draws allow easy access to all of your kitchen items. Draws also look very neat and tidy, meaning even if the draws aren’t organised then no one will know the difference. Whereas, if the items were stored on a shelf the room would begin to look cluttered as the shelf gets overfilled and overused.
Another way in which you can incorporate more space within your kitchen is by adding ‘toe kick draws’. Toe kick draws are placed underneath the cabinets and help you make use of the wasted space that would be there otherwise.
Use your layout to your advantage
Before buying cabinets, worktops & a sink you might want to consider your design based around what shape of kitchen you have. For example, if you have a U-shaped kitchen layout it might be better to place some extra-slim cabinets, draws or add a pantry to make use of all the space in your kitchen. The last thing anyone wants to do is get half-way through their kitchen and realise there will be a gap. However, if you have already come across this issue then its worthwhile getting a roll out pantry until your next refurbishment.
Think about your sink
If you’re trying to maximise your space in the kitchen you’ve probably thought about shelving and hangers but you might have completely overlooked your sink. A single inset sink will save the most amount of space but it won’t allow for a draining area. If a draining area is required, as it is in most homes then you’re better off choosing an undermount sink. Typically, an undermount sink will already come with a built-in draining board which can also double up as extra surface space when necessary.
If you’re wanting to achieve the country-style appearance in your kitchen then you’ll want to opt for an apron sink (aka farmhouse sink). The only issue with apron sinks is that they usually take up a lot of space because they were made in a time when water was sparse and therefore the basin was made as large as possible to store more water. Make sure if you do choose an apron sink that you check the measurements and try to go one with a smaller capacity.
Avoid large handles on cupboards and draws
Even though handles are a very minor aspect in the kitchen they can amount up to be a huge annoyance and can quickly add up to steal a lot of your kitchen space. In tightly packed kitchens, you can’t afford to lose any valuable space therefore you should be looking for cabinets that have inset troughs you can grip or slim pulls that follow the line of your doors and draws. Handless kitchens & contemporary designs are heavily trending right now which means you won’t have to compromise on style either.
Choose smaller appliances
It’s often thought that the bigger the appliance is, the better it will be, but this isn’t strictly true. For busy families it might be a struggle to down-size the fridge freezer however there are plenty of smaller appliances if the ones you have now are getting in the way.
For example, some fridge-freezers can be as small as 18 inches wide, offering extra space for draws and cupboards. The same rule applies for cookers, some can be as little as 24 inches wide which will provide some more space for storage. If you live alone you could even go as far as choosing a compact cooktop with just 1 or 2 burners; these can be approximately 12-15 inches wide, there are plenty of options available out there.
Running out of countertop space? Consider a microwave draw, this will leave enough room for the toaster and kettle to go on the worktops.
Add a mini breakfast bar
If you don’t have room for a dining table in your kitchen but you want somewhere to sit and eat (other than the couch) you could consider sacrificing some of your cabinet space for a mini breakfast bar. There are plenty of free-standing countertops available that will make great breakfast bars without being too bulky. You won’t need any extra space for seating either if you opt for a bar stool that can be adjusted, or one that doesn’t have a back so it can easily be tucked away under the counter and out of sight.
Be smart with your shelving
Look past the obvious options when it comes to your shelving. There are numerous styles of shelving available, some which can be accessed from either side and attach to your wall or countertop, going right up to the ceiling. Remember, the idea of shelving is to add more storage but that shouldn’t be too obvious, fight the urge to add shelving everywhere it can fit. If you prefer to keep your items hidden away then it’s worth considering having a kitchen cabinet rather than shelving, this will provide more cupboard space as well as having additional shelving above which is usually hidden away behind doors.
Go bespoke to make the most of every inch
Last but certainly not least, for those who are really struggling with their kitchen space there is the option of going bespoke. Usually, kitchen cabinets leave a dust-trap gap above your cabinets but bespoke kitchens offer the opportunity to use all of your wall space with cabinets that go from floor to ceiling so it’s certainly worth asking your designer about what options are available.