Small kitchens, successfully

This post is result of a reader comment: ‘My kitchen is tiny.  How can I make it stand out form the crowd?’

Because we feel passionately that tiny kitchens can still be brilliant with some careful design thoughts, here are our ideas on making the most of a small space. Please note not all of the kitchens are necessarily ‘small’, but are chosen to represent our ideas.

Opening up

By making the kitchen open-plan, or merging the room with another designated living space, it immediately diminishes the ‘small-kitchen’ feel.  The beautiful design above, with alternating mirror and polished wood cupboard fronts, only stretches one wall and a central island.  Reflected and pendant lighting make the space feel larger, whilst the careful design choices make all attention focus on the scheme rather than the size.

Go handleless

White, handless cupboards remain a timeless look for modern kitchen designs.  This masterful example makes a feature of the lack of features!  Ideal for a small kitchen, where every inch of space counts – there’s no allowance for clutter in a room like this.   Subtle choices such as the under cabinet lighting, and the chandelier-style extractor take the kitchen to the next level.

Considerate layouts

Maybe erring larger than ‘small’, this kitchen still has some clever lessons that apply exactly to small kitchens.  The thoughtful layout is the standout feature, making the most of every square metre.  Complementary shades of blue create a bold yet tasteful palette, from which touches of brass emerge, alongside wicker and coastal elements.

Small but perfectly formed

This considerate kitchen not only makes the use of existing inbuilt cupboard space, it also proves how islands can still work in small areas!  Neatly lining two sides of an open plan space, the room feel spacious and airy, with thanks to the abundance of natural light.  We especially like the contrasting black grout between the white metro tiles, and the marble wrap-around extractor hood! 

White space

Enlarge any room by filling it with light and neutral colours. This modern white horseshoe-shape kitchen uses mirror finish metro tiles to reflect natural light, whilst the bright white surfaces lift the space and make it appear a reasonable size.  A matt black tap is very on trend, and fresh flowers and artwork are used to bring touches of colour to the design.

Opt for one-wall

One wall kitchens are having somewhat of a design moment and lend themselves to the topic of small kitchens…  Turning the room into more of a casual living area, this narrow kitchen uses bold black and white cabinetry to shape the space.  With a focus on details such as the leather door handles and the exposed light bulb pendants, the room feels thoughtful and welcoming, not ‘small’.

Double the drama

What you haven’t got in space, make up for in style!  This tiny kitchen space uses the most incredible finishes, blending tastefully together to create a really stunning area.  A ribbed texture on the navy handless cupboards, a glowing metallic bronze on the upper units…seamlessly brought together by a heavily veined marble worktop and splashback.  Impressive?  You said it.

Display your personality

If you haven’t got space for large kitchen islands, bar areas or breakfast bars…there’s still plenty of potential for an intriguing kitchen design.  Aside from interesting cupboard and hardware choices, why not showcase mementos or interesting kitchenware to bring personality to your kitchen?  Displayed on open shelving, walls and worktops, this scheme embraces a vintage character.  A glass cloche covers a freshly baked cake, antique weighing scales, and old wooden bar stools make the small space fascinating and inviting.

Look upwards

To make a room feel larger, distract the eye by drawing it upwards or towards some striking feature.  This small kitchen makes the most of it’s high ceilings by suspending a trio of white pendant lights from a ceiling beam. Even oversized lights can work well in small kitchens, turning up the drama and creating a sense of the unexpected.

Embrace the ‘cosy’ aesthetic

There’s something about a small kitchen, with low, beamed ceilings and stone floors… By filling it with traditional shades such as the ‘old white’ of the cabinets, and using traditional shaker units, a space is given an air of heritage and homeliness. Add an Aga into the mix, and boots by the back door - a small kitchen suddenly becomes desirable.