Creative ways to optimise a small kitchen

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Would we all love an enormous kitchen that would have the likes of Gordon Ramsey yelling expletives out of jealousy? Of course we would, but it's not always possible, is it? We don't think that a small kitchen is anything to get too upset about though, as with some creative thinking, solid design principles and determination, you can make even the most diminutive space feel far larger and undeniably functional.

Once you get out of the mindset of thinking that small means bad or unusable, you will start to see the potential of your kitchen in a whole new light, so let us inspire you to step back and see what is possible!

Have just enough for what you need

When you are looking to optimise a small kitchen, take the time to think about what you really need. Notice that we said need and not want there! If you accommodate all the essentials first, you can then see what room you have leftover for extras.

We love this small kitchen from Amarillo, as it has perfectly encapsulated what we mean. Storage, a cooker and even somewhere to eat have all been included in this design and yet the space remains uncluttered and wonderfully usable. Now that is magic!

Position tables well

When you have a far smaller kitchen than you might actually like, you have to give a lot of thought to how you are going to position larger items of furniture, such as tables. You might even have to accept the fact that your dining table cannot be in the your kitchen!

We think this is a great example of how to optimise a small kitchen, as the main dining table has been left out of the kitchen space altogether and the countertop has been given dual functionality in the form of a breakfast bar, to save room. Fantastic!

Add a little colour

Don't shy away from colour when you are looking to optimise a small kitchen. While white is known to help small areas appear larger and less cluttered, if you love bright hues and vivid shades, don't negate them altogether, simply use them in a more clever way!

We think this kitchen splashback is glorious and adds a really fun pop of personality, but it doesn't shrink the space. How? By keeping the rest of the walls and cabinets neutral, the colour doesn't take over, it is merely a lovely accent. Quick, grab the colour chart!

Use corners well

When every bit of available space is precious, you need to optimise your small kitchen however you can and we think that choosing to pay attention to wasted areas is a good way to start! We are talking about your corners!

Though this kitchen is by no means huge, it has still been able to accommodate a dining table. How? Because it has been pushed into the corner of the room where nothing else would fit or work quite as well! Shelves could have been installed there, for extra storage, but they would have looked bulky and overbearing, whereas this lovely little café style furniture set looks right at home.

Embrace minimalism

Taking a look around the same kitchen, we noticed another fantastic technique you can use to optimise a small kitchen and that is using minimalism

Picture this kitchen with a lot of items on the worktop. Suddenly, it looks a lot smaller doesn't it? Now imagine the cabinets in a different colour. That's shrunk the room too. By adopting minimalist principles of putting white to good use and keeping surfaces clear of clutter, this space looks far larger than it actually is, but with some subtle touches, such as the plants of the windowsill, it doesn't look bare or austere.

Be clever about your organisation

Our last tip to help you optimise a small kitchen is to think about your organisation carefully. A tiny area needs storage in the right places and functional additions that make the space easier to use. For a busy household, we love the idea of a chalkboard wall, as seen here, as this allows family members to leave each other notes, without having pieces of paper flying around everywhere and adds a little fun to even a small space. Charming!

For more divine kitchen inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Creative Kitchen Ideas. Large or small, we think you'll find some great ideas for your own kitchen!

Have you got a small kitchen that could benefit from some optimising? Which of these tips might you try? We'd love to know...
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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