5 Tips For Designing A Small Kitchen

Design tips

Arguably the most fulfilling space for me to design is the kitchen. It’s one place in the home where everyone tends to gather. So much of our lives happen in the kitchen! We all dream of having a brand new custom space, with a large island and more cabinetry than we know what to do with, right? The reality is that a lot of us have little kitchens, especially those in big cities. Sometimes it can be hard to understand how to make such small spaces function for our unique needs, while still looking beautiful. We’ve designed our fair share of kitchens, and seen all shapes and sizes, but you don’t have to sacrifice style for function, I promise!

brass sink in front of brick wall

Start with your floor-plan

A functioning floor plan is important in any size of space, but it is especially when it come to small kitchen design! A beautiful kitchen with an awkward layout simply wont work. Make sure your sink, refrigerator, and hob are all easily accessible and that there is sufficient worktop space by each one for easy use. Pay close attention to the cabinetry layout to make sure there is ample storage for those items you use day-in-day-out.

Walk through the space to decide what layout will work best for you and your sous-chef. Every aspect of the layout, from floor plan to cabinetry, will make the difference between a small kitchen that drives you mad, and a small kitchen that you adore.

white marble kitchen sink with soap

Think carefully about lighting

If your kitchen is small, it is especially important to make sure your lighting is doing its job properly. No matter how many tricks you employ to make it feel larger, poor lighting will always contribute to a space feeling small. If there is no island to hang pendants over, we love to hang one above the kitchen sink, both to add another level of lighting and to make sure you aren’t doing your dishes in the dark! We also love installing wall lights above open shelving or a window. Flush mounts or recessed lighting on the ceiling will add to the overall brightness of the space. Lighting can and should be your ally when thinking about small kitchen design.

antique sink basin with plants and scrubbing brush beside

Don’t be shy

Just because your kitchen is small, doesn’t mean your ambition has to be! Pay attention to every detail, from cabinet hardware to window treatments, to the objects styling your worktops. Each of these elements will go a long way in making the space feel beautiful. Make every single element a feature in the design! From the cabinetry colour to the appliances and the flooring. In a large kitchen all of these elements could be overwhelming, but if the kitchen is small and you stick to a specific colour palette, it works. Where space is lacking, allow the design to speak for itself.

open kitchen drawers in dark green colour

Break up the cabinetry

In a small space, intelligent storage is crucial. However, too much cabinetry can feel heavy and overwhelming, so we like to add one or two elements that break it up a bit. Usually, this is achieved by opting for a range hood instead of a microwave vent with additional cabinetry, as well as installing some open shelving. If open shelves aren’t your thing, a nice compromise is glass doors on some of your cabinets. These small changes will make a big impact in how open your kitchen feels. 

light grey kitchen cabinets

Accessorise with utility

When space is limited it’s so important that even the accessories on your worktops have a purpose! Simplify things by putting away anything that doesn’t need to be out all the time – your juicer, your mixer, your toaster, etc. Less clutter will make the space feel open. Choose accessories that are both beautiful and functional, to make life easier while adding character and warmth. I love a beautiful jar to hold cooking utensils, pretty jars for storing treats, a cute brush set for scrubbing dishes, and a soap duo that looks like it belongs!

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