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DESIGN | 3 Big Tips For a Small Kitchen

I've dealt with such a wide variety of kitchens over my career & it's not unusual to plan a huge open plan kitchen in a new build, for the next client to request an small L-shape kitchen in a terrace. It's the beauty & the diversity of the property market that we have here in the UK & I love that every project comes with it's own challenges. It keeps my day interesting & keeps my mind working too. However, no matter the shape or budget for the kitchen, if you have a smaller space to work with don't think your kitchen has to feel cramped & difficult. These are some of my favourite tips that I usually apply when designing smaller kitchens. Keep in mind that every space is completely different so these may not apply directly to your project, but they will sure spark some inspiration for making your small space spectacular.

Embrace Negative Space

Contrary to popular belief, a small space doesn't have to be a cramped space. I've dealt with clients, time & time again where their idea to make the small space usable is to fill every single mm of the room with cupboard space, pretty much from the floor to ceiling & from the window to the door. I totally understand the thought process behind this & while most people want the storage space, I think the key to making a small space feel big is actually embracing negative space. The design shown below is the perfect example. While you may be tempted to use all 3 walls for wall units, this small space has instantly been transformed into a spacious & still practical kitchen by adding only 1 row of feature wall units.

Small kitchen - negative space

You can use dark colours

This one may not apply to all small kitchens but given there is a generous amount of natural light in the area, it's completely OK to use bold colours if that's your flavour. If you'd like to add a woodgrain, go ahead, if you dare to be bold with black, just do it. Any experienced designer will be able to advise you how dark you can go once they have seen the space, so get creative & add some colour.

Small kitchen - dark colours

Choose Appliances that fit the space

If your working with a slightly smaller area then you will need to get on board with the fact that you'll need slightly smaller appliances to keep them proportional to the space you have. I know it may be your dream to have a huge American fridge freezer & a metre wide range cooker but items like this can completely dominate a space if you're not careful; which will leave your new kitchen feeling cramped & unusable. Total opposite of what we're trying to achieve right!? So instead try opting for a built in single oven, a 4 ring hob & a standard built in fridge freezer. will provide you will all the cooking & storage space you need while still leaving room to move around the kitchen & giving extra space on the worktops for food prep. Don't be fooled though, a standard Fisher & Paykel oven has a huge 85L capacity, so although it requires little space you'll definitely fit that Christmas roast in!

Small kitchen - appliances

Small can still be mighty!

See you next time,




​​​​​​​Do you want to connect with other people who are undertaking kitchen projects too? Head over to the THE KITCHEN DESIGN GROUP on Facebook for ideas, inspiration, discussions, reviews & also tips & advice on renovating/building your dream kitchen. Anyone can join & get involved so be sure to add friends & family who may be interested too!


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