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July 11, 2012, 10:40 am betterhomesgardens
Small kitchens require greater planning and better organisation, but this doesn’t mean they can’t be stylish and give you all the space you need to prepare, cook and dine.
There’s simply no room for clutter in a small kitchen, so make sure you’ve pared down your essential items to just what you need. This might mean waving goodbye to the bread maker, rice cooker and juicer that you keep meaning to use but never do. Make a list of what you can’t live without – whether it’s your coffee grinder or blender – and then consider whether there are smaller versions you could buy to save space.
Shrinking your appliances is just one way of maximising the space you have to work with. You can also shrink your sink and draining board and reduce the amount of crockery you own too. Unless it’s likely you’re going to be entertaining a dozen people for dinner on a regular basis, think about cutting down the number of plates, glasses and mugs you own. While you’re at it, make sure you don’t hoard food in cupboards and that you only buy what you need.
There are a few clever design tricks you can use to make smaller kitchens seem bigger than they actually are. Laying floor tiles on the diagonal, for example, creates a sense of space by elongating the room. Likewise, keeping the colour scheme monochromatic and neutral and using whatever natural light is available all help to make a small room seem more light and airy than it is. Think about doing away with curtains or blinds completely, or installing a glass ceiling or mirrored splashback. Try to create a kitchen with clean lines and keep surfaces as clear as possible.
In a small kitchen, you need to be innovative when it comes to storage space. Use all the vertical space you can by choosing tall narrow units, preferably with glazed doors, or even open shelving, which should help make the room feel less claustrophobic. If your kitchen comes with sloping roofs or other angles, consider installing cabinets or shelving that makes the most of these odd spaces.
Interior storage needs to be maximised too, by using accessories like drawer dividers, containers that hang on the back of doors and cupboard carousels. Stacking saucepans and containers also save space inside cupboards, while items like magnetic knife holders and hooks from IKEA offer a great way of moving items off the surfaces to areas that might otherwise not be used.
Inlay a cutting board into the countertop and use a glass cover for your sink to create more preparation space. Even think about having an electric hob installed. If it’s flush to the counter, this also provides extra prep space.
Make sure that your surfaces don’t become re-cluttered by creating a space elsewhere in the house for things like mail and paper.A small kitchen can actually be an even greater design masterpiece than a big kitchen because its size allows you to get even more creative.