A small kitchen is an incredibly demanding space. While, at first, one could think that less space takes less time to design, one would be wrong. Actually, it is the exact opposite. To design a fully operational, practical and aesthetic small kitchen, we need a good project and a deep knowledge of the space we are dealing with.
While we have, previously, covered a lot of different kitchens, this article is somewhat special. Just think about it that way – when designing a large kitchen, the only thing that limits us is our own imagination and budget. In this case, however, the structure of our house has no mercy over us – we have to accept the terms it gives us. Not everyone has the option to break the walls in his house to connect his kitchen with a living room, some of us are just stuck with the scarce space our kitchens provide.
Okay, enough with the scares. It is not like we can’t help it at all. Stay with me through this article, and we will try to give you some valuable advice, on how to change designing a small kitchen from a horror story to a fairy tale.
Choose the right furniture for your kitchen shape
In small, thin rooms, the most important thing is to make it easy to use, and easy to walk around the scarce space. The most frequently used furnishing pattern is called type “ L “. In such furnishing pattern, the furniture and appliances are placed along two, perpendicular walls. This option is the most popular, yet not the only one available. Remember, if the standard furnishing method does not sit with you well, for any reason, you can always choose a one-row furnishing pattern.
There are also some other shapes to pick from, we are just trying to give you a hint about what to pay attention to. Check them out and pick the one that best suits your kitchen shape! Also, to gain some valuable space, try to go for modern appliances, which usually are of a more ergonomic shape, leaving you more space to walk on. The most punishing mistake some people make is choosing wrong appliances for their needs – a house with two inhabitants rarely needs a four- burner oven.
Windows are a bliss!
If you have a window or two in your kitchen, consider yourself lucky. First of all, it is a great way to light up your space and gets rid of the feeling that your kitchen happens to be your basement.
Because the window is already there, we do not have to think about some fancy, demanding illumination systems for lighting your kitchen – we might still consider them, however, purely for the aesthetic values. It is usually a safe bet to leave the window bare, so get rid of any sheets, curtains or blinds and just enjoy the fresh, natural sight. A source of daylight creates a great atmosphere in our kitchen, its warm tone fits especially a delicate, bright kitchen. An additional plus to having a window in your kitchen is the sense of depth it provides.
If we do not have a window in our kitchen, we should either create one or get ourselves a mirror, as it shares some of its values.
Don’t neglect your floor!
Your kitchen’s floor is a very important space. Above all else, we have to pay attention to the comfort of its usage. Ceramic or stoneware tiles may be practical, easy to maintain and do not require any special cleaning treatment, but, unfortunately, are quite cold. Such floor, while is very time-resistant, has the low endurance to mechanical damages. A broken tile is not a very pleasant view.
On the other hand, a wooden floor warms up the interior, adds a light undertone to it and fits very well with delicate, modern and rustic kitchens. Bright floors of light design are especially good to use in kitchens of limited space, and that is just what we are dealing with here. They make our kitchen seem larger and more spacious than it really is, and that is exactly what we need.
Easy on the eye, subtle paint
As always, the color of your kitchen walls is incredibly important, but even more so in the case of a small kitchen. If you choose the wrong paint, your interior will feel tight and unattractive.
Intensive shades of colors cause aggression, sadness, and overall sadness. Well, at least, that is what specialists say. Be it as it may, strong colors for sure reduce our space, visually, and may feel overwhelming. While this can be avoided in case of larger kitchens, where we can create a few points of contrast and break the tones with ease, it is not so easy in a small kitchen.
If we are to visually increase a smaller space, it is always worth it to use white paint or subtle, pastel shades of color. They bring in a bit of a romantic atmosphere, while not reducing the size of our kitchen.
Use every inch of your space
While trying to make our space seem bigger, it is important we make good use of every inch that is at our disposal. In a small kitchen, every gap is worth it to be put to use.
In this picture, you can see how cabinets with glass fronts were filled with kitchen tools. Putting your stuff in the glass front, not only do we gain valuable space, but also create an interesting form of kitchen decoration. Tableware, orderly hidden behind the glass, suddenly looks very tidy and neat, instead of stealing space and creating a mess in your small kitchen. Thanks to that, we don’t have to use any additional decoration – your items of everyday use become the decoration themselves.
Additionally, the glass always adds depth and a three-dimensional character, so do not be afraid to use it in your contemporary design!
Make good use of your vertical space
Most of us arrange our kitchen only up to, more or less, half way through. We are often afraid that by furnishing the entire wall, all the way from the floor to the ceiling, leaving only a gap midway for the counter top, we will overwhelm the space and make it feel heavy and unfriendly. Nothing could be further from the truth!
The source of our fears usually stems from poorly chosen furniture and mismatched color. Above all else, when trying to visually increase our space, by using the vertical space, we should pick smooth, bright cabinet fronts. They do not overwhelm your interior and feel fresh and light.
Another issue is the color of your walls – again, it should match the color of your kitchen furniture. Thanks to that we acquire the sense of depth, and the massive furniture sort of blends in with the wall, and instead of feeling heavy, becomes almost unnoticeable.
Lacquered cabinet fronts make your kitchen twice as big
Another way to handle your scarce space is betting on lacquered cabinet fronts. Thanks to the glossy surface, your light, be it daylight or artificial illumination, is going to reflect from the cabinets, increasing the entire kitchen space.
The reflexes of your kitchen appliances, visible in lacquered furniture, influence the feeling of depth and make our interior feel way more spacious at the same time.
Remember, that we have to be subtle about everything, so do not use too many textures and colors in your kitchen – this might make your kitchen feel overwhelming and heavy. Simple forms, uniform appliances, and light colors – that is the direction you should head in. Abiding these three rules, we will create an ideal interior, visually bigger, that will become the highlight of your entire house!
Mess is your worst enemy
Do not try to decorate the space you have available to you at all cost. Minimalism and elegance – these are the basic principles when dealing with modern kitchens, but even more so when talking about a small kitchen.
Every unneeded addition, element of decoration or pattern can disrupt the design and create the atmosphere of a mess, leading to reducing the optical size of our kitchen.
Bet on intelligent, functional solutions. Why not install a hanging lamp, on which you can keep your kitchen tools, such as frying pans?
Maybe it is time to move your kitchen somewhere else?
Okay, we have covered some important basics for those of you who have a small kitchen room, and just can not, for one reason or another, break down the wall between the kitchen and a living or dining room.
How about moving out of the room entirely, though?
Maybe a good idea to consider is moving your entire kitchen to your living room if its size allows you to? Mind you, there is no all that much space needed in your living room, to install a small kitchenette.
In this picture, you can see such a solution. There are still things to consider, though, such as organizing the kitchenette the way that allows you to use it easily, without interrupting your living room activities.
All you really need is a small fraction of the living room because you are not going to keep here all the stuff that people normally keep in their kitchens. The room you just moved out of will do for a great storage room, where you can keep a lot of stuff, kitchen tools included!
A peninsula or a kitchen island is all you need to separate your small kitchen from the living room, and suddenly instead of a tight, heavy kitchen, you have your own, modern cooking paradise!
Subtle, gentle, elegant… but not boring!
After all the talk about keeping your small kitchen toned down and light, I think it is important to note it does not mean you can’t decorate your kitchen at all!
All you have to do is think outside the box – usually, when thinking decoration, we mean additional items of aesthetic value. Well, it is hard to add such items when your kitchen hardly leaves us any room to walk, right?
Fear not, kitchen designers did not cast us away. Just look at this glamorous backsplash. Uses no space at all, yet breaths a blow of fresh, fancy air into your kitchen. Some flat painting is also okay to use, as long as you do not flood your kitchen with them. Use common sense and we are sure everything is going to be just fine!
While we are in this area of kitchen design – having a white, light kitchen does not mean you can not add any color!
Having used white cabinets in our kitchen, we might add a bit of color or some fancy patterns if we find the right places to do so. A decoration wall panel or a fancy mosaic on your floor present themselves extraordinarily original and interesting while adding a Scandinavian touch to our kitchen.
The form that our decoration will take depends on our creativity, just remember to not overdo it.
Consider floating shelves
Not everyone is a big fan of cabinets. While spacious and capacious, they might feel heavy ( unless you have read our previous paragraph, that is!). Anyway, let’s just agree that some people do not love them all that much, and would kill for an alternative.
Luckily for you, there is an alternative. While, when having a small kitchen, a place to store your items is crucial, you can install floating shelves instead of upper cabinets.
Floating shelves usually present themselves lighter and are less heavy on the eye, than their more popular sisters. In small, thin rooms, it is important to reasonably manage the space available. Above all else, we want our interior to present itself original, functional and modern – as opposed to the small kitchen we are used to, which is overwhelming, heavy and gloomy.
Thanks to the floating shelves we can expose our herbs, spices or a fancy tableware, bringing some color into the kitchen, without the need of painting anything.
We hope we managed to make designing a limited space kitchen a little easier for you. At the same time, remember it is important to look at the bright sides. A small kitchen is a more demanding one – which expands our creativity and lets us explore our imagination.
Try to look at the situation as if it was a challenge to overcome, and not a curse. If you manage to mesmerize your guests with a small kitchen, your glory as a kitchen designer will be way bigger than if you had unlimited space, right? Therefore, a small kitchen is a high risk, high reward situation. So go for the reward and stay creative!