When designing a small kitchen, planning is everything. First, it’s a good idea to assess your possessions to make sure you’re not hanging on to superfluous equipment. Once you know how much storage you need, you can start planning the kitchen layout. If you’re a keen chef, you will need to make your space work harder to squeeze everything in and guarantee enough room to cook.
‘The best way to do this is to have all the essentials, but in compact form,’ says Rebecca Benichou, founder of Parisian studio Batiik, which specialises in overhauling compact spaces. ‘For example, a small sink and hob will free up your countertop for food preparation.’ Rebecca also recommends seeking out combined appliances, such as a space-saving oven-and-dishwasher duo. Try candy-domestic.co.uk for a selection of multitasking appliances. Rebecca’s preferred design for smaller spaces is to ‘hide’ the kitchen by integrating it within existing architecture. ‘It shouldn’t look like a kitchen,’ she explains. Cupboards should open up and slide back, housing a kettle, blender and chopping boards.
Flexibility is your friend, with portable and freestanding kitchen island options becoming increasingly attractive for the spatially challenged.
When space is at a premium, clever storage is key. This can be implemented in a wealth of ways, from slender floor-to-ceiling cabinetry to deep drawers. Overhead racks and wall-hung shelving will also help to free up additional space – but don’t forget to keep your excess clutter in check. The less items you have out on display, the roomier your kitchen will appear. Try string.se for a selection of space-saving units.
From reclaimed wood to polished stone, the right materials and fixtures can upscale even the simplest and smallest of kitchens. For inspiration, start by collating images from various sources – whether from magazines or Pinterest – to define your aesthetic. Then you can start to re-create that look to suit your space. Colourful MDF cabinets, eye-catching splashbacks, mirrored panels and worktops presented at interesting angles all help to create focal points and add interest to hub kitchens.
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Smart ideas for the compact kitchen
This is an edited extract from Kitchen Living by Tessa Pearson, published by Gestalten, price £35, gestalten.com. To order a copy for £28 until 12 May, visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15