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Small Kitchens – Big Ideas

1. Extend your kitchen space

Creating your dream kitchen layout could be as simple as knocking down a wall and creating an open-plan kitchen/diner. Combining your cooking and eating areas will give you far more space to play with, and allows guests to marvel at your fabulous new kitchen as well as your culinary efforts.

2. Use your utility room

If you’re lucky enough to have a utility room, then start redesigning here. As well as a great place for white goods and other bulky appliances, your utility room is perfect for storing items that you’d usually cram into kitchen cupboards – from cleaning products to tins, or even just your rubbish and recycling.

3. Maximise floor space in small kitchens

Consider leaving the feet of base kitchen cabinets on display, or when concealing them, fit an indented plinth rather than one that causes the face of the unit to be flush with the floor.

Opt for wall-hung dining furniture like our NORBO drop-leaf table which can be stowed flat when not in use, as well as folding chairs to save space. Alternatively, incorporate a slender breakfast bar or kitchen island (ideally one with room underneath to store seating). Finally, think green and get rid of that enormous rubbish bin by installing a small kitchen bin under your sink, and keeping your recycling elsewhere.

4. Look closely at lighting for small kitchens

Kitchen lighting is a key factor in the kitchen design process and particularly important if your space isn’t blessed with plenty of natural light. Overhead spotlights and clever task lighting can be used to illuminate every area of your kitchen, opening up the space and making small kitchens feel larger.

Reflective surfaces are fantastic for bouncing light around the room. Think high gloss units, stainless steel worktops, and glass splashbacks. Consider floor tiles with a slight sheen, or lacquered wooden floorboards; and stay away from dark and heavy kitchen decor, as it will undo all your hard work.

5. Scale down your kitchen stuff

Slim-line integrated appliances are perfect for small kitchens, but if you’re reluctant to scale down then be practical about what you choose. If you’re a keen cook and entertainer, make room for a large oven, if you have a big family then choose a big dishwasher and roomy washing machine.

Think about extendable dining tables, or a bar style table and stools if it’s just the 2 of you or you live alone. Your kitchen should suit your lifestyle: there’s no point having a 12-seater kitchen table if you hate entertaining, or attempting to serve sophisticated suppers on a breakfast bar.

6. Declutter surfaces in small kitchens

There’s nothing contemporary about clutter: it’s unsightly and will detract from your new and spacious scheme. We don’t encourage you to hold on to your rusty old pots and pans (especially when IKEA have such a lovely range of kitchen accessoriesbut we know that there’s no escaping the amount of kitchen items that need a home. What’s the answer? Storage, storage, and more storage. Deep drawers, corner cupboards, wall-hung racks, free-standing shelving, organisers and dividers, food storage options – all affordable design solutions to help make the most of small kitchens.