Apartment living has many perks, but surplus space is seldom one of them. Our kitchens particularly seem to suffer when square footage is at a premium, and typically seem to be tucked in the most awkward corner of the building.
Luckily, a carefully planned revamp can transform even the teeniest kitchen into a bijou delight by following just a few simple steps.
Get rid of any utensils, tableware and kitchen gadgets that are damaged, mismatched or simply unused. If you can’t face abandoning high-end equipment, ask a friend or family member with more space if they can store it for a while, so you can always borrow it back.
Take stock of your space…
Sloped ceilings, low windows and protruding bulkheads don’t have to be an inconvenience. Sit down with an expert design team like the Brighton Kitchen Co, and get them to create bespoke storage profiles to revive previously dead spaces.
…And your stuff
Think about the kitchen objects you actually use, and adjust your storage to be the perfect size for housing them. Appropriately sized shelves, drawer inserts and containers can reveal a surprising amount of previously unused space. Pack infrequently-used implements at the back of cupboards or high up, and keep everyday items closer to hand – you’ll thank yourself later!
Petite kitchens can benefit hugely from slimline units, which open up the room to more light and greater floor space. Consider custom cabinets to make the most of high ceilings, and try replacing standing cupboards with deep drawer units to eliminate awkwardly reaching for items stashed at the back.
Plan your shelves
Floating shelves are great for navigating around oddly-shaped rooms, and create an illusion of space. Not only can you get microwaves and fruit bowls off the counter, but shelves give you a chance to display pretty glassware and serving dishes.
Invest in stylish, co-ordinated containers to keep knick-knacks from looking messy, and resist the temptation to use open shelves as a dumping ground for post, receipts and loose change.
Hack your small storage
Make the most of your space by trying some kitchen storage hacks. Frequently overlooked areas are splashbacks, window areas and cupboard doors, where racks, rails and hooks are a saviour. With a bit of creativity, you can hide just about anything neatly out of sight.
Pale colours are good; bland is bad. Definitely stick to a minimal palette (ideally three shades), but do have some fun with it. Combine muted tones for a subtle-but-edgy look, or introduce a natural texture, like wood, for warmth.
Reflective surfaces are the bijou kitchen’s best friend, so look for glass, metallics and high-gloss materials when choosing your countertops, splashback tiles and accents.
Work the illusion
Only a few details are needed to deceive the eye into thinking your kitchen is more spacious than it is. Bright lighting will keep dinginess at bay, and handleless cupboards and drawers will create clean lines that lengthen the room. Similarly, co-ordinating appliances and concealing fridges and dishwashers behind cupboard doors will create a cohesive pattern.
If you have an open-plan living space, keep the kitchen décor in tune to the rest of the room to blur the lines between areas and make it feel bigger.
Find harder-working appliances
Make the most of every inch with multi-functional, slimline kitchen tech. Microwave ovens and fridge-freezers are excellent 2-in-1 options, and using small-footprint dishwashers, sinks and bins, will maximise your space without compromising on efficiency.
A chopping board is the only thing you shouldn’t try to shrink, as a well-proportioned board can be safely balanced over a sink or hob to add an extra workspace in a pinch.
Don’t forget to eat!
If dining in the kitchen is a priority for you, make sure your furniture is functional as well as chic. Café-style sets can be neatly tucked away, and don’t block out too much light. Alternatively, a drop-leaf table will allow you to increase your dining area when it’s needed, saving space in the mean time. If formal dining is a rarity in your household, either a wall-mounted or freestanding fold-up table could be all you need.
Remember, small doesn’t have to mean humble
Rejoice in the limited dimensions of your tiny kitchen and splash out on more indulgent finishes and luxurious materials without breaking the bank. If you’re really on a tight budget then keep an eye out for counter offcuts, designer paint samples and end-of-line tile sets that are perfectly proportioned to your little space.