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4m read

How to Design a Small Kitchen Space

How to Design a Small Kitchen Space

We all have our dreams of large country kitchens and open-plan spaces. Yet in reality, our kitchens never feel quite big enough for our needs. If you don’t have room to host huge dinner parties, it doesn’t mean you can’t design a kitchen that’s the envy of house guests and meets all your day-to-day needs too. 


Designing a functional and beautiful small kitchen space comes down to the details. This requires a little clever forward-planning. Even if you live in a small house, you can still create your dream kitchen. If you’re planning a kitchen remodeling project to redesign your small kitchen space, we’ve got some essential food for thought as your starting point. Here are our small kitchen design ideas. 

Double up on function

When space is at a premium, it’s worth considering elements with multiple functions to design a compact kitchen. This will not only make your day-today life easier, it will also give you more storage space. For example, built-in ovens that are a combination of microwave and electric are a great option. Alternatively, you may want to go for a SteamAid™ oven that combines the power of steam with the functions of traditional ovens. For families with no additional laundry room and small kitchens, washer dryers are great space-saving options. 


Double-function appliances and furniture also fit well in with minimalist kitchen design. The minimalist lifestyle offers a way for small kitchens to be more compact and free of clutter. Minimalism does not mean doing away with all your possessions, if that’s what you’re thinking. It does, however entail that you pare down with purpose and create a calming environment. Check out our tips on how to create a minimalist kitchen for more inspiration. 

Think about the decor

There are plenty of clever interior design tricks you can incorporate into your kitchen decor to give the illusion of more space in a small kitchen. Try using reflective surfaces in your kitchen design – this doesn’t have to mean mirrors. In fact, anything from stainless steel appliances to a high-gloss finish on your cabinets could add a little extra light. And of course, opting for light colors such as shades of white, or light blues can make any space feel lighter and larger than it actually is. Check out our post on how to create a brighter kitchen for more ideas.

Downsize your appliances

If you don’t have to feed a huge family, and want to make the most of your kitchen space, it’s worth considering downsizing your appliances. For example, building in a slightly narrower oven or dishwasher compared to the standard size could mean that three appliances take up the space of two. When space is limited, an integrated slimline dishwasher is the ideal solution. Our slimline dishwashers have a built-in design that fits snugly and seamlessly into your kitchen – ideal for a studio apartment or a small rural cottage. For more information, read our piece on how to pick the best appliances for your kitchen. 

Get creative with space

For all you problem-solvers out there, a small kitchen is the perfect opportunity to get really creative with space. For example, the space around your fridge could house additional shelves or cupboards. Custom-built corner shelves above your sink could be the solution for housing plates, while the space underneath your kitchen units could house small ‘toe kick’ drawers for items like tea towels. Once you start looking, everywhere has storage potential.

Think cleverly with cupboards...

The traditional top and bottom rows of kitchen cupboards may not be the best design solution for a smaller kitchen. If your floor space is limited but you have high ceilings, think about how you could extend your kitchen cabinets upwards. For example, how about an extra row of cupboards for the things that you don’t need to use every day? Install a rolling ladder, or simply get a pair of foldable steps, for when you need to access them.

... or think outside the cupboard completely

Alternatively, you could do away with cupboards altogether. Replace blocky cupboards with open shelving, creating an illusion of space by allowing the wall to show through the gaps. Look at what you could hang or display in the kitchen instead. For example, you could use piping to hang pans from, invest in a magnetic strip to store your chef’s knives, or hang mugs from hooks on shelving.

Add an island or a folding table

A kitchen island is an easy way to add more prep space to small kitchens... if space allows. Islands don’t have to be big, the bottom can be kept open to store pans, or backless seating that can be slid underneath and seamlessly stored. If you really can’t make space for an island, a folding table mounted on the wall would work equally well to give you extra prep and eating space.


Looking for kitchen inspiration? Browse our range of elegant, eclectic appliances to complete the look.