How to make the most of a smaller kitchen

Not everyone has the luxury of a large, light-filled space for an impressive open plan kitchen/breakfast room with countless units - house size, layout or budget may not always allow for this.

If you have a small kitchen, it does not have to be the end of the world. There are plenty of people who prefer the idea of a smaller, more cosy space for a kitchen; minimal space does not have to mean settling for a gloomy, claustrophobic kitchen.

A small kitchen is not necessarily a problem in itself if the space that you have is utilised well and you have made the best decisions about your layout, appliances, and storage options. If you are working with a smaller space, it forces you to be more selective with the design and features and to really think hard about what will work well for you. The end result can look terrific as well as being completely functional.


In any smaller kitchen, the last thing you want is clutter. You, therefore, need to think carefully about what you use regularly and what appliances and utensils serve a specific purpose for you – when you have limited counter space you do not need items that barely get used. Instead, think about moving them to another room, storing them or even getting rid of them altogether!

Storage solutions

Good storage is an essential consideration for a small kitchen. As well as the usual cabinets and shelving, think about extra storage options such as under-shelf baskets, cupboard organizers, drawer dividers and even magnetic knife racks to work hard for you and make the best use of your space.

Open shelving

Tall kitchen cabinets are a good option for maximizing storage in a petite kitchen, but they can sometimes make a kitchen feel stuffy and can block out natural light. Mixing open and closed kitchen storage is a great idea for smaller kitchens – open shelving looks less ‘boxed in’ and can therefore make a space appear bigger at the same time as allowing creative storage.

Eye-catching jars, containers and baskets that can double up as storage on your open shelves are a great design feature, whilst less aesthetically pleasing items can be hidden away in cabinets.

Wall space

Walls are also a great opportunity to make use of dead space and can actually become a striking feature of your kitchen. Hanging pots, pans or kitchen roll holders frees up counter and cupboard space - a practical storage solution that keeps things within easy reach but can look great too.

Countertop space

Just as important as storage space is countertop space. It is obvious that a small kitchen does not have the room for a huge island which would create plenty of additional preparation and cooking space. However, if you like the space and flexibility that an island can give you, you could create a smaller version with a freestanding island or butcher’s block. Although they are far more compact than a traditional island you can still benefit from the additional storage and surface space.

Similarly, a small integrated breakfast bar can be a very useful addition to a small kitchen as the space can be used for food preparation when not being used for dining. And choose seating that can easily be stored under the breakfast bar when not in use to create that extra much-needed space.

Use of colour/light

Choosing light/bright colours for smaller spaces tends to be the general principle – just because you might have a small kitchen it does not need to feel small. Choosing lighter colours and glossy finishes can brighten up any room. And the brighter your kitchen is, the bigger it is going to seem.

Similarly, when choosing kitchen blinds you should steer towards lighter colours – or to really let the natural light work its magic, why not go without window furnishings altogether?

Decluttering, clever storage solutions, open shelving and imaginative use of colour and natural light can all create an illusion of space in a small kitchen. Even if the room is not big in square footage, you can still have a beautifully designed room if you make the best of what you have – after all ‘all good things come in small packages.

At Mas Kuchen, our kitchen designers have over 22 years’ experience in the kitchen design industry. They would love to help you with your kitchen project - whatever the size of your kitchen. They take pride in tailoring each project to meet your needs, with inspiring but practical ideas and designs.

Call us on 01189 432 100 or contact us here to book a consultation appointment.

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