Five ways to maximise every inch of a small kitchen

Posted: 30th Oct 2018

With over half of the UK's kitchens* now under 12 metres squared, homeowners are increasingly working in smaller areas when planning their new kitchen

However, there's no need to give up hope on achieving your dream kitchen.

Whether you're stuck with a narrow space or box room, there will be options, as Mike Lavers, the Category Manager for Kitchens at B&Q, explains...

1. Size up your room

The best place to start will be deciding on the layout that best suits the size and shape of your room.

If you're low on space, a single wall and U-shaped kitchen are both good options to consider. A single wall design works well for the more compact rectangular rooms, as it frees up the other side of the kitchen for additional furniture. In comparison, U-shaped kitchens maximise storage space, making it neat and tidy regardless of the size.

2. Eyes on an island alternative

If you consider a kitchen island to be the ultimate luxury, a peninsula could be for you. The big difference is that a peninsula is attached to the wall, meaning you only sacrifice access on one side. It actually offers many of the advantages you can expect from an island - for instance, added workspace, more storage and giving you the room to create a casual dining area.

It also offers an effortlessly timeless trend in aspirational kitchen design and works well in single wall or L-shaped layouts, allowing you to create a stylish, contemporary look.

3. Cabinet creativity

Are you after an underrated way to make a small kitchen work hard?

Well, how about getting inventive with your cabinets? This is all about working upwards - it's a great hack and helps to maximise the space above your worktop with wall cabinets and cupboards. These can then be used to store equipment or ambient foods, ensuring your kitchen remains clutter-free.

In the more narrow spaces, a pull out unit is ideal, while rotating carousel units suits corners, along with the more awkward shaped rooms. If you are especially tight on space, an ultra slim cabinet could be worth considering - it's a great space saving solution.

Lastly, think about this - would adding some hooks help you to hang up pots, pans and utensils? If so, you know what to add to your walls!

4. Appliances

Having a cosy space doesn't mean you can't add some of our favourite gadgets to your kitchen. There are some clever ways you can still add top of the range appliances to your smaller space - for instance, you can save on crucial worktop space and access by opting for a wall mounted microwave, a two zone hob or considering options like a slide and hide oven. This all helps to create a streamlined and unobstructed space.

In even smaller rooms, downdraft hoods provide excellent extractor fan options, providing a modern elegance as they smoothly integrating into worktop surfaces, whilst ensuring those unwanted odours stay at bay.

5. Colour smart

You may be surprised by the impact a colour scheme can play in opening up a space. The crucial rule here is keeping everything minimal - it reduces visual distractions, ensuring the space doesn't look cluttered.

A good colour to go for will be a pale colour - in a smaller room, it helps to reflect the light. Another technique to try to create the impression that there's a bigger kitchen will be to keep everything focused within the same colour scheme. Not only does this give a streamlined appearance, but it will also mean accents (such as cupboards and cabinets) will blend into the room, creating a space that seems larger than it is.

*survey conducted by B&Q