Many modern apartments can be pretty cosy in terms of space, particularly those in built-up areas of large cities where living space is scarce. But there are some great solutions available when it comes to decorating your kitchen to help you make the most of what space you have.
Kitchens in flats are often quite small, leaving little room for essentials such as white goods, a decent sized dustbin, and even food and crockery. But from floor-to-ceiling cabinets, do-all islands, and hanging wall storage, as well as the best colours to make your kitchen look as big as it possibly can, we'll let you into the best design and layout tips that can help make even the tiniest kitchens feel surprisingly spacious.
When it comes to decorating your apartment kitchen, you might be tempted to take the simple approach of choosing your favourite colour, picking up the paint brushes and getting straight to work.
However, it is important to remember - particularly if your kitchen is on the small side - that dark colours are notorious for making a room look and feel small. This is because dark colours absorb light whereas soft and light colours brighten up a room, making it look larger and more inviting. This can be even further emphasised by painting your skirting boards, coving and doors an even lighter colour than that which you put on the walls.
It's also advisable to stick to a single colour scheme. Don't worry if you find white boring; other light colours, such as soft shades of green or baby blue, will work well. These light colours prevent strong contrasts in colours from breaking up a room, and thus, making it feel smaller than it really is.
The roomiest feeling kitchens are those bathed in light. If your flat's kitchen has a window, then make the most of it! Remove bulky or dark curtains and replace them with blinds that are light in both colour and fabric. If you are lucky enough to get natural light in your kitchen, then let it spill into the room.
If your apartment kitchen doesn't have a window, there are still some clever lighting techniques that will make it feel a whole lot bigger. If you have the wall space, hanging a mirror is a great way to create the effect of spaciousness, as any light will be reflected around the room. This will work well if you've painted your kitchen a light and bright colour.
The use of artificial light can also help to make your kitchen feel larger. Use a powerful bulb in your ceiling light, or consider installing a unit that holds multiple bulbs. And don't forget about under-cabinet lighting.
If you have a small kitchen, ingenious storage solutions could be your best friend and a real space saver. Add hooks, dividers, and extra shelving within cupboards to allow them to fit more. Turning one shelf into two or storing knives on the wall with a magnetic knife bar, for example, will help you best utilise the space you have.
Using the inside of cabinet doors as a space to put hooks and extra shelving also works particularly well. And if you're really strapped for space, don't forget about using the tops of cupboards and cabinets as storage space.
If your kitchen is big enough to accommodate an island, why not get one? Islands can be turned into dining tables and breakfast bars by putting some tall stools alongside them but they can also be used for storage.
If your apartment kitchen is too small for an island to be installed, or if you are renting your flat, you could invest in a freestanding one. Far more versatile than a dining table, a freestanding kitchen island can double up as a storage space and a surface upon which to eat.
While cabinets and cupboards may suit your kitchen storage needs perfectly, consider the possibility of open shelving instead. Open shelves can be used to display the most attractive items in your kitchen, such as plants and pretty crockery, but can also give the room a more open and spacious feel.
If you feel like it would be too much hard work to remove all your wall units, why not just remove the doors from your cupboards instead? This way your kitchen could feel more open, your cupboards will have the same impact as open shelving would, and you are saved the hassle of tearing out any existing cupboards!
Still not sure what to do? Book an appointment with one of our in-store designers and they'll talk you through all the design possibilities for the kitchen in your flat.