How to create a small kitchen diner
Small Kitchen Ideas
Making your kitchen a pleasant space to cook, relax and entertain can be tricky when you don’t have a lot of room to work with – but you can still create a calm, cosy kitchen diner even in small rooms. When space is at a premium, you have to get smart, and if you don’t have a separate dining room, you’ll need to make the most of all available space in your kitchen in order to make your small kitchen diner layout work.
1Plan your space
You’ll need to maximise your space to make sure you have enough room for a relaxing dining space alongside your kitchen. If you’re struggling for small kitchen diner layout ideas, book an appointment with our experts to discuss your needs, and we can propose some solutions – or book a free home measure and we can tell you exactly how we can help.
Choose your cabinets carefully
A small kitchen diner might benefit from less cabinets and cupboards on the wall – while storage is massively important, if cabinets are cutting out your natural light or making the room feel hemmed in, consider losing a few cabinets to open the room up. Install a floor-to-ceiling cupboard, open shelving, or pull-out pantry shelves to make up for the lost storage, and add some more space that’s even more flexible.
Add a breakfast bar
When we say ‘breakfast bar’ you may imagine a huge, spacious room with a freestanding island, but a breakfast bar or built in kitchen island in a small kitchen diner might be more effective than you think, and more useful than a table and chairs. Make sure you choose an island or bar with built in storage to maximise on the space, and with enough of an overhang that you can stash stools or chairs underneath so they’re not getting in your way.
If space is really tight, there are lots of great small kitchen diner ideas that can work for apartment kitchens or smaller, narrow galley kitchens. For example, invest in a foldaway table that can fold back into the wall when not in use, along with stacking stools or some chic metal folding chairs that you can hang on brackets on the wall to maximise on space.
2Keep it neutral
A small kitchen diner isn’t the place to go for a dark, moody statement kitchen – the tight angles and any cabinet overhang will make the space feel even smaller and darker. Instead, keep it neutral when you’re decorating a small kitchen – emphasise the natural lighting in the kitchen with white or pale walls. For a light, warm feel, consider light wood countertops. You can then aim to use the same wood tone for your dining table to pull the room together.
3Maximise on natural light
We’ve got a full guide on how to make the most of natural light in your kitchen, but in order to make your small kitchen diner feel bigger, brighter, and more spacious, you’ll need to make the most of any natural light.
Choose high-gloss surfaces
This couples well with the neutral decorating tip above – light or pale coloured surfaces reflect more light, so choosing high-gloss cabinets in white or pale grey will help to bounce extra light back into a small kitchen diner.
Hang mirrors as decoration
It’s an old tip, but still a favourite - if you have wall space, hang mirrors over your dining table or in alcoves to double the space and make the room feel bigger. Plus, you can pick a pretty decorative mirror to match your kitchen’s mood, or hang it as part of a gallery wall to add interest.
Pick polished floors
It’s easy to overlook your floors as a way to make a room feel brighter, but choosing a light, high-shine material for your flooring like glossy ceramic tiles or vinyl will, again, help to keep light in the space, as well as brighten the room from floor to ceiling to help eliminate dark corners.
Add extra lighting in dark areas
If you have an awkward alcove or a spot where cabinets overhang and cause a shadow, add some extra lighting to help keep the whole kitchen bright and well-lit where natural light can’t reach. LED strip lighting can be installed under hanging cabinets to downlight worktop surfaces, or even at floor level to keep the space bright.
4Make sure your storage is flexible
When you don’t have a lot of room for your small kitchen diner, you need to make the most of your floor space with some smart storage solutions and kitchen diner ideas. You might be able to lose a cupboard and make room for a dining table if you think vertically with your storage. Consider wire panel shelving – you can stack kitchenware on the shelves, hang wine glasses upside down, and use S-hooks to hang pots and pans or utensils, freeing up shelf space. Alternatively, if you’ve got some space above a splashback, install a wire mesh or a pegboard, so you can hang your utensils right within reach.
5Make the most of awkward spaces
If your kitchen is small, you need to make the most of all available spaces to make room for the kitchen diner you’re wishing for. Check out our hub of small kitchen design ideas for even more inspiration on maximising every corner of your small kitchen diner.
If you’ve got an awkward corner cupboard, instead of leaving valuable space empty, install a kidney corner or a pull-out carousel unit that will keep pots and pans neatly tucked away.
Find smarter solutions
There’s never a great space for awkward kitchen items like saucepan lids – so use smart space-saving solutions like wire brackets on the back of your cupboard doors that can hold your pan lids without taking up valuable space elsewhere. This also means that you can nest your pans to make storing them even easier.
Put odd spaces to work – with stackable storage canisters, you can made awkward alcoves, windowsills or odd corners into a usable storage space for bottles, spices, condiments or anything else that you need to stow away!
Even small kitchen diners can be a versatile space for dining, entertaining and making the most of time with family – you just need to make the most of your available space. For more tips, check out the rest of our inspirational design guides. And if you’re struggling with small kitchen diner layout ideas that will work with your available kitchen space, why not book an appointment with us to discuss exactly what you need in your kitchen diner, and we can propose some solutions. We can even do a free home measure and let you know how we can maximise on your space.