Kitchen worktops

Worktops

A kitchen should be a functional space – a place to prepare food and store your utensils – but it's easy for it to become cluttered.

Uninterrupted worktops will help to create the illusion of more space while providing a practical area for cooking and baking.

If your kitchen can accommodate a small dining area, position the table or island parallel to the worktop so it can double up as a second food preparation space when needed.

Make sure chairs are small enough to tuck under the table – out of your way when cooking but easy to pull out at dinner time.

Kitchen cabinets

Cabinets

Too many cabinets in a small kitchen can make the room feel claustrophobic. If your space is narrow, try to keep cabinets in one or two neat lines – to draw the eye forward, emphasising the length of the room.

For raised storage, leaving a gap between the cupboards and the ceiling will also give the illusion of a larger space.

Large drawers are also an effective alternative to cabinet doors. Easy to access, these oversized pull-out drawers can even be wide and deep for storing pans and big items away from counter surfaces.

Kitchen appliances

Appliances

Careful placement of your kitchen appliances will improve the flow of a small kitchen.

The concept of the kitchen work triangle is worth considering – the sink, the oven and the fridge should be located in a working distance from each other. No more than nine feet and, in an ideal world, no less than four feet.

Choose minimally-styled models to reduce visual distractions and maintain a streamlined look. You could even save worktop space by installing a built-in microwave into the cabinetry.

Store away appliances that you don't use every day – like blenders, slow cookers and toasters – in a pantry or cupboard to free up even more worktop space.

Utensils

Utensils

Take advantage of modern-day storage solutions to gain valuable space. Make lower cabinets more accessible with pull-out shelves or corner cabinet carousels – ideal for storing occasional utensils in a space that could otherwise go unused.

Add depth to your drawer and cabinet storage with pull-out baskets and store smaller items neatly away with tray dividers and storage containers.

Kitchen light

Light

Try to let as much natural light into the kitchen as possible, to give the room a bright and airy feel. And keep window dressings simple – no bright colours or fussy designs that will block out the much needed daylight.

Good task lighting becomes even more crucial in a small space too. Position lights under the cabinets to illuminate the countertops and use spotlights rather than low hanging pendants so not to take up any of the limited ceiling or visual space.

Kitchen colour schemes

Colour schemes

Try to keep it simple. If there's too much colour going on in one small area, the kitchen could end up looking chaotic. Stick to one or two colours and choose similar shades for the cabinets, walls and floors.

Of course, white reflects light, enhancing the space. An all-white kitchen – cabinets, countertops, walls and floor – creates a seamless space with no boundaries.

In some cases, structural changes can be made to create a bigger kitchen space; but if this isn't an option, make effective design choices and your small kitchen can look as spacious and stylish as any other.