Small kitchen design ideas

When designing for a small kitchen you need to focus more on achieving a functional and efficient layout rather than thinking about the actual limitations of it.

Clean your benchtop of clutter

Ideally you should be looking to increasing your benchtop space by eliminating those items which would normally sit there. Small gadgets, knife blocks, bread bins etc should be put away and brought out when you really need to use them. You could also go through all of your pots and pans, small appliances etc and get rid of the things you hardly ever use.

Colour and light

A small kitchen can benefit from careful planning as well as good use of colour and light, coupled with strong design. For instance, bringing in more light (such as skylights) into your kitchen will make it appear larger and brighter.

Horizontal lines increase visual width

Strong use of horizontal lines (using kitchen cabinets) can draw the eye outwards to visually lengthen your kitchen.

Horizontal lines make the kitchen appear larger

In this picture we can see that strong use of horizontal lines (drawers and illuminated shelving) can increase the visual width of the kitchen

Using light colours in your colour scheme can also make your kitchen appear larger. A good trick is to use a monochromatic colour scheme (that is doors, countertops and splashback in a similiar colour) to increase the apparent space of your kitchen.

Design ideas for small kitchens

  • Opt for drawers instead of doors in your kitchen. This can increase your storage space by as much as 30%
  • Run your wall cabinets and tall cabinets up to the ceiling or soffit to increase storage space
  • A pullout countertop will give you more counter space
  • A smaller sink will give you more counter space (use in conjunction with a removable drainer that can be stored under the sink)
  • Consider using smaller appliances (oven and cooktop) and multi purpose cookware
  • Make use of wall space for kitchen hanging racks
  • Glass fronted cabinets appear visually ‘lighter’ than full door cabinets
  • Glass shelving is also visually ‘lighter’
  • A boiling water / chilled water tap is a great idea and gets rid of the kettle off your stove or counter top
  • A pull out garbage bin (inside a floor cabinet) will free up kitchen floor space.

A small kitchen requires a bit of lateral thinking. It should be efficient and practical. However, once you have started you will find that you can do a whole lot more than you originally thought.


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