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7 Design tips for small kitchens

Your Home – February 2014

If you've got a compact kitchen, every inch counts, so its important you make the most of the space to ensure that it is stylish and shaped around your personality and needs but also highly functional.

Your Home caught up with Ben Burbidge, managing director of Burbidge who gave his top tips on creating the perfect compact kitchen.

Smart storage

Well-designed cabinets and cupboards with in-built custom storage features, such as pullout drawers with high sides, cutlery trays and drawer dividers all help to maximise the storage potential of your kitchen drawers, so that worktops can be kept clutter-free. Transform simple larder units by fitting internal drawer boxes with attractive natural timber drawer fascias – a savvy way of freeing up space without compromising on quality or style.

Create space

To gain new and normally unused storage space, another clever trick is to install a special secondary internal drawer box with a natural timber fascia within your deep pan drawers. This creates a fantastic new space to store cutlery, utensils and everyday kitchen items.

Creative colouring

Colour scheme can also play a vital role in making your kitchen feel much bigger than it is. Opt for kitchen cabinets in natural, soft shades, such as stone, chalk or ivory, as these tones will help to reflect light, thereby giving the impression of more space. But remember that a small kitchen has fewer chances to express its personality than a large one, so if you do want to inject fun and character, then why not choose doors in a bold colour.

Turn to texture

Gloss units are right on trend and they have the upside of reflecting lots of light, making a small space feel larger. Exaggerate the effect with almost as glossy flooring, textured wallpapers and bright fabrics. Varying your door textures by blending wood grain with gloss is also a neat design tip, injecting character into small kitchens.

Seek sleek lines

Opting for handle-less worktops creates a contemporary kitchen space with a real premium finish, but it can also work wonders to accentuate tight spaces, especially when combined with reflective high-gloss lacquered units.

Cool curves

On trend curves instantly add a new dimension and compact kitchens in particular benefit from this type of design statement. Rounded frontals and sweeping curves create the impression of a much larger kitchen, whilst making the most out of the storage space available.

Embrace quirky corners and tight spaces

Even the most tricky of room angles can be filled with useful storage thanks to the host of clever design solutions now available – and a bit of imagination. Take drawers deeper, taller, or with more dividers and supplement with wall or ceiling hanging storage. Smart decorative features such as integrated bottle store drawer units, plate racks, chopping boards and trays can also be cleverly used to maximise every inch of a small kitchen. And why not squeeze shelf and open unit space into tight corners to store and display cookery books.