Small Kitchen Design Ideas

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Small Kitchen Design Ideas
Small Kitchen Design Ideas

There is no shortage of apartment or townhouse living all over Australia with plenty more developments on their way as well. While the idea of minimalist living also grows, the need for small kitchen design ideas is vital to ensure that you not only get the most out of your limited space but also enjoy how everything looks.

While the idea of downsizing your lifestyle to something like an apartment may be attractive, many people, especially those who love to cook, are put off by the idea of a cramped kitchen area. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Urban.com.au have compiled these clever kitchen design ideas for small kitchens to help create a practical and stylish space for food preparation and entertaining.

Storage

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

With any kitchen, not just the small ones, storage is one of the most critical elements. With small kitchens in particular, however, you need to make use of every spare inch. Small kitchens need to ensure that all areas are working as hard as they can. This doesn't mean over-cluttering, just being smart with the use of space.

It is a little easier to plan your area in a new development. Existing homes or off-the-plan apartments may be a little more set in their layout, so it will take some work to understand which small kitchen design ideas work for your area. Think about how you use your kitchen as this will give an idea of the most optimal positions for where things need to be and what sort of storage you will require. 

Store your kitchen items by how often they're used, especially when deciding on their shelf location, with everyday objects in the lower spots.

Compact containers can be a great way to store things while also providing a nice visual element. You can use baskets for storage of condiments and keep fresh herbs in pots which not only provides storage but an easy way to take them over to the dining table.

If you notice any wasted space, stack containers there or add a utensil rail or magnetic knife board (as pictured above). You can hang hooks on the side of cupboards or create extra shelves in corners. Storage helpers are the best way to use all of your cupboard space. There is a range of internal storage solutions available for slim cupboards, or you can get a mobile solution in the form of trolley or butcher's block that can be moved out of the way when necessary.

Opt for a large sink

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

It is unlikely that a dishwasher will be a feature of a small kitchen, so to make up for it, install a double sink if possible. This allows you to use a bowl for washing and another to hold dirty dishes or for drip drying. 

This will help to declutter the workspace while cooking and give ample room to ensure that clean-up is easy.

Layout design

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

If you are in the planning stage of a new apartment, you may be looking for ways to create more space in a limited area. The design layout of your kitchen needs to be functional while also looking good.

The key to the right layout is the moulding of the kitchen design into the space, which often means less is more. Attempt to incorporate everyday appliances into the space via purpose-built appliance cabinetry and stack appliances where possible.

Some points to remember when designing your layout include:

  • Avoid using cabinets that have a lot of empty space, opt for drawers where possible

  • Don't place your cooktop and sink too close together and ensure enough room for saucepan handles 

  • Use open shelves to maximise wall space

  • If you do have a dishwasher or oven, ensure there is room for the doors to be fully opened

One-wall kitchens

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

One-wall kitchens, which surprisingly are confined to just one wall, are common in open-plan areas and studio apartments. They are great because everything is very easily accessible while cooking; however, they do lack counter space.

For this reason, it would be best to bring in something that can serve as a preparation area, be this via a table or portable kitchen island. The table can double as a spot to actually eat whatever you cook on, which is one way to help make your apartment feel more like a home. Alternatively, you can bring in some sort of narrow console as a place for tools and ingredients while cooking.

One-walled kitchens often have a habit of being the focal point of the space when in studio apartments, which is why it is best to reduce the open areas with folding doors or panels which can help to hide clutter and make the wall less busy to the eye.

The alternative to the one-wall kitchen in small apartments is the galley kitchen which features two parallel walls in a hallway style setup. These layouts can often create a cavelike feel, which is why it is best to avoid upper cabinetry, instead opting for shelving to open up the space. You will likely need tall storage for the pantry area, try to keep this as the only tall storage in the galley kitchen.

Knowing your small kitchen

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

While a lot of the new apartments that are popping up can be quite unique, the kitchens tend to stick to certain designs. The following are some of the different shapes of small kitchens:

  • The Horseshoe or U-shaped kitchen which has loads of counter space and under-counter storage

  • The Peninsula or G-shaped kitchen which features an extra counter on top of what would otherwise be considered a U-shaped kitchen

  • The L-shaped kitchen which features counters along two perpendicular walls with a single corner and open space

There are various elements you can include into the above layouts to make the most of the space while also creating a desirable aesthetic. This can include:

  • Seating

If you have a design that includes extra counter areas, add stools or seating options for breakfast time or casual dinners. This is also great for entertaining as it creates a central point for snack and people to crowd around as well as creating an extra dining spot.

  • Pendant Lights

Make your surface area well lit for food prep with a row of pendant lights that not only look stylish but offer directional light for your tasks while brightening up the entire kitchen.

  • Floating Tables

Specifically for use in an L-shaped kitchen that faces a blank wall, a floating table will create extra counter or dining space. If you have a narrow area, you can find fold-down tables that close into the wall when not in use. The other layouts listed above can benefit from a slim, rolling island, which can be moved around or out of the way when necessary.

  • Cohesive Materials 

Your small space will look sleek if you use panel-ready appliances that match your cabinetry. This is a key aspect of the minimalist look.

  • Light cabinets

Ensure that your cabinetry isn't too dark to avoid making an already small kitchen feel cramped. Exposed shelving can also help to prevent this.

  • A Kitchen Island

For layouts with a lot of space, a kitchen island creates a central element for extra space and storage. Since it can be a centerpiece, give the base a bold colour that works with all of the other cabinetry.

  • A Pot Rack

Pots and pans can be bulky and take up a lot of storage space. Hanging them from a rack frees up some room and can make it easier to access these necessities. 

Making the most out of your small kitchen

Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Don't let the idea of having a small kitchen turn you off of finding a new apartment that offers luxury, comfort, and convenience. It is easy to make a small kitchen functional and a stand-out feature of your home.

Ensuring that you make use of all the available space and positioning the elements of your kitchen in such a way that things are not cluttered can make small areas feel far more spacious and comfortable.

Small apartments and homes are charming and cozy as long as you understand the do's and don't of your particular layout. The kitchen is an essential part of every home and downsizing your living space, and therefore your kitchen doesn't mean you need to say goodbye to the efficiency, style, and organisation of a bigger one.

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