Big Dreams, Small Kitchen

Whatever their size today’s kitchens need to fulfil a multitude of functions – working harder than ever before from preparing food, socialising or even a work space.  A compact kitchen can achieve all these things through creative design.  Kate Diss offers expert advice on how to make a small kitchen a sociable and practical space without compromising on the style.

Space Planning

Choosing the best layout for a compact kitchen is vital, understanding how the room will be utilised, where it is positioned within the home, natural light and flow.  To maximise the layout firstly consider if any walls can be knocked down to increase and open up the space.  This will allow more flexibility with the overall design.  If this is not possible there are many other tricks that can be used to create clever uses of space.

Concealed Storage

Making use of every corner is a priority for smaller kitchens to enhance storage.  As much as possible think tall, using height to provide additional storage whilst keeping worktops clear.  Concealed storage allows the kitchen to feel less cluttered by hiding away anything that isn’t used on a day to day basis.

Bespoke furniture allows for creative storage from reduced depth cupboards to easily accessible tall pull out larders.  Reducing the depth can give the impression of more width and space in a room whilst still achieving your storage needs.

Social Space

For small kitchens creating a clutter free space will automatically make it feel more inviting and relaxing.  Zoning each area for food preparation and a place to gather comfortably will achieve a functional and sociable space.

Islands can be incorporated into smaller kitchens but it does depend on the size and flow of the space.  A minimum of 800mm is needed to encircle an island that would be easy to move and work around.

An alternative solution can be to include a small place to sit and catch up with friends and family.  By reducing the depth of units and including an overhanging worktop within the design it automatically becomes a social space.

Appliance Solutions

Multipurpose is the solution for appliances in small kitchens.  When selecting appliances for a compact kitchen consider the size and number in proportion to your space.  Identifying where each zone will be for preparation, cooking and clearing up will help decide upon the number needed.  Avoid appliances that are too big for the space as these will dominate and limit the worktop area.

Concealing or integrating appliances rather than freestanding helps create a fluid uncluttered design.   Also opting for compact or multi-functional appliances such as Miele’s steam / microwave combination along with a multifunctional Miele oven to provide flexible cooking capability whilst freeing up valuable space.  Banking appliances is not only practical it also keeps the design sleek and symmetrical.

Induction hobs provide easy to clean surfaces whilst increasing space in the worktop area.  Don’t forget extraction this is an important consideration ideally positioned to the shortest route as this improves efficiency.

Boiling water taps alleviate the need for a kettle.  Quooker’s Fusion tap offers many usages from preparing food, cleaning to making a cup of tea whilst saving valuable space, water and energy.  The new innovative Quooker Flex has the added benefit of a convenient flexible pull out hose.  This makes it even easier to rinse and clean the sink as well as being equipped with hot, cold and filtered water.


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Colour and Cabinetry

Small spaces don’t have to be in neutral tones adding bold hints of colour can bring interest and character to compact rooms.

The trick is to limit the colour tones used.  Lighter colours such as whites, pale greys and neutrals can make a small kitchen appear larger.  Varying materials can add depth to the design such as two colour tones ideally keeping darker colours to the base units and lighter colours to the wall units.

Dramatic colours and textures can be added to flooring, splashbacks, feature walls, tiles and accessories whilst retaining a neutral backdrop.

Bright surfaces and handleless kitchen doors keep things streamlined.  Gloss doors reflect the light which is important if there is limited natural daylight.  Matt and shaker doors work well with clever lighting solutions including LED strips under units and overhead LED ceiling lights.  Removing pelmets and coving can also modernise the design and bespoke cabinetry can create clever storage.


Kate can help overcome the challenge to create a functional kitchen without losing the style when space is limited.  Through clever uses of space, selecting flexible appliances and stylish cabinetry with a less is more approach.  Delivering a dream kitchen by following a few simple rules – not overwhelming the space, creating a streamlined design, retaining an airy feeling and injecting pops of colour.

Contact Kate on 01932 255465 to help turn your dreams into a reality.