Struggling to make your small kitchen work? 5 layout for small kitchens to consider

Small kitchens — we certainly have a love-hate relationship with them! Furnishing and organising such a tiny area can be a nuisance, and you might be left wondering where you’re going to place your appliances and kitchen equipment while leaving enough space to prep and cook meals. 

All hope is not lost, though. With some consideration and careful planning, a small kitchen can be a success. By relying on professional designers, you’ll be able to remodel your space to accommodate everything you need, even in the tiniest of rooms. As Harvey Jones notes: “you can select bespoke options” and choose from a “wide range of storage solutions that can help you create a truly tailored fitted kitchen.”

layout for small kitchens to consider

Before you jump into a new design, though, consider these five layouts for your small kitchen.

U-shaped for more prep space

If you’re the family cook or love to bake, you likely need plenty of worktop space to prepare ingredients and whip up your dishes. This can be a challenge in a small kitchen, so a U-shaped layout is a great solution, providing you with plenty of room. These typically have units running along three walls, with one free wall as the access point.

The short distance between the kitchen sides also enables you to achieve the ‘golden triangle’ between the cooker, sink and fridge, which is essential to your working layout. We recommend always having one countertop free of appliances, so you can maximise the space when prepping.

Utilise the L-shape with wall cabinets

An L-shaped kitchen is an ideal layout, and it increases storage and uses every little nook and cranny in your small kitchen.

Wall cabinets are the selling point for this formation, providing you with lots of space to store kitchen equipment and appliances without creating any unnecessary clutter. The best part about the cabinetry here is that it works well with contemporary and traditional kitchens, so you needn’t worry about disrupting the aesthetic. Make the room larger simply by painting the higher cabinets the same colour as your walls — this means you get the desired significant space effect without skimping on storage.

Build a kitchen island

Leave behind the assumption that a kitchen island can only fit in large, open-plan spaces. Failing to consider such a feature in your small kitchen is counterintuitive as you need the additional room it will offer you. Islands provide more worktop areas for preparation, cooking and socialising, even in the smallest spaces.

When deciding on a kitchen island, consider why you want one, as this will help you pick the right design. If you have limited countertop surfaces, an integrated sink (or other appliances) frees up space. A slimline design with clever storage options is ideal for a small space, offering enough room to move around and open cupboards effortlessly. You may also decide to have a freestanding kitchen island or even a kitchen island on wheels for ease — this can be moved if you need more room. As our homes become more versatile, so do our kitchens. It is important to consider how your kitchen needs to work for your lifestyle now and how this will adapt and change for the future.

Swap solid walls for a peninsula

This layout might involve more structural work, but the finished look is completely worth it — in our opinion, at least. If a kitchen island isn’t the best option, hiring builders to knock down one of the solid walls to create a peninsula for your small kitchen is excellent. This ensures it provides all the benefits of a kitchen island without taking up the space of one and can help to open up your room to make it feel brighter and more sociable.

A peninsula is nearly similar to an island, except it isn’t freestanding; it’s a unit with a worktop attached to one end of a wall. This will typically feature lower cabinets for storage and give you extra countertop space for preparing a meal. These can be designed in many different shapes and sizes and incorporated into an L-shaped or U-shaped kitchen, so a peninsula is an excellent problem-solver even if your space is small.

Embrace the single galley layout

Last but not least is the single galley layout. Essentially, this room typically features all it needs on one wall. Sounds impossible, right? Think again; a single galley can include a fridge at one end, with an oven and hob at the other, a central sink with cupboards underneath, and worktop space on either side.

This layout is efficient for a small kitchen. By opting for vertical storage options, you immediately acquire more space. For example, long, tall cabinets can be placed on one wall, while the worktops on the other side are left bare, ensuring it doesn’t feel as if the units are towering over you all the time. Consider integrated appliances, too, as this will help keep your kitchen looking neat and tidy, which is essential in a small space — a cluttered, overwhelming room will look too busy and not suit your desired aesthetic.