Struggling to make your small kitchen work? 5 layouts to consider

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

All hope is not lost though. With some consideration and careful planning, a small kitchen can be a success, and 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 “range of storage solutions to create a truly tailored fitted kitchen.”

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

1.    U-shaped for more prep space

If you’re the family cook or just love to bake, it’s likely you need plenty of worktop space to prepare ingredients and whip up your dishes. This can be a challenge in a small kitchen, which is why 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 sides of the kitchen 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.

2.    Utilise the L-shape with wall cabinets

An L-shaped kitchen is an ideal layout. One of the most practical and versatile options you can choose, it increases storage and makes use of 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 both contemporary and traditional style kitchens, so you needn’t worry about disrupting the aesthetic. You can also make the room appear larger by painting the higher cabinets the same colour as your walls — this means you get the desired large space effect without skimping on storage.

Open Kitchen

3.    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 actually 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 of rooms.

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, for example, 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 simply be moved if you need more room. As our homes become more versatile, so do our kitchens, it is important to not only consider how your kitchen needs to work for your lifestyle now but also how this will adapt and change for the future.

4.    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 in order to create a peninsula for your small kitchen is a great idea. 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 space to make it feel brighter and more sociable.

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

5.    Embrace the single galley layout

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

This layout is very practical 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.

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