Good things come in small packages, unless of course, you’re looking for the kind of package that will feed, seat and be a place of party time and family gatherings. Of course, we’re talking about the kitchen, but when it comes down to small kitchen designs and ideas, you could be left struggling for some of the more, comfort feel.
But that’s where the mindset has to change, even just a little bit. “Homes, especially new builds don’t incorporate large kitchens, what they do is have larger living spaces but then everything is on top of each other and you get that cluttered feeling. One of the biggest problems is how the kitchen is designed, the colours chosen and the materials put together.”
What small kitchens boil down to are; style and function.
“When you think about designing for a small kitchen, designers like to showcase grand carcases and grander designs. Huge island units, walls filled with units and an abject disappearance of function. The kitchen is where you essentially prepare food, so when designers only showcase big, exclusive kitchens they forget that the kitchen has to work for the person and not just the designer.” Stefano has been doing this for 40 years. “We need to stop thinking, box panels and think more around making a kitchen work. It needs to look great, but it needs to work. It is that simple.”
So what kinds of spaces are we talking about?
Think of your traditional 1930’s home where the kitchen and diner were separate. Also, your period style cottages, places that you would easily find in Tarporley, Tarvin or Tattehnall. Then there are your 70s build which would have a serving hatch into a larger, grandiose dining room or hall. Then there are apartment kitchens, don’t even start on what builders are doing with these designs.
What are most common problems with small kitchens?
Definitely storage. Everything is either on show or bursting out of cupboards. Crockery pots and pans are exiled to the top of a kitchen cupboard, cutlery can be in pots instead of draws because they aren’t deep enough. You’ve seen this picture before, a crammed, cramped kitchen.
So what are the solutions?
Smaller kitchens have lots of solutions, especially when you are looking to do something that can really change the dynamic of a small kitchen setup. You need to look for the following elements;
How do you incorporate storage into the design?
This is one of the easier solutions to a small kitchen because what you need to focus on is the kinds of cupboards you need to have rather than the ones you have. Tall storage solutions tend to be the best types, especially with pull out larder functions and magic cupboard and corner storage ideas that will allow you to free up work spaces and the tops of your kitchen cupboards and keep your pans, dishes and cutlery safely stowed away.
The other aspect of storage solutions for your kitchen include looking at the current design and potentially creating a single wall with all of your storage needs and then using an opposite wall for your functional side where the oven, hob and sink all sit. This is the kind of thing that you would traditionally find in a galley kitchen.
What matters from a style perspective?
Style means two things, the kitchen itself and the decoration of the room. In small kitchens, you’re mainly trying to project a greater size than you currently have.
From your kitchen you need to carefully consider colour. Anything too dark in a room that may not have a lot of light, and you will make it seem drawn in. Then again, too much to the light spectrum and you will start to create a washed out effect. The popular cashmere colour, is a typical go between. Not too light, not too dark. It also allows for the decoration to take charge in the living environment.
Appliances should have a clean, frosted feel to them as well, this will make the kitchen stand out and show integration across the whole kitchen area.
Finally, decorating should be kept simple. Strong white colours and in some cases very light blues and yellows should be considered for walls, but it would all depend with what the final colours and finish to your kitchen design.
How about the Space conundrum?
Well, space is harder but by creating a kitchen that flows, you will avoid that sense of being crowded in the kitchen. What that means is that you are always looking for the kitchen to work harmoniously with how you operate.
That could be something as simple as shifting larger white goods items when you re-design to more complicated solutions such as creating separate areas for food preparation and cooking but still all combined in one room, in the same space.
Small kitchens can be easily as beautiful and as functional as a larger one. You need to start by asking what kind of kitchen user am I? One that has to spend hours slaving over foods and therefore need more preparation areas or one that has a more casual approach but enjoys order and organisation?
Solutions are easier to come by than problems. Why not contact Stefano and his team to arrange your free call out to see how he can help achieve your dream small kitchen.