The other day on Instagram I shared a reel (ooh check out me and my technical terminology!) of our small kitchen, mainly because it was very clean and I was cooking. I really have come to love that little space gawd bless it and realised I haven’t shared any updates lately since we added our little fake larder. As it’s more or less finished for now, I thought I’d share some ideas of how to maximise small kitchen use if like us, you’re stuck with a “bijou” kitchen.
Maximise Small Kitchen Use – Creative Storage
Storage has always been at a premium in our little kitchen. I genuinely don’t know how the previous family of 5 managed when it feels like just two of us fill every available nook and cranny. I recently had a super opportunity to work with Command on a kitchen organisation project and decided to reclaim our only blank wall for hanging purposes.
We couldn’t use it for extra shelving as it would either have blocked fridge access (and no-one wants that) and we’d have hit the shelves on the way into the kitchen. Instead I used some of the stronger Command hooks to hang string bags for fruit and vegetable storage from the wall and they work perfectly. Not only is it a decorative item that looks nice, but it takes the vegetables off the work surface to give me more usable space. Win, win!
Maximise Small Kitchen Use – Extra Shelves
I spent 5 years living with our kitchen thinking we had no more space we could use. Appliances and food regularly cluttered the work surfaces and it felt like if I tried to cook anything more adventurous than beans on toast, it became a huge juggling act.
You can spend a long time looking at a problem sometimes before a solution pops into your head. I realised that we had a bit of opened out space down the side of the fridge. For a long time it used to house a step ladder but when I did the kitchen makeover back in February last year of course the step ladder no longer belonged. We realised we could create a few additional simple shelves from MDF and some floating brackets which we’ve then used for jars of pasta, rice and so on freeing up our cupboards for other things. You can also get little portable battery-operated motion sensor lights if you need to brighten up your space, we’ve stuck one to the side of the fridge that activates when I reach in to grab something.
Maximise Small Kitchen Use – Portable Drainage Racks
Now this is a tip only if you’re going to be changing up the work surface BUT it’s a goody! We inherited an oversized stainless steel sink and a very grubby stainless steel draining board. The work surface around the tap had also rotted away and the tap was leaning at an angle.
I was super lucky when I did the kitchen makeover to collaborate with a couple of brands, Worktop Express who provided new work surfaces and Kohler, who provided a new sink and tap. What that allowed me to do was to install a normal-sized sink (not small, just not the oversized one we didn’t need) and I also took the decision to do away with the draining board. It might seem strange but we’re only two, we have a dishwasher and tend to just quickly dry anything we wash up in the sink.
In its place I bought a portable draining rack with tray underneath – it takes up so much less space and if I ever needed to I can just pack it away to free up more work surface space.
Maximise Small Kitchen Use – Light Floors and Work Surfaces
I’m sure more than a few eyebrows were raised when I disclosed I was tiling the kitchen floor with white hexagon mosaic tiles despite the fact we have a cat and a dog (and the cat flap is in the back door) but HONESTLY it is the dream floor and we have no regrets. The floor we inherited when we moved in was like a brown brick vinyl tile. Dark and horrible. We replaced that with a cream vinyl and that was a sharp lesson in mistakes. Vinyl is impossible to keep clean, if you look very closely and carefully even the ones that from afar seem completely smooth, are in fact textured and no amount of washing and mopping ever saw that floor clean. By contrast the white tiles are a breeze, just a quick vacuum and steam mop and job’s a goodun’. They still look brand spanking new too and having a light floor really does make the space feel bigger.
The same too for the work surface – we inherited a dark wood laminate which positioned half way up the wall makes the kitchen feel dark and dreary. You can easily re-cover work surfaces these days with durable sticky back plastic if you don’t want the expense/hassle of replacing. I worked in collaboration with Worktop Express to replace ours with a marble effect laminate and it just lifts the whole kitchen making it feel bigger than it is.
Maximise Small Kitchen Use – Add Personality With Décor
I’m definitely guilty of only seeing kitchens as purely functional for the longest time. Storing, cooking, washing up, you know it. But once I introduced some decorative items into the kitchen – a clock on the wall, hanging planters, candles and a couple of prints it really feels so much more homely and a room that I enjoy spending time in and cooking in.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on how to maximise small kitchen use. There’s not really much more we can add to the kitchen at this point but I would still like to work out a way to create some clever herbs and spice storage – watch this space!
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