The Biggest Design Disasters You Can Make In A Small Kitchen

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Most people have had to deal with a small kitchen at some time in their life. Whether it was when they were first starting out, or because the choose to live right in the city where space is at a premium. If you are currently working on a small kitchen, makes sure you avoid these design destinations so you can get the most out of your space.

Not Enough Lighting

The first error that most people make when they have a small kitchen is that they don't have enough lighting. Whether you have a good natural light source or not, it's still vital to have good bright lighting in your kitchen. Remember that you won't always be cooking in the daylight so it's important that you use lights that will illuminate what you are doing. No one wanted to work in a dark space.

Halogen spot lights are often a good idea for a small space. This is because their beam can be directed into a dark corner that might be missed by a central diffusing light. They are also pretty energy efficient and will give you space that update feel.

If you struggle with your cupboards being dark, then installing strip lights on the shelves can help. They can be activated to light up when you open the door so you’ll never struggle to find that tin of beans again.


Kitchen gadgets are often so shiny, and tempting aren't they? There are popcorn makers, doughnut makers, panini grills, and of course the obligatory knife rack. But if you have a small kitchen you need to make sure that you don't cram it so full of gadgets that it looks cluttered.

A space saving idea; is to buy gadgets that are multifunctional For example, you can get presses that have detachable plates. You can use a different set of plates for sandwiches, waffles or pancakes;. This gives you three uses in one machine and saving you some serious counter or cabinet space.

Another way of saving some space is to think carefully about the coffee machine that you will buy. If you go for a larger version that heats water and froths milk, you won't need a kettle as well. If you want a cup of tea, you can just use the hot water straight from the machine. An even better idea would be to choose a smaller machine that takes up less counter space. One that just brews espresso for example. See the Small Appliance Authority for some advice on which machine is best.


Did you know that there is an important triangle in your kitchen? Not Bermuda triangle, that all your teaspoons seem to disappear to. but the sink, fridge and cooker. These are those most important elements of your kitchen and as such should take up the prime spot.

You don't want other things getting in the way of this triumvirate. They will either slow you down or create more things to get messy as you move about your kitchen. Make sure you keep this triangle-free from other clutter, and you can move as easily as possible between the items.


The number one design disaster with a small kitchen in that people never put enough storage in them. Ok, the kitchen is small, I get it, there is not so much space, but you still need somewhere to put your pans and boxes of breakfast cereal right?

The thing that gets my goat is the more modern kitchens which leave a gap between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling. Seriously?! Any sensible person is going to fill that up with stuff in a nanosecond. So you might as well stick a door on it and make it into a usable cupboard! At least that way all your plans and boxes won't get greasy and dusty!

Ok, so maybe you're thinking, that all very well but I'm only 5” something, and i can’t reach the high cupboards. Well, that is what kitchen steps like these are for. You just put your least used items up super high, like your best set of china or those serving plates that you only get out when you are entertaining. Simple.

Counter Space

One of the worst things about having a small kitchen is the lack of counter space. For some, this can be torture, especially if there is more than one person cooking at the same time. You need to get good at doing contemporary dance just to get around the space without crashing into someone else.

There are a few ways you can improve this, though. Install shelves for you appliances. This clears the work surface and allows the maximum space possible. You can also use a collapsible leaf table to increase the amount of space you have to work on. Then when you are done, it can just fold down to be stored away again.

Another useful idea is a breakfast bar. You can use it for prep while you are cooking and then it can be cleared and it doubles as a seating space to eat at.

If all else fails, how about a kitchen rota so only one of you in allowed in thair at a time?


Lastly, a real bug bear in a small kitchen can be the bin and recycling arrangement. Of course, we all want to do our bit for the environment, but having your rubbish or recycling on show is not cool. Its also going to start to stink, making your kitchen a not very nice place to be.

The first solution is to sacrifice a precious cupboard space to hide your bin and recycling units. While you may be reluctant to give up space, it may just be worth it to know that your trash is under control.

The second option is to go for containers with lids. Something like these stacking containers from Ikea would fit happily into a small space; you could lean them against a wall or in a corner. They have lids to keep that lovely smell away from the rest of your apartment.

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