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Genius small kitchen design ideas to maximise your space

Must-have tips for decorating a compact kitchen

Rachel Avery

The kitchen is the heart of the home, no matter how big or how small. Even if your cooking space is bijou, we've got small kitchen design ideas that will make a big impact. From the perfect colour choices through to savvy storage solutions, read on to get the lowdown…

SEE: 22 of the best kitchen gadgets that will revolutionise the way you cook

Small kitchen layout ideas

Planning is key when it comes to being savvy with your small kitchen, so think long and hard when it comes to your layout.

Stick to the kitchen triangle as it is a formula that's stood the test of time when it comes to kitchen design. It basically means ensuring your sink, cooker and fridge are in a triangle layout and are neither too close together or too far apart. Even with a tiny kitchen, ensuring you don't break this rule is very important to make your space workable.

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Think outside of the box to utilise your space

Move any big appliances to an alternative space or seek slimline versions. If you have anywhere else that you can relocate large appliances like your washing machine and tumble dryer, this is a simple way of freeing up room for your cooking space to thrive. With remaining appliances such as your fridge and dishwasher, do check if you can get slimline versions to shave off all-important centimetres.

Maximising any awkward corners is a great way to efficiently plan your space. Consider investing in a swish storage solution like this cupboard pull-out from Amazon.

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Kitchen revolving organiser, £149.99, Amazon

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Small kitchen colour ideas

Your colour choices are very important when you only have a small space to play with, so make sure you ponder your decision and use tester pots.

Go for a whitewash to open up your room. Speaking exclusively to HELLO! Natasha Bradley, Lick Home’s Colour and Interiors Expert suggested going for all white in small spaces. "White creates a feeling of calmness. When used in a kitchen, it can make the space feel clean, sophisticated, and elegant – and having pops of colour or lots of plants will make sure the space doesn’t feel sterile and cold."

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Light colours will open up the room

Other colour options recommended by Natasha are Pantone’s 2021 colour of the year, yellow, as well as green. Natasha explained: "Yellow affects our emotions and is a great choice for kitchens, particularly if there is a lack of natural light. It’s bright and cheerful and brings positivity to the heart of the home." In, addition, green could be a good option from a psychology point of view. "Greens can encourage you to eat healthier and lead a well balanced lifestyle," reported Natasha.

Paint everything in one shade to fake a bigger space. Colour your kitchen cupboards and your walls in the same hue to make the room appear larger. A simple trick that makes all the difference!

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Small kitchen diner ideas

Open plan kitchen diners are great for entertaining as you can natter with your guests as you cook up a storm, and there are clever ways of making them work even if they are small.

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Kitchen diners are great for entertaining 

Find a table that folds away to create a transitional space. We’d recommend looking for an extendable dining table so you can make it more compact for day-to-day life.

Another top tip is keeping the colour scheme or décor consistent throughout the kitchen diner, in order to create the illusion of a larger area.

Small kitchen ideas on a budget

Clever storage solutions are great for utilising the space in smaller kitchens, and the best news is that these don’t have to be expensive either.

Portable storage which can be moved around easily will maximise your space - a cart that can be either in the dining area or kitchen, for example. This cheap and cheerful one from Amazon should do the trick.

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Storage trolley, £20.99, Amazon

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Switch up your cupboard handles to change the look of your kitchen. If you can go handle-free this will ensure a minimalistic, no-fuss finish or go for elongated fixtures to keep the look streamlined.

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MORE: The most impressive royal kitchens of all time: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward, more

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Having no handles on your cupboards makes a surprising difference

Small kitchen island ideas

You might think that picture-perfect kitchen islands only belong in vast show homes, but the truth is that islands can have a place in compact kitchens, too. Just measure your proportions to ensure there’s enough space to move around the room freely.

Kitchen islands can be used instead of a dining table according to Richard Ferguson, a Kitchens Buyer for Homebase. "A breakfast bar or island will work well in many kitchens and often take up less space than a standalone dining table," he explained. "They provide comfortable space for dining whilst also creating a clear divide between the kitchen and dining area."

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Chic breakfast bars are a good use of space

Keep your island space clutter-free to give the illusion of more room. Remove kitchen appliances or utensils from the worktop, as crowded rooms will only appear smaller.

Kitchen lighting ideas for small kitchens

Brightening up your kitchen will only make it appear bigger, so lighting is very important. Richard gives his advice on this topic: "Where possible, bringing in plenty of natural light through windows, skylights, and French doors is key to opening up the space." He adds: "Artificial lighting is also important, particularly for setting the mood at different times of day. Make sure you have a combination of bright lighting for cooking and warm lighting for socialising."

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