Although a huge kitchen is a flight of fancy for many, people often overlook the unique charm that a smaller space can provide. Whenever you see a sepia flashback of a kindly old woman making pies for her grandkids, chances are she’s in a small cosy room, resting her wares on a windowsill just feet from the oven in which they’d lovingly been baked. But what if you want both? If you fancy merging the practicalities of a large kitchen while maintaining the intimacy of your smaller space there are endless possibilities, except these ones don’t have to stay dreams.
Identify your needs
Even small kitchens come in many shapes and (relative) sizes. First, decide how much space you actually need. If you’re cooking for just yourself or a partner, a simple U-shaped kitchen can actually be ideal, allowing every drawer, cupboard, surface and appliance to be within instant reach. However, if you’ve got multiple cooks drifting around, a classic rectangular space will give everyone more counter to work with, helping to avoid those knocks that turn a rather appetising toad-in-the-hole into a slightly less appealing toad-on-the-floor.
If you find that you’ve been doing little cooking at home, eating out or making light meals, you may wish to consider a one-wall kitchen, allowing you to go open plan and free up more used areas of the house. You can even double up and use a dining table as an auxiliary area to prepare larger meals.
It’s often been said that owning less is better than organising more. While anyone going through old VHS tapes in the attic will surely attest to such a fact, it’s not always the case. Nowadays there exist a myriad of clever devices, from nestling cutlery to hookable tupperware all designed to maximise every last inch from your kitchen.
If you really want to double, or even triple, your storage space consider using the walls and ceiling space, where you can add traditional shelving, plate racks or pan hooks. A magnetic board means you can say goodbye to cumbersome knife blocks, giving you the added benefit of more counter space while simultaneously giving you the aesthetic appeal of Gordon Ramsay just about to deliver a michelin worthy lamb shank.
Embrace the space
Quality not quantity. It’s a refrain that’s been used again and again. One benefit of having a small space is that it actually allows you to follow through with it. With less area to focus on you can really make sure that every square foot is up to the standard you deserve, all the while maintaining your budget.
An important aspect of this is to create a coherent look. Using quality materials whilst matching the style of your cabinets creates a polished feel, no matter what the style may be. Likewise, matching fittings with the walls makes the space feel larger, especially combined with the use of light, natural palettes.
Each kitchen is different, each person is different. It therefore makes sense that a kitchen is made with you in mind. Awkward corners? Use them! Custom shelves can be made to fit almost any space. Maybe you would rather have a cupboard there? That’s fine, get one made that embraces the uniqueness of your home. You could even pop some shelves into the door.
At the end of the day a home is a reflection of the person that lives there and a kitchen should be no different. Just because it’s small doesn’t mean it’s lacking. So next time you lay back and dream, don’t think of those endless tiles stretching into the horizon, simply walk over to the next room, take a look at that windowsill and think of all the possibilities you have, just resting at your fingertips.
Now then, did someone say pie?