Tips for making the most of your kitchen
The kitchen was once the heart of the home, and usually the largest living space in a house. The family would be in and out of the kitchen throughout the day, often eating breakfast and other family meals at the kitchen table.
This is still evident with the modern trend of creating open plan living spaces, which normally include kitchen, living room and dining room. However, with the open plan trend, a person can find their kitchen area cramped for space.
How to maximize a small kitchen
- Narrow worktops - if you have a narrow kitchen that only has cupboards and worktops in an L-shape, on two of the 3 walls, you may find yourself lacking in packing space and work space, but who says that the cupboards and worktops need to be the standard 60cm in width? Consider putting in worktops, cupboards or shelves that are 20cm to 30cm on your free wall to make a U-shaped layout possible.
- Light colours - it is no secret that light colours (white is the best), can make any room feel larger than it is. Consider repainting or installing lighter coloured cupboards and counter-tops if you have the money to do so. Adding plenty of electric lights to brighten up the dark spaces can also help
- Windows & Doors - open up the windows as much as possible by adding lightly coloured curtains or blinds and leaving them fully open during the day. If you have a kitchen door leading outside, consider putting a burglar gate on it and leaving the door open. All the natural light that streams into your kitchen will make it look larger.
- Corner Kitchen - do you have a small kitchen that is tucked away into a corner of the main living area? This is often the case with bachelor and granny flats. You can add a small 2-seater table between your kitchen and living area to give you a place to eat, and also work or study. See image (above).
- Bookcase - the last simple idea is to add a bookcase to your small kitchen. A small narrow one can be placed on top of a kitchen counter to give more shelf space, and a tall one can be put up against any open wall. Don't want anybody to see the items inside the bookcase? Attach sliding screen doors to the front of it!
A space saving kitchen in a cupboard
This is a great idea for a large house with a servants room, or a room in a student house. Try adding a kitchen in a cupboard. You can put cupboard doors in front of the whole thing so the resident can hide it away when it is not in use. The cupboard doors can have a fold-up counter to give that extra worktop when open.
How to make your large kitchen the heart of your home
If you are one of the lucky few to have a large kitchen, we also have some tips for you to help make your kitchen the heart of your home.
- Breakfast table - add a small 4-seater table to your kitchen if you have the space, or a peninsular unit at which you can place barstools. Encourage the family to eat all their light meals at this table or counter. Set an example by doing it yourself too! It will also be a great place for children to do their homework while you cook the evening meal.
- Open Plan - just because you have a large kitchen doesn't mean you cannot turn it into one that opens into the dining or living room. Consider removing one of the walls to provide a flow, and let you keep an eye on what the children are watching on TV.
- Island Unit - like with the breakfast table, adding an island unit can give you a place to cook, and keep the children next to you while they do their homework... or for your dinner guest to sip a glass of wine!
- Add a couch and coffee table - if you are blessed with an extra large kitchen that seems to have too much space for your needs, or if the breakfast table idea isn't for you, then you could always divide the kitchen into two rooms with a narrow peninsular unit and turn the one part into a family TV room.