Small is beautiful: making the most of a compact kitchen

Having a small kitchen need not be the end of culinary prowess or design excellence. It is very simple to adapt to the available space to create a stunning kitchen full of everything you need to rustle up meals for all kinds of occasions. Here’s how to make the most of what you’ve got.

Design tricks

Choose a bold colour scheme that will help disguise the cramped conditions and instead draw the eye to the room’s best features. Bright, colourful paint is your friend here, as it can be added to walls, ceilings and even doors to make a statement. You can then accessorise further with blinds, tea towels, pictures and appliances to match the colour scheme. Or choose one ornament or item to base the design around. This could be anything, from a vintage copper jelly mould to a clever advertising poster.

Storing stuff

The trick to storing things in a small kitchen is to think outside the proverbial box when it comes to finding places to put things. Add shelves to the walls and hang S hooks from them to keep saucepans neatly out of the way. Fit magnetic knife strips on the wall, alongside tea towel hooks. Put baskets on top of the cabinets and get custom-built cupboards made to utilise awkward corners and narrow gaps between appliances

Storing food

Not every kitchen comes with the luxury of a walk-in larder. But those bags of rice, pasta and coffee beans must live somewhere. Save space in cupboards, shelves, counter tops etc. by getting rid of bulky boxes and transferring contents to smaller jars and containers that will pack more tightly together. Store fruit and eggs in pretty baskets that will look better on the counter top than packets and plastic bags. Go through store cupboard essentials regularly, such as spices and sauces, to make sure you’re not keeping hold of foods that have gone past their sell-by date.

Entertaining ideas

You can still entertain guests if you have a small kitchen; it just takes a little more planning. If there is room, have a pull out table fitted for impromptu gatherings. Prepare as much food and drink as you can before guests arrive, so you don’t have to spend too long in the kitchen, or expect them to squeeze in there with you while you cook or clear up.

Organising waste

Most important piece of advice here is to always clean as you go. Never let the mess pile up, as you will lose valuable counter space and will soon fell overwhelmed and put off using your kitchen at all. Again, look for hidden gaps to pout your bins and recycling containers. There is often hidden room under the sink for this. Emptying the kitchen bin daily allows you to replace it with a smaller model that will take up less room.