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10 Small But Perfectly Formed Kitchens

Compact cookspaces that function efficiently and look gorgeous, too? Why not! These impressive little rooms show how it’s done

Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More

A spacious kitchen is something most homeowners dream of, but the reality is that a typical cookspace is more compact than cavernous. A small room needs to work as hard as a generous kitchen within a fraction of the square footage, but it can be done. Clever planning, creative colour schemes and sleek materials all play their part in making tiny kitchens hugely successful, as these inspiring spaces illustrate.

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Simplify with monochrome
In a small room, a restricted palette will prevent a limited space from feeling busy, and a simple monochrome scheme is pretty much fail-safe.

White is a great space-enhancer, helping even dark, cramped areas to feel larger. A splash of black in the mix creates focal points and adds style without making the scheme seem crowded or visually messy.

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Open up
A small kitchen tucked into a larger open-plan space borrows a sense of size from its surroundings, but this kitchen is actually tiny. It comprises nothing but a single run of cabinets with a limited worktop area and hob, plus a lone wall unit and extractor fan. That said, its position as part of a bigger room that’s minimally furnished helps it feel spacious.

Crucially, it avoids the cramped galley layout of many small kitchens, helping it function well with only scant fittings. A combination microwave oven could be tucked inside one of the cupboards.

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Mix materials
While using a white or monochrome scheme is tried and trusted in a small kitchen, mixing up the materials and finishes to create some texture and depth can also work beautifully. Be sure to stick to one palette or tone of colour, though, and remember that paler shades will help a space feel bigger.

Here, cabinets in two finishes are teamed with a white worktop and marble-look porcelain tiles for the splashback.

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Screen it
Some of this L-shaped kitchen is screened from the dining and living areas by full-height, white MDF shelves.

Within the kitchen itself, clever space-saving ideas have been used, including bins that fit under the sink and a chrome rail above the worktop, which provides hanging space for utensils.

The wall units extend up to the ceiling to provide maximum storage and prevent dust collecting on the top. The units contain adjustable shelves that can be moved to meet different storage needs.

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Lean towards what’s livable
The owners of this kitchen have taken an original approach to its lack of space. Rather than trying to cram storage into every square centimetre, they’ve furnished it as a room with many features and functions.

Open shelves, plants, a rough-textured wall and a place to sit all give this small, angled kitchen huge appeal and interest. It feels open and light, with a long console table taking the place of a bank of units on one wall. What’s lost in terms of storage is gained in atmosphere and a warm, livable feel.

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Make it minimal
The small kitchen in this London home rocks a simple, minimal look. Rather than all white, this room has units in two different finishes to add a little pace. The units themselves were inexpensive, but the owner then added quality worktops, including a stainless steel surface on the hob side of the kitchen and a white Hi-Macs one on the peninsula.

A tiny seating area has also been created on the peninsula to squeeze more functionality from this small space.

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Utilise every angle
A sloping ceiling in a small kitchen can make it impossible to install a full-size wall cabinet. Instead, try more flexible, compact storage, including hooks, shelves and rails, so the upper portion of the room is still adequately used.

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Tuck it in…
A tiny kitchen is tucked into a small room off a larger, open-plan living space in this home. The actual cooking area is tight, but this arrangement helps to contain the kitchen and prevent it from spilling into the living space. See the next image for a close-up…

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Inside this tiny kitchen, slim units and a simple recipe of white and stainless steel keep the space looking clean. Shelves offer less storage than a cabinet, but help this room feel more open and less claustrophobic. In addition, when glimpsed from the living space, it reads as a small but attractive room rather than a glorified store cupboard.

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Raise it up
Zone a tiny kitchen in an open-plan configuration by raising it up. This little cookspace sits on a platform that cleverly contains a sofa-bed underneath it. A section of the worktop folds out to create a table at which to perch.

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Add luxe touches
Small kitchens have small surface areas, which means it’s often possible to splash out on luxury materials. This tiny kitchen on a barge is fitted with a marble worktop and upstand, and finished with decorative plates and quality wall lights. There’s even a pop-up plug socket in the worktop.

Do you have any tips for creating the perfect kitchen in a small space? Share them in the Comments below.

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