Make the most of the space in your kitchen with these expert tips
Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More
The designers we interview for our kitchen tours have some brilliant tricks for using space wisely and making a room look and feel bigger. We’ve trawled through the archives and put together a roundup of some of the most useful tips you can take away for your own kitchen.
Boost space with balance
One of the best tips we’ve gleaned from our kitchen tours is how symmetry can make a space feel uncluttered. Emily Rumble of deVOL Kitchens says of these symmetrically positioned cabinets, “The room could have felt crammed and busy, but by keeping the design balanced and simple, it looks less confusing.”
Tour the rest of this pretty kitchen
Forgo a splashback
A splashback will give wipe-clean walls, but it’s not the only option. In this kitchen, the owners decided not to have a full splashback, and opted instead for an upstand. It helps to give a more open feel to the space. You could even stick to bare walls everywhere apart from above the sink and cooker.
View the rest of this Dublin kitchen
Go with the flow
Got a tricky architectural feature? Rather than fight it, incorporate it into your design. Jurgita Vainutyte (Giorgia) of Vivid Line Furniture says, “I really love to use every inch of space, so we decided to create wraparound storage to get some value out of this pillar.”
Take a tour of this classic kitchen
Keep edges smooth
If you want to include protruding features in a small kitchen, keep the edges curved. This will prevent you knocking into sharp corners and will make the object less obvious.
The curved design of this breakfast bar makes it less overwhelming than a straight edge. “We could have had a straight surface all the way across,” says Rhiannon Phenis of Sola Kitchens, “but the curved design adds much more interest and allows people to face each other.”
View more of this Scandinavian-style kitchen
Tuck in some stools
If you want some stools for your island that don’t take up too much room, consider a design like this. The owners of this Australian kitchen wanted somewhere to sit at the breakfast bar, and these tractor seat stools were the perfect choice. They’re not only comfortable, they tuck neatly under the island when not in use.
See inside this Australian kitchen
Conceal a row of cabinets
A wall of large units will provide plenty of storage, but it could overwhelm your space. In this gorgeous dark kitchen, designer Emily Rumble chose to paint the cupboards in the same colour as the wall. The matching shades allow the cabinets to dissolve into the background and be less visible.
Take a peek inside this dark grey kitchen
Reflect the light
To make a space feel bigger, our kitchen designers are clever with light. An easy tip they often share is to include reflective surfaces in your design.
Here, glossy white tiles form a reflective splashback to make the most of the daylight in the room. The designer, Tim Higham of Higham Furniture, also chose pale work surfaces and says, “We chose 40mm Corian worktops in Glacier White to create the clean, crisp look the owner wanted.”
View the rest of this bright kitchen
Create width with mixed materials…
This galley kitchen was a narrow space to work with. To create the illusion of width, Hannah Cockburn of Cream & Black Interior Design paired dark tall units with white base units. She explains, “Mixing two tones makes a space feel more interesting.”
Be inspired by this galley kitchen
…or leave space above your units
To make a room feel wider, don’t choose ceiling-height units. In this cookspace, Paul Brivati of Kitchen Architecture left some space above the cupboards. He says, “In a small room like this, if you plan right up to the ceiling, it brings the whole space in and makes it feel smaller. Leaving some wall visible above the units makes the room feel a little bit wider.”
Tour this small but perfectly formed kitchen
Break up space with glass doors
A row of wall units can feel very solid and heavy. An alternative is open shelving, but if you don’t fancy that idea, opt for glazed cabinets instead. Andrew Hall of Woodstock Furniture chose two glazed units in this kitchen, and says, “They reflect the light and break up the dark green.”
See the rest of this beautiful green kitchen
Have you taken any good tips from our Kitchen Tours? Do you have any other clever tricks you could tell us about? Share your ideas and photos in the Comments below.