Six items in your kitchen to ‘remove’ to ‘double its size’ – ‘you’ll be amazed’

The kitchen can be one of the most cluttered spaces in a home, regardless of its size. But when space is limited, being clever and tactical with kitchen storage and design is crucial. With this in mind, Jen Nash, senior design lead at Magnet has shared the six things to “remove” from a small kitchen to help “double its size” and “maximise its functionality”.  

She said: “Whilst the lack of space can feel frustrating, a small kitchen can actually be one of the most charming rooms in a home. Requiring extra design consideration and innovation, the end result can be a unique space that’s bursting with character. 

“But when it comes to these considerations, there are a few elements to avoid in order to prevent the space from feeling cramped and impractical.”

1. Oversized dining arrangements 

Squeezing in a large dining table with chairs in a small kitchen will only overwhelm the space and make its flow impractical. Instead, Jen recommended trading this in for some “clever small space dining solutions”.

She said: “When not in use, drop leaf dining tables allow you to preserve precious floor space but still provide comfortable dining with fold-out arms when dinner time calls. If you can squeeze in a table, it’s always best to opt for a rounded design as the softer edges are less intrusive on the small space.

“Or, make the most of empty wall space with a slim floating shelf and some colourful bar stools. This will serve as a great informal dining area with a breakfast-bar-like feel.”

2. Duplicates and single-use items 

From spatulas and glassware to measuring cups and pans, it’s very easy to quickly accumulate duplicates in the kitchen. Whilst those with plenty of space and storage might have the luxury of doubling up, it’s not as practical in a small kitchen. 

The designer urged: “Scrutinise your kitchen belongings and recycle or donate any duplicates along with items you don’t actually use. You’ll be amazed at how much extra space and storage you free up.”

Whilst it’s also tempting to invest in the latest kitchen gadgets, it’s more efficient to get into the habit of investing in kitchen items that have more than one use. 

3. Small tiled flooring 

Often, people think small floor tiles in a compact kitchen are the best option as they are in proportion to the room. But in a small kitchen, the larger the floor tiles and the finer the grout lines, the “more seamless and expansive” a room will actually look and feel.

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Jen noted that experimenting with the shape of the tiling in relation to the layout of a kitchen is also a “great design trick to give the illusion of more space”. She said: “Triangle grout lines, for example, will lead your eye along a galley kitchen and enhance the perspective and stretch of the room.”

4. Single-shelf cupboards 

The expert claims that single-shelf cupboards are “one of the biggest barriers to maximising storage space” in a kitchen. But the good news is that most cupboards are manufactured with interchangeable shelving. 

Jen said: “With a little bit of DIY, inserting extra cupboard shelving will enable you to nearly double the amount of storage space you have in a small kitchen. 

“Measure the existing shelf, find some new ones of the same size and insert them into cabinetry with mounting hooks. This hack also enables you to customise your shelving – layering them at different heights depending on what you want to store there.”

5. Standalone appliances

Standalone appliances such as fridges, freezers and wine coolers are extremely bulky and occupy a lot of space, even in the largest of properties. 

Instead, it’s recommended to invest in integrated appliances to “free up floor space and create a more streamlined finish”. The kitchen expert commented: “Sitting flush against the wall and often able to be disguised as cabinetry, they also offer a more stylish and sleek aesthetic.’’ 

6. Monotone and unbalanced colour palette 

There’s a common misconception that dark colours should be avoided in small kitchens as they can make the space feel more compact. But Jen argued that when used correctly, they actually have the ability to add a “sophisticated and intimate feel” to a small kitchen that exudes character and warmth. 

She explained that it’s not about avoiding a specific colour in a small kitchen, it’s about avoiding an unbalanced and monotone palette. The expert pointed out: “Having just one tone throughout the entire space will make it feel one dimensional and smaller than it actually is. 

“Instead, balance out the desired kitchen colour with contrasting accents through the likes of metallic handles and hardware, decorative splashbacks and furniture. This will add depth and visual interest to the space. Metallic accents and accessories are particularly successful in small kitchens as they subtly bounce light around the room – making it appear bigger than it actually is.’’

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