We have written in the past about the joys of an open plan kitchen but not everyone is blessed with the space to make this a reality. Smaller spaces bring with them a whole host of issues that you simply won’t find in a larger kitchen. Space is of course the root cause for most of these challenges.

Maximising the space you have available to you and giving the impression of more space is key to ensuring your kitchen does not feel claustrophobic. Here are our seven top tips for working the space you’ve got:

Avoid visual clutter

This is the foundation upon which each and every tip stems from. You want your kitchen to ooze style, this will be much harder if it is bursting at the seams with clutter. Clutter usually finds its way onto worktops, with toasters, microwaves, kettles, knife blocks and coffee machines all prime offenders. Now of course it is impossible to rid yourself entirely of these items. But think carefully about what you actually use on a regular basis and what could face the chop. Is there anything that could be relegated to a cupboard? Or even above the cabinet units?

Set up like a pro

Problem: drawer space is so limited that you have nowhere to store your kitchen knives. Solution: invest in magnetic strips to stick them to the walls. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Magnetic strips are the go-to way that professional kitchens store their knives. Going for this storage method can free up some well needed drawer space for something far more unsightly such as cling film or kitchen foil.

Use hooks

In a similar way to magnetised knife strips, hooks are the way professional kitchens get round the issue of space. Pots and pans can be hung under cabinet units, from walls or ceilings and even in the alcoves of windows. This will free up a lot of cupboard space, give your kitchen a professional feel and most importantly mean you won’t have to be rooting round the back of your cupboards when you’re looking for the griddle.

Embrace efficiency

In the kitchen it is all about the work triangle, that is the imaginary line that connects the fridge with the stove and the sink. Universal design is a set of theories and practices that are applied in the build and design of houses, the work triangle falls under that. It states that the work triangle should add up to no more than 13 feet or four metres. If you are blessed with a small kitchen you can be sure that you will be working to utmost efficiency, never more than a few paces form the next station.

Choose a peninsula over an island

An island in the kitchen is a central part of larger open plan kitchens. But smaller spaces simply don’t allow for such a luxury. There is a way around this however, you could consider an extension of your worktop jutting out into the floor space, often referred to as a peninsula. This allows for a breakfast bar which can also be conveniently used as a space to entertain. It also breaks the room up nicely into a work space and an area to relax.

Flood the space with light

Light can work wonders on a space. Well conceived and planned light can expand the feel of the space, making it seem as if you’re in a room twice the size it actually is. If you are able to make larger scale changes to your house it would be worth considering whether your windows maximise the light potential. Could the windows be expanded? Or to scale it back slightly, could you do away with blinds that are restricting access of light into the room?

Opt for clean colours 

The trends of the moment tend to lean towards a combination of colours set against natural and distressed woods. And you too can opt for an on-trend kitchen. But consider clean colours such as whites, off whites and light shades of grey. This will reflect the light that does enter your room, bringing a new dynamic to the space. Where darker colours run the risk of swallowing up the light, making the walls and units feel a lot closer; light colours open out the space reflecting light in interesting and unexpected ways.

We have written in the past about the joys of an open plan kitchen but not everyone is blessed with the space to make this a reality. Smaller spaces bring with them a whole host of issues that you simply won’t find in a larger kitchen. Space is of course the root cause for most of these challenges.

Maximising the space you have available to you and giving the impression of more space is key to ensuring your kitchen does not feel claustrophobic. Here are our seven top tips for working the space you’ve got:

Avoid visual clutter

This is the foundation upon which each and every tip stems from. You want your kitchen to ooze style, this will be much harder if it is bursting at the seams with clutter. Clutter usually finds its way onto worktops, with toasters, microwaves, kettles, knife blocks and coffee machines all prime offenders. Now of course it is impossible to rid yourself entirely of these items. But think carefully about what you actually use on a regular basis and what could face the chop. Is there anything that could be relegated to a cupboard? Or even above the cabinet units?

Set up like a pro

Problem: drawer space is so limited that you have nowhere to store your kitchen knives. Solution: invest in magnetic strips to stick them to the walls. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Magnetic strips are the go-to way that professional kitchens store their knives. Going for this storage method can free up some well needed drawer space for something far more unsightly such as cling film or kitchen foil.

Use hooks

In a similar way to magnetised knife strips, hooks are the way professional kitchens get round the issue of space. Pots and pans can be hung under cabinet units, from walls or ceilings and even in the alcoves of windows. This will free up a lot of cupboard space, give your kitchen a professional feel and most importantly mean you won’t have to be rooting round the back of your cupboards when you’re looking for the griddle.

Embrace efficiency

In the kitchen it is all about the work triangle, that is the imaginary line that connects the fridge with the stove and the sink. Universal design is a set of theories and practices that are applied in the build and design of houses, the work triangle falls under that. It states that the work triangle should add up to no more than 13 feet or four metres. If you are blessed with a small kitchen you can be sure that you will be working to utmost efficiency, never more than a few paces form the next station.

Choose a peninsula over an island

An island in the kitchen is a central part of larger open plan kitchens. But smaller spaces simply don’t allow for such a luxury. There is a way around this however, you could consider an extension of your worktop jutting out into the floor space, often referred to as a peninsula. This allows for a breakfast bar which can also be conveniently used as a space to entertain. It also breaks the room up nicely into a work space and an area to relax.

Flood the space with light

Light can work wonders on a space. Well conceived and planned light can expand the feel of the space, making it seem as if you’re in a room twice the size it actually is. If you are able to make larger scale changes to your house it would be worth considering whether your windows maximise the light potential. Could the windows be expanded? Or to scale it back slightly, could you do away with blinds that are restricting access of light into the room?

Opt for clean colours 

The trends of the moment tend to lean towards a combination of colours set against natural and distressed woods. And you too can opt for an on-trend kitchen. But consider clean colours such as whites, off whites and light shades of grey. This will reflect the light that does enter your room, bringing a new dynamic to the space. Where darker colours run the risk of swallowing up the light, making the walls and units feel a lot closer; light colours open out the space reflecting light in interesting and unexpected ways.