How do I remodel a small kitchen?Rebecca Hinshelwood
If you are planning to remodel a small kitchen, it may feel as though your options are limited. After all, surely there are only so many ways to lay out a small space. Especially when you’ve factored in the essentials, how much scope is there for creative thinking? Well, sometimes small spaces can be perfectly unusual, practical and luxurious. It just takes a bit of thought and planning. This is your expert guide on how to remodel a small kitchen.
Plan zones for the room
Every room, no matter how small, can benefit from zoning. The classic kitchen triangle is where many people start out with this. The kitchen triangle concept is supposed to allow us to move seamlessly around the kitchen. The three points are storage (the refrigerator), cooking and washing up. Each side of the triangle should measure somewhere between four feet and nine feet. However, the way we use our kitchens has changed. There are often more than one person using the space at any one time, meals are a more social event and our kitchens are used in more ways than simply cooking. So while the kitchen triangle is a good principle to start with, more generic ‘zones’ are more practical when it comes to remodelling a layout.
Use the full height of the room
Utilise the full height of the room to really maximise storage in a small kitchen design. It can be easy to ignore height if it means that units are hard to access. However, with a bit of planning this can be overcome. Think about seasonal items – turkey platters, fondue sets and party ware. Store these things at height and they’ll be there when you need them without getting in the way day to day. Older houses and flats often have smaller kitchens, but they also benefit from high ceilings, which is really important when you remodel a small kitchen. Build up the cabinetry to make the most of the available space. Look to the past for period kitchen solutions – a Victorian sheila-maid fitted to the ceiling can work as an original feature.
Invest in good quality materials
You’re very likely to notice the quality of the materials used in a small kitchen. So make sure that you allocate appropriate funds when you set your budget. Materials that you touch and that experience high traffic or high use should be durable. Flooring and worktops are two such examples. Cheaper alternatives for these two parts of your kitchen appear obvious, and will not withstand the demands put upon them in a smaller kitchen. Granite floors and worktops are incredibly low maintenance and hardy. When sealed, the material will last a lifetime and look as good as they day it was installed. While solid stone may seem to carry a high price tag, in a small kitchen you require less of it and so it is worth allocating the budget to reap the benefits.
Create a multipurpose space
OK, so in a small kitchen you may not have room for a kitchen island. This doesn’t stop you from bringing flexibility into your kitchen remodel though. Your worktop simply needs to have a deep curve or a thrust to function as a mini breakfast bar. This actually takes up considerably little room in the kitchen when it’s being used functionally, but makes a huge difference when you’re using the space socially. With a couple of stools at hand, this area of worktop can become a homework space, a place for a coffee and chat or a spot for drinks to be served at a soiree. Plus, if you’ve chosen a shiny quartz worktop, the extra surface area will help to reflect more natural light, making the room feel brighter and more airy.
Include freestanding furniture in your layout
A small square kitchen is often limited to a U-shaped layout and a long thin kitchen to a galley layout. Create variation and depth in this basic set up by mixing built in units with free standing furniture. Vintage designs are very on trend at the moment, and by adding a dresser or sideboard to your small kitchen layout you can easily achieve the look. Open or mesh fronted cupboards and open shelving are also great additions as they create levels in limited space. This is a practical choice too. Position high use equipment and utensils on display so you can keep them within easy reach. Open shelves to store jars of dry ingredients near your cook zone, for example, look great as well as being organised and accessible.
Get creative with lighting
We know that reflecting natural light makes your small kitchen feel larger. This is why many people choose reflective stone worktops, such as quartz. However, your artificial lighting decisions also add character to a small kitchen. Plan your lighting from the outset to make it feel seamless. Feature lighting, such as a bespoke pendant design, will create an impressive focal point. This makes the room feel more extravagant without wasting valuable floor space. Under cupboard LED lighting is fantastic for a small kitchen. These features can be programmed to change brightness and colour at the touch of a button. This means you can create different atmospheres. Great when a small kitchen needs to fulfil different functions, such as a working space and a social space.
Storage solutions are your friend
When you remodel a small kitchen, it’s important to take early measures that prevent worktops becoming cluttered with excess supplies and gadgetry. Fit the space with as many clever storage solutions as you can, and you’ll be glad a year down the line when things have started to accumulate! After all, if the star of your small kitchen is a beautiful marble worktop, you don’t want it to be buried under clutter! Look at tall pull out pantry cupboards and deep storage drawers in place of traditional under worktop cupboards. These offer much better ease of access to the contents so you don’t lose things at the back of the cupboard. Fit corner units with circular access shelves, and add drawers within drawers. Make use of hanging things from the backs of cupboard doors, under wall cabinets and across a hob splashback.
Contact us at Zenstone to browse the perfect stone surfaces for your kitchen remodel.