Our top 10 kitchen space savers
Having a spatially challenged kitchen needn’t be a handicap, as a smaller room makes you consider what you really need for everyday cooking. Hayley Gilbert gives her expert advice on clever ideas for small kitchens.
There are many ingenious space-savers to help keep order in the kitchen. Carousels make use of hard-to-reach corners, pull-out larders are perfect for bottles, while utensil baskets can store cleaning products. Think about what you need to store – and where to store it. Plan the position of the main appliances first – the location of everything else should come from that.
Most manufacturers offer slimline or compact fridges, freezers, dishwashers and ovens. Consider linear hobs that have elements in a single row, as well as slim, twin hobs you can combine in a series. Fully integrated appliances give a streamlined look, while semi-integrated designs have the control panel showing, which adds interest. Look, too, for combi-ovens, which combine the functions of an oven and microwave in one. Some even include a steam function.
Light, bright worktops
White surfaces can make a kitchen look bigger. Corian (0800 962116; corian.co.uk) is made from a composite stone and comes in many colours, including several shades of white. Bushboard’s Encore range (01933 232200; bushboard.co.uk) is a plywood and solid surface combination that works just as well. Mirrored or glass splashbacks reflect light, giving the illusion of more space.
Good illumination is vital, too. Bounce light around using recessed or semi-recessed fi ttings to create warm zones of brightness. Don’t forget task lighting under wall cabinets onto the worktops, a pendant over the kitchen table and halogens on the extractor to illuminate the hob.
1. Worktop rescuer
A corner sink is ideal for a small kitchen, as it can free up a length of worktop for food prep.
Lantos 9E-IF fits a standard 60cm cabinet width and is made from 18/10 stainless steel. It has a flat edge for a flush-fit look and a central bowl flanked by two draining areas. It’s priced at £284.35 (0844 912 0100).
2. Keep the air clean
An extractor is essential to remove steam and odours. Make a statement without sacrificing space by choosing a Mini OM, which is a smaller version of the full-size OM by
. In Provence Purple (shown), Apple Green, Electric Blue, Turquoise, Sunrise Orange or Curry Yellow, it’s 55cm wide by 52cm high and costs from around £1,150 (01252 351111).
3. Perfectly formed
Compact ovens are good for small kitchens – they’re only 45cm high, as opposed to the usual 60cm, but still offer all the functions you’d expect from a larger model. The OB60NDEX1 multifunction oven from
Fisher & Paykel
can bake, roast, grill and defrost, and it costs around £570 (0845 066 2200).
4. Hide and Sleek
SlideAway oven has a huge 58-litre capacity and a door that retracts into the oven – great for narrow or galley kitchens, and it gives good access for basting and grilling. It’s priced from £650 (0844 892 9033).
5. Use every inch
Maximise the often-wasted space in a corner unit by having clever rotating storage. ‘Twister’ includes spice drawers, fitted shelving and wine racks. At £1,800 it is a top-end investment, though. Made to order by
6. Don’t forget the ceiling!
Free up valuable worktop space by hanging your herbs from the ceiling – upside down. Sky Planters use a reservoir system that feeds water gradually to the roots, while the locking disc and mesh holds the plant and soil in place. In white or black, they cost from £22.50 for an extra-small size at
7. Counter culture
By moving the dishwasher to the countertop you can fit more base units in, which means more storage space.
has a funky, compact version, the SKS50E11EU, which comes in red, black or yellow, can take six place settings and costs £399 at
8. Clever corner
Make use of the dead space deep inside corner cabinets with
Le Mans corner pull-out system. These non-slip shelves slide out for full access to your plates, crockery and pans. The four-tier unit costs £670 (01325 505539).
9. Hobs choice
Domino hobs from
offer a versatile cooking area that works well when worktop space is limited. These slimline 30cm-wide hobs are available in a variety of models, from basic to more sophisticated. Options include ceramic induction, electric or standard gas hobs, as well as a teppanyaki griddle, barbecue grill and wok burner. Prices start at £500 for the two-zone gas hob (0844 892 9044).
10. Now you see it, now you don’
A tall pantry unit is an excellent way to pack in plenty of produce. For easy access, the main section in this cupboard slides gently forward when the door is opened. This version from
is part of a complete white lacquer kitchen – prices for the whole kitchen start at £20,000 (0844 800 2007).