Having a small kitchen with big dreams doesn’t need to be an issue. With clever design and simple tricks, you can transform a small kitchen into a beautifully functional space. The key is planning and a dash of expert advice.

At Art of Kitchens, we have been transforming small kitchens into breathtaking, award-winning spaces for decades – designing, manufacturing, and installing some of the best kitchens in Sydney. Here, we share our expertise to help your small kitchen, become the kitchen of your dreams.

Small kitchen spaces can leave many homeowners scratching their heads when it comes to good design. Fitting all the essentials into the area, while keeping seamless design and creating a functional space can be a challenge. The good news is; with careful planning and clever layout, your small kitchen can easily become the kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Clever Customisation

When it comes to tiny kitchens, customising is key. Having specially-designed cabinetry and benchtops can make the most out of every inch of space. Cupboards in smaller kitchens can be designed with linear panels that can create the illusion of tall ceilings and a sense of more room.

With many kitchens, the ‘working triangle’ is an important aspect of design. This triangle creates a clear pathway between the stove, the kitchen sink, and the refrigerator. Creating enough working space can be a challenge with smaller kitchens but if the elements are placed correctly and adequate traffic flow is considered, a small kitchen can be just as functional as a large space.

It’s common for small kitchens to be designed in a galley or corridor layout. The word ‘galley’ is used as the shape is very similar to the cooking areas found in a ships galley. The galley kitchen comprises two sets of cupboards that face each other in a corridor-like layout. The standard shape of a galley kitchen resembles a narrow rectangle with benches and appliances located on the two walls.

Layouts consist of a dishwasher, stove, and sink in one area, leaving storage in upper and lower level cupboards, while benchtops are free for prep and cooking zones. Positioning your refrigerator in the correct area – and possibly changing the hinges to ensure it opens the correct direction – will create a smaller triangle and allow you to cook and access everything without having to shuffle through the kitchen. Careful consideration will ensure the space is flexible and also keeps the busy chef safe during food prep time.

Needing more storage? Consider specially designed upper cabinets above the stove and refrigerator.

If you are heading towards a one-wall kitchen design – also very popular with small kitchen layouts – the traditional triangle will not be possible. Consider installing the stovetop and hob in the middle of the kitchen, with the sink and refrigerator on opposite ends. You can also choose to put the sink on the island bench (if you have the room) this will create a more modern triangle that will work for your space.

Some smaller kitchens can also take advantage of an L-shaped kitchen layout. This design has cabinets along two walls. Clever, customised cabinetry can provide excellent storage solutions for corner cupboards, while the L-shape offers more options in terms of placement of your work areas and appliances. This design can incorporate a triangle easily and has a bit more flexibility in terms of what goes where.

TOP TIPS – Smaller Kitchens

If you want to make your smaller kitchens seem larger, stick to white or light colours with a dash of wooden details. Some smaller kitchens, particularly in open-plan environments, can take advantage of darker colours, however, if your kitchen space is cut-off or small, white and bright is best.

Clever use of wooden panels and tall cabinetry can make the room seem taller, while extra cupboards above and below will give your new kitchen plenty of storage solutions. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry will add more storage as well as the illusion of height. Being super organised can also have benefits in small kitchens.

Small kitchens need good storage. This is vital to maximise your kitchens functionality and flow. Make good use of corners, and also plan the use of utensils and important items. Store your kitchen items by how you use them – easy to reach for the essentials, and up high for those only utilised on special occasions. Consider shelving options that can display your prized kitchen pieces, and free-up your cupboard space to keep the clutter off your prime prep spaces and benchtops.

Island benches are also a great way to add seating while incorporating more prep space for the budding household chef. These can also contain sinks in different locations to make your work zone and triangle achievable, and are great for open-plan kitchens in smaller spaces.

With smaller kitchens, good lighting is a must. Clever workspace lighting and statement pieces can showcase the area and fill it with brightness.

Expert advice, alongside quality design, can transform your kitchen into a room that is highly functional and visually pleasing. Talk to our Art of Kitchens specialist designers today about a customised solution for your compact space.