How to Design a Small Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, it’s where we eat, drink, relax and entertain.

brown wooden seat beside white wooden table

While some may be blessed with ample living space, some kitchens require a little bit more interior magic in order to work. Whether you’re frustrated by a small traditional kitchen or feeling the squeeze of a contemporary new build, there are several ways to maximise your small kitchen. Expert layout tips to space-saving solutions, at Parker Howley & Co, we’ve got you covered.

How to save space in a small kitchen

Successful small kitchen designs that are those that feature substance in functionality as well as style; a seamless workflow and ample storage. This makes the layout the most vital consideration – the shape of your space will lead to the overall aesthetics you choose as well as form the storage options. When thinking about these components it’s important you consider your lifestyle and how you use the kitchen too. One of the main benefits of a smaller kitchen is that you can easily access all elements of your space making cooking and cleaning easier. If you’re a keen cook, you need to think about your work triangle, and how you will move around efficiently, for example.

Some see breakfast bars or kitchen islands as a luxury or extravagant addition to a home, however they are an excellent option for those looking for kitchen ideas for small spaces. They can double up for both food preparation and dining, adding a multi dimensional aspect to your space.

A well designed kitchen island that unifies your kitchen equally will provide a sense of balance and flow. If you have a longer, narrow small kitchen you could incorporate your island as a breakfast bar with stool seating, alternatively a bespoke neat structure with built-in cabinets can be specially made to enhance those tight, or smaller dimensions.

Why not explore how Parker Howley & Co can give your small kitchen a more spacious look and functional feel by browsing our collection of kitchen islands today!

How to increase counter space in a small kitchen

Wall-hung organisers

Useful wall-hung organisers, such as wall racks, shelves, hooks and rails can keep all of your essentials contained while freeing up valuable worktop space.

In-cupboard organisers

Crowded cupboards could be a struggle if you have a small kitchen. Under-shelf organisers can make use of space that usually gets wasted and can even make your life easier as the contents are much easier to identify.

Under-cupboard plinths

Dead space underneath cabinets can be frustrating so you could think about adding in an under-cupboard plinth or slimline drawer which is ideal for storing flat items such as chopping boards, trays, table clothes and tea towels.

Small kitchen islands with sinks

Washing, soaking, straining and rinsing; your sink has a multitude of functions. Having one added to your bespoke kitchen island could save some valuable worktop space. You could even fit a large chopping board or draining rack over it when it’s not in use to get the most out of your space. Entertaining guests? Turn it into a bucket of ice and let your drinks chill!

How to make a small kitchen look bigger

When decorating a small kitchen it’s important to think about the overall aesthetic. Decor plays a crucial role in making your space feel enclosed or spacious.
Colour schemes and styles

If you own a modern or contemporary kitchen, a chic minimalistic look offers a clutter free feel, while light colour palettes help provide the illusion of more space. If you’ve got white or light cabinets you may want to consider a gloss to give them a reflective light quality, which in turn helps your kitchen feel larger.

If your kitchen is more traditional, neutral palettes are still your best friend. If you wish to add colour then you could experiment with your splashback or tiling, or add some hints of colour within your accessories.

Accessories and appliances

There are several space-saving appliances on the market today. In fact, there are many that actually combine two functions into one. A washer-dryer could be a good choice, as well as an integrated fridge freezer to eliminate the need for space for two separate units.

Smart storage and intelligent integrations are a must have. Choose ones that work for your lifestyle and the space you have available. For instance handleless cupboards can work wonders in small kitchens as well as slimline vertical storage units such as tall boys.


Good, bright lighting is vital in small kitchens so it’s important you make the most of natural light as well as opting for the correct artificial enhancers.

When it comes to natural light try adding a roller blind over a venetian, this way you can pull it fully open to let the light pour in. Try to avoid placing large ornaments or plants on the windowsill too as this will only block it coming in.

For artificial lighting, avoid light fittings and go for spotlights instead. As they are plush to the ceiling they don’t take up any space and ensure a more uncluttered feel.

How to organise a small kitchen

Innovative drawer space

A little bit of creativity can go a long way when it comes to storage in your small kitchen. Look at your current cabinet space and think about how you can make your life easier, for example corner cabinets could benefit from a large pull out drawer for utensils, tea towels etc.

Portable storage

Portable storage options, such as trolleys or kitchen islands on wheels can provide some well needed extra cupboard space. They are flexible and can be moved to suit your space when needed.

Floor-to-ceiling cabinets

If you’ve got larger items to store, such as mops or hoovers, floor-to-ceiling cabinets are also a good idea. While they can make your space feel more enclosed they offer tons of storage and can also function as a pantry for soups, tins, condiments and other cupboard grocery products.

Ideas for small kitchens

Check out our Instagram page @parkerhowley_n_co for stunning kitchen inspiration from our real life customers! Also, feel free to browse our gallery of designs here at Parker Howley & Co to discover how a bespoke kitchen island can give your kitchen an instant upgrade or project a personalised, luxury look.

Seen something you like the look of? Give kitchen enquiries a call on 0333 444 0406, and one of our experts will be happy to help. We can also provide you with any personalised advice or tips on how you can save space in your small kitchen.

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