It may seem petty, but every little detail matters when you are trying to make a small home look larger and function at its best. So, if you're in the market for a new hob, go for one that is inset into your worktop and lies completely flat. Gas hobs that are raised above the worktop will make your kitchen feel that little bit more crowded.
And, how cool is this hob? New to the UK, this Caple C950i induction hob, features four separate induction plates and a control panel, which can be fitted in flush to your worktop. It gives you more worktop space and, as a result, will make your kitchen feel larger too. Win win.
There are certain kitchen items that need to be left out on display either because you use them constantly; they would start to smell if you hid them away; or you simply don't have room for them within your cupboards. That's fine, just try to make sure that these items look good. You don't want an ugly bottle of washing up liquid by your sink, for example, you want a subtly stylish container, such as this L.A Bruket, pump-action dispenser. What's more this natural liquid is made with organic essential oils of rosemary and lemongrass and will not damage your hands or the environment.
Same goes for the washing up brush and counter cloths too. Avoid those lurid coloured ones you see on supermarket shelves. Opt for something with a designer feel instead. This free-standing scrubbing brush, which comes as part of a the Bucket Dishwashing set with matching micro fibre cloth, soap dispenser and container, also comes with a replacement brush head.
And, when it comes to tea towels avoid anything white or light coloured. Tea towels are often not only used for drying dishes, but for wiping oily and greasy hands on whilst cooking. Those light-coloured ones quickly lose their glistening brightness. Go for darker colour teatowels and the same goes for napkins too, this Hopsack set won't show the marks.
Didn't think you could fit more than one appliance into your weeny kitchen? Think again. Not all white goods are the standard 60cm unit width. Some are narrower than that, meaning that you can squeeze in a fridge freezer, a dishwasher and maybe even a washing machine and tumble drier.
Here's the skinny on this Whirlpool 45cm dishwasher. Not only is it narrow, it's all A++ energy rated, quiet, at around 43dB, and you can still stack it up with ten place settings. If you'd rather it wasn't seen, it comes in an integrated version too.
And, the bog standard white goods aren't the only shrunken appliances you might be able to fit in to your kitchen either. You know that slot that you thought was only good for a telescopic teatowel holder and, maybe, a tray? It's actually big enough to fit Caple's compact wine cabinet within. It might only be able to store seven bottles, but it's a wine cabinet that fits in your little galley!
Let your kitchen utensils stand up for themselves. This frees up space in the drawers and avoids the need for wall hooks and pot holders. This ladle, pasta server and skimmer look rather cute too. Use them to inject some personality into a bland rental kitchen or the mess in your uni halls.
If you've always fancied a KitchenAid Mixer, but didn't think you could sacrifice what worktop space that you have in your kitchen for it, it could be time for a rethink. John Lewis showed off a mini version of the iconic mixer at its 2016 Autumn Winter press show this week. The 4.8l mixer now comes in this on trend bronze, or what the brand likes to call Apple Cider.
Why give up a whole room to a kitchen? Now you can have everything you need to store, prepare, cook, serve and eat food within a table. The Kitch't by dsigndby features a dishwasher, oven, fridge and storage space beneath the table top. Whilst on top there is a hob and sink.
The designers claim that three people can be comfortably seated at the end of the Corian® DuPont™-topped table, but I reckon I could squeeze at least half a dozen people around it. It costs from E13,000. For more information visit Dsignedby.
Drawers are useful things and tables are a perfect place for them, tucked away in an otherwise redundant space below your plate. It's not easy to find a dining table with a drawer in it, however. Manufacturers would much rather you bought a table and an extra piece of furniture for drawer space. Nevertheless, seek and you shall find.
This dining table comes with the option of adding cutlery drawers at both ends. After all, the dining table is the ideal place for keeping your cutlery.
These table drawers can also be used for storing placemats and napkins. Or it could be a place for keeping the paperwork and the kids' homework.
Whilst this gate leg kitchen table has three deep drawers within it and folds away into a slim column shape.
When I'm entertaining, I probably waste half an hour at the beginning and end of the meal trying to squeeze prepared food and then leftovers into our small fridge freezer. Although I find this challenge strangely therapeutic, there are always other things I could be doing, which is why Gorenje's new NRC6192TX fridge freezer with its revolutionary-sounding ConvertActive technology that switches the freezer section into refrigerator mode, sounds rather appealing.
The A++ model takes two hours to switch modes from freezer to fridge and then you're already to party. It costs around £619. I haven't tested it, but if you need to invest in a new fridge freezer for a small kitchen this is one worth taking a look at. Visit Gorenje for further details.
Small homes rarely have space for a utility room. Our washing machines and tumble driers live right beside us. Maybe the washer drier is in the kitchen, the bathroom or right in the middle of it all, in the open-plan living space. Which is why we should be very interested in appliance decibel levels.
Now, I've never heard them in action, but Whirlpool’s latest Supreme Care range of washing machines and tumble dryers claim to have the quietest spin cycle on the market. They work away at 67 dB(A).
It surprised me, but you can actually do a quick techie search and find out that that is the equivalent to the level of a normal conversation. Not a whisper, but there are some machines out there that are spinning around near 80dB, which, with my new found knowledge, I can tell you is about the equivalent to a passenger car going at 65 mph, twenty five feet away from you. Food for thought when appliance shopping.
No mention of a quiet integrated model yet, which is a shame, because we don't want to have to see these things in our open-plan areas either.
Talking of open-plan, discover why wall units aren't good for open-plan spaces here
If you need maximum kitchen storage this feature isn't for you. But if you want to make your kitchen feel larger, then doing away with kitchen wall units is key. When you clutter up the walls at eye level with built in furniture you draw everything in and your room will feel smaller.
Wall units don't work well in open plan spaces
Where your kitchen is part of a larger open-plan living space, it's best not to draw attention to it. Wall units make a kitchen feel more like a traditional kitchen, if you opt largely for sleek handleless base units, this area of the room will look more like its harbouring a smart sideboard when not in use.
And, by avoiding wall units around windows you will bring much more light in.
Read on here for more tips on how to make a small home feel more spacious