When counter-top space is limited buying a kettle requires quite bit of thought. These tips will help you to find the best kettle for your small space
A kettle can take up a lot of surface area on your kitchen worktop. And when worktop space is limited, you want to make sure that any kettle you buy has a small foot print. Plus, it should be easy to fill and pour and boil quickly and efficiently.
Kettles with a small footprint
When you are choosing a kettle, look for one that is tall and narrow, rather than one that is short and stout. This will take up much less countertop space, without compromising on the volume of water it can heat. This funky Sowden Kettle by Hay is just 2cm wide, 16.5 cm deep and 25cm high and it holds 1.5 litres of water, enough to make a good few cups of tea or fill a saucepan for boiling your veg.
Go for a cordless kettle
You don't want to have a wire snaking across your kitchen every time you move your kettle to use it. Go for a base that is plugged in and a kettle itself that has no cord. This sleek Breville Edge Kettle from Amazon stores up to 1.7 litres of water, lifts easily off its base and has an extra wide spout to make pouring that much easier.
You want a quiet kettle
Make sure your kettle keeps the noise down. You don't want to have to shout at your guests to be heard over the intense rumbling of your boiling water contraption. This stylish Dualit Classic Kettle, available from John Lewis, is approved by Quiet Mark, which acoustically tests products and only rubber stamps those that are suitably quiet. So, this kettle will quietly boil water without disrupting any conversation in the room.
Make your kettle eco-friendly
We must all consider how our buying choices impact our carbon footprint these days, so it is important to make sure that what ever kettle you buy it is eco-friendly. Look for kettles that boil quickly. These are normally labelled 'quick boil.' And not only will they help you do your bit for the planet, they will ensure that you won’t be left waiting around for the steam to rise either. This Swan Nordic Jug Kettle boils rapidly and automatically turns off when the water is fully boiled or if there is insufficient water inside it. Its wooden handle is rather lovely too.
Enhance your space with a reflective kettle
To make your tiny kitchen feel that little bit larger, go for a reflective kettle. This retro-style stainless steel Smeg KLF03CREU Kettle will reflect your kitchen back at you, making it feel that little bit larger. Plus it will bounce light around your room, helping to make it appear a little brighter too.
Why reflective surfaces are ideal for small homes
Ditch the kettle for a boiling water tap
If you don't want a kettle on your counter top at all, and you have the budget, and the space under your sink for the equipment that comes with it, go for a boiling water tap. This Qettle Signature tap dispenses water at boiling point, as well as standard filtered hot and cold water.
When you need to max out on storage space in your small apartment or house, a dining table that incorporates at least one drawer is a must. Here are a selection of contemporary and traditional dining tables with drawers
Contemporary dining tables with drawers
Furniture designers are increasingly building added functionality into their furniture to make it more practical, particularly for people with small homes. And, dining tables with drawers are becoming ever more popular.
The modern Vox 4 You dining table, shown above, from Cuckooland is packed with storage options. Available in two sizes, it has a hidden container in the middle of the table that you can open up to hold flowers, plants or condiments or conceal to create a solid flat table top. Plus, you can separately purchase drawers to slide underneath the tabletop to hold cutlery, table mats or perhaps homework.
Designed by Danish furniture designer, Isabel Ahm, for Warm Nordic, the Runa Dining table, featured above from Nest, contains a drawer suitable for cutlery, napkins or tablemats. What's more, it is so well hidden the uninformed would not know that it is even there. Available in Walnut, Smoked Oak or Teak Oiled Oak, this is a statement piece that will never go out of fashion.
A modern drop leaf dining table with a drawer
You don't get much more functional than this Wooden Kitchen Table Set from Amazon, shown above. Not only does it include a roomy cutlery drawer, it has two wide drop-down leaves and it conceals four smart fold-up dining chairs within its base too. Plus, it's on wheels, so you can roll it into another room or slip it behind a door when it's not required. An ideal dining table for a small studio flat.
Traditional dining tables with drawers
Traditional dining tables with drawers tend to be in the lovely homely farmhouse kitchen table style. The Halifax Painted Kitchen Breakfast table set, shown above, from White Tree Furniture is a little mini take on this theme. Its two upholstered stools tuck neatly away beneath the unit when they're not in use and as well as a cutlery drawer, it also has two hanging hooks to hold a tea-towel and apron.
When you're designing a small kitchen,, you want your extractor fan to take up minimal space. Here's what to consider
In a big space, smells quickly dissipate. In a small space, smells, particularly cooking odours, really hang around and will permeate through your entire compact home.
There are some benefits to be had from being able to tell what's for dinner from your desk in your bedroom, but generally you don't want the smell of smoked haddock or fried bacon sticking around in your boudoir, lounge or bathroom. So, this means you need a very effective extractor fan. And they don't even have to look like an extractor fan.
The Cookology Ceiling Wire Hung Island extractor fan, shown above from Amazon, comes in a variety of colours and looks like a pendant light fitting. In fact, incorporating two bright LED spot lights, it doubles up as a pendant light fitting, while sucking in steam and odours from cooking.
A hob and extractor in one
The revolutionary Bora X Pure is a hob and an extractor in one. Powered by downdraft technology, the extractor sits in the middle of the hob and in recirculation mode its activated charcoal filter neutralises cooking odours removing any lingering cooking smells. It's also quieter than most standard extractors, which is another important consideration in a small or open-plan space. This hob and extractor in one is largely stocked by kitchen shops, so you will also be helping small independent shops by buying one.
Wall unit extractor fans for small kitchens
If you're willing to sacrifice valuable cupboard space, and don't want your extractor fan out on display, look for a wall unit extractor that can be concealed above your hob in a kitchen wall unit. Caple’s Storm ST523 built-under hood wall unit extractor, shown above, is A-rated for grease absorption and features a maximum extraction of 654m3/h.
Pop-up extractor fans for small kitchens
Pop-up extractor fans that pop out of your worktop or hob are another practical option for small kitchens. With the Novy Panorama Power hob and extractor in one, the downdraft extractor is popped up when in use and then lowered out of sight when it's not being used. It's also certified by Quiet Mark the independent, international approval award that identifies the quietest products in their category.
Hood extractor fans for small kitchens
If you have a little bit of space on your kitchen wall and want to make a feature out of your extractor fan, there are a lot of attractive hob extractor fans available for small kitchens. The Hotpoint PHVP8.7FLTK has an impressive extraction rate of 713m3/hr and comes with built-in lights for added illumination and a grease filter that is dishwasher safe.
How to work out what extraction rate your kitchen needs
When considering what extraction rate will your kitchen require, first you have to calculate the volume of the room that your extractor will be installed in. So, you must multiply the length by the width and the height of your kitchen. Then you times this volume by ten, because a really effective extractor should be able to change the air in the room ten times an hour. If, for example, the figure you come up with is 180m3 you need to look for an extractor that can remove at least 180m3/h.
Discover why induction hobs are so ideal for compact kitchens
Induction hobs take up less worktop space
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. Traditional gas or electric hobs that are raised up above the worktop make your kitchen feel that little bit more crowded.
For this reason, induction hobs are best for very small kitchens. This Whirlpool SmartCook induction hob (SMP 778/C/NE/IXL) includes 6TH SENSE® technology that provides 63 cooking combinations and its FlexiFull surface means that you can cook anywhere on the hob's surface.
Induction hobs do take a bit of getting used to, but once you're familiar with their workings you will find them as easy to use as a traditional hob, and you may find them more flexible to cook with too. Plus, as they have no nooks and crannies to dig into and collect grime, they are much easier to keep clean than standard gas alternatives, just wipe them over with a cloth when cool.
Slimline induction hob
If you've got a really weeny kitchen, there is no need to go for a traditional 60cm-size hob. Look for a slimline induction hob with just two cooking rings. Unless you are a professional cook, it's rare that you would use more than two saucepans at a time, so for everyday cooking a slimline induction hob is ideal.
A portable single induction hob
You can even get a portable single induction hob. These are just a little bigger than an electric scale. Pull one out of your kitchen cupboard and pop it on to your worktop whenever you fancy doing some stove-top cooking. This Amzchef single induction hob is super thin and comes with a ten-point power and temperature control, touch sensor, safety lock and a three-hour timer.
Induction hob with integrated extractor
You can now save even more space by getting an induction hob with an integrated extractor. In the GoodHome Bamia model, shown above, the extractor is situated in the middle of the hob and doesn't take up too much space beneath it either. It means that you can keep the space above the hob clear, which will make your kitchen feel more spacious too.
Find out more about the most practical and stylish extractor fans for small kitchens
A frameless induction hob
And, how cool is this hob? New to the UK, this Caple C950i frameless induction hob, features four separate induction plates and a control panel, and these 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 is no doubt about it, induction hobs are best for small kitchens.
Discover why dining benches save more space than chairs and the latest bench features to look out for
Benches save more space than chairs
Benches save more space than chairs because they actually make more space. With the table shown above, you can get three chairs comfortably along the length of one side of the table or a bench that's designed to seat four, but could probably accommodate five adult bottoms and six children's bottoms at a push. By opting for a bench instead of chairs, you will get more people around your dining table.
Benches tuck under tables
It's rare that you find a whole set of chairs that will tuck neatly under the table they are bought to sit alongside. Most stylish dining benches can be tucked right under the table, however, so when not in use they take up much less floor space in your kitchen or dining room, which means that the room looks a lot less cluttered.
Consider an upholstered bench for extra comfort
For a more comfy seat, look for a space-saving bench that is upholstered or add extra cushions. Ideally you want an upholstered seat that is protected against spillages or cushion covers that can be washed when required. If you have young children, however, you may prefer to leave your seats bare to avoid constant scrubbing and minimise stains.
A bench with a back offers more support
If you suffer from back pain or often entertain people that do, a space-saving bench with a back offers more support. You may have to search a little to find one that's to your taste, but there are a host of contemporary and traditional styles out there.
A style with a back and arms will offer even more support, but if it's to regularly hold more than two people, getting everyone in and out of it, will entail a little shuffling. To make things easier look out for a model with lowish arms.
If you decide to go with a bench with no back or arms, go for two chairs at the top of and bottom of the table with good support, so that you have a more ergonomic alternative when required.
A space-saving bench with storage
When space is really tight and you need to maximise your storage space, consider a stylish dining bench that also allows you to store stuff within it or under it.
These storage benches will be heavier to lift up and more awkward to move around though, so this is really only an option if you plan to place your bench and leave it. When it comes to access, you will need to move the table instead of the bench to get seated upon it.
Fill a corner with an L-shaped dining bench
Tuck an L-shaped dining bench into the corner of your kitchen to make the most of every inch of space in your dining area. The hand-crafted corner low-arm Monk's bench, shown above from Amazon's Handmade range has low arms for easy access and it offers oodles of storage underneath the lift-up seating area; perfect for dog food, toilet rolls or blankets. It's offered in a range of lovely Farrow & Ball paint finishes too.
When your kitchen is on the small side, you need to ensure that every inch of your counter top space can be used for prepping, serving and possibly eating too. To maximise kitchen worktop space, incorporate these design tips into your plan
Freeing up kitchen worktop space is always a priority when you are designing a kitchen for a small space. Key to this is thinking about how you can make every area of your kitchen, from the walls to the inside of your units work harder.
Choose wall-hung over counter-top storage
To really maximise kitchen worktop space, it's important to make use of that space between wall units and the worktop by securing a mix of kitchen wall-hanging storage - knives, cooking utensils, mugs, spices and even pots of fresh herbs plants can be stored here. Hooks can be placed under wall-hung kitchen units too, which can be used to hang mugs and wooden spoons, etc. You can even get a magnetic splashback, which knives and other cooking utensils will cling to.
Create extra worktop space behind unit doors
Providing your floor-to-ceiling kitchen unit is suitably ventilated and preferably fitted with plug sockets, you can create an internal kitchen worktop inside it, where you can keep and use small kitchen appliances, such as a coffee maker, and this can become a place to chop food too. This area can also be made with a shelf that pulls out to create a breakfast bar eating area or a deeper prep space.
Get your microwave off your kitchen counter
You don't need to have a separate microwave and conventional oven, opt for a combination conventional oven that also doubles up as a microwave. Going for this option means you avoid havIng a chunky microwave cluttering up your worktop. Alternatively, sacrifice the microwave altogether. Think about it, you can probably do everything you use it for either on your hob or in your standard oven.
Swap your kettle for a boiling water tap
This solution for freeing up kitchen worktop space requires sacrificing space in the unit under your kitchen sink to free up the space that would be taken up by a kettle on your kitchen counter, but every inch helps when worktop space is tight. A system that provides instant boiling water can be fitted under your kitchen units and this feeds a boiling water tap that also provides fresh and filtered cold drinking water.
Create extra storage inside kitchen unit doors
Freeing up kitchen worktop space also involves making the most of your cupboard space. The inside of kitchen unit doors can often be used for storing items that are often left out on display on kitchen worktops: spice racks, kitchen paper, aluminium foil and clingfilm, for example. Build these additional storage areas into your small kitchen space to free up even more space on your kitchen worktops.
Incorporate these design tips into your small kitchen and you should be able to maximise kitchen worktop space and ensure that your whole kitchen feels bigger, looks great and functions at its very best twenty four hours a day.
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