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.
Designing a kitchen is tricky whatever the size of the room, but interior design for a small kitchen is an even bigger challenge. These design ideas should make your task a whole lot easier and ensure that your finished little kitchen looks bigger and functions better as a result.
Be clear about what you need in your kitchen
When you are looking at how to design a small kitchen, first you need to work out exactly what you want in your small kitchen design - a hob, oven, sink, fridge, freezer, storage, a prep and serving worktop and an eating space will likely be your main requirements.
Second, you need to look at which of these areas you can double up. In the photo above, the kitchen table serves as extra prep and serving space, for example. To minimise your appliance space, opt for an oven that doubles up as a microwave and a combo fridge/freezer. You can even get a fridge freezer, like this one from Samsung with a flexible freezer compartment that can be turned into a fridge when you need more fridge space.
Take kitchen units right up to the ceiling
When you're thinking about how to design a small kitchen, it makes sense to take the units right up to the ceiling to maximise storage, yet this is something very few people think about doing. Largely because most off-the-shelf units don't extend that far, but when it comes to interior design for a small kitchen it can pay in the long-term to spend a little bit more and buy bespoke. You might need a ladder to reach them, but those three or four extra storage cupboards will be worth climbing for. This avoids creating a dust trap in the space between the top of the units and the ceiling too.
Turn your kitchen walls into extra storage space
When it comes to interior design for a small kitchen, incorporate shelving, hooks, rails or magnetic fixings on to any bare kitchen walls to create additional storage space. Here, the otherwise redundant wall is used to hang utensils, condiments and cloths.
Use reflective surfaces such as glossy unit fronts, stainless-steel appliances and mirrored splashbacks to bounce light around your little kitchen and make it feel brighter and more spacious.
Integrate appliances and consider slimline versions
To make your small kitchen design feel sleeker and more spacious opt for integrated appliances. Fridge/freezers, dishwashers, washing machines and tumble driers can all be hidden behind unit doors. If you're struggling to get all your large appliances in, some white goods now come in slimline versions too and you can now even get dishwasher drawers, which take up much less space than traditional versions.
Make use of the inside of unit doors
Use the inside of kitchen unit doors for spice racks, dish cloth storage or even saucepan lids, as seen here.
You asked how to design a small kitchen, we hope that these design tips will make your little kitchen look great and work brilliantly. Add your tips for small kitchen design in the comments.
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.
Cuckooland is a Don't Cramp Our Style favourite, it has lots of fantastic multifunctional furniture for small homes. Its Vox 4 You dining table is available in white or oak effect and in two sizes, a 100cm square or 200cm x 100cm and you can add optional storage drawers; perfect for cutlery, napkins and colouring books. It also has a cubby hole in the middle of the table where you can put herbs, vases of flowers or condiments and, when not in use, this can be covered to create a flat table surface.
Gateleg dining table with drawer
If you're looking for a dining table with drawers that can be shrunk down and pushed against the wall as a console table when not in use, Noa & Nani's Gustav Folding dining table with drawer is perfect. It's available in white and grey and it's priced super reasonably too. We don't list prices on this site, because they fluctuate and we don't want to be seen as out of date, but click through to see what a bargain it is.
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.
If you really are asking a lot and want a dining table with drawers, drop leaves and wheels, then the Meeveil mobile folding dining table with drawer is for you. As well as a drawer, it comes with two open storage shelves and with both leaves extended it can comfortably seat six.
Dining table with drawer and chair storage
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 table with drawer
Traditional dining tables with drawers tend to come in the 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 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.
If you're designing a kitchen for a small space and you want it to be as stylish and functional as possible, watch this short video for tonnes of inspiring space-saving kitchen design ideas..
To maximise the amount of stuff that you can fit into your kitchen cupboards, go square.
This might seem ridiculous, but you're here because you inhabit a little home and you're desperate to grab every inch of space that you can. We have to help you do that every way we know how, so here is another one of our little tips: to maximise the amount of stuff that you can fit into your kitchen cupboards, opt for square storage canisters and crockery, etc.
Think about it, circular storage jars just won't slot neatly into those corners and they leave gaps between each other. The taller the better too. No point wasting that 'head height' in the kitchen cupboards.
These clear kitchen storage canisters from a Place for Everything, shown above, also have clear sides and lids so that you can easily see what they contain.
These square plates from Denby come in a mixture of sizes and also come with matching bowls and rectangular platters, perfect for tucking into those kitchen unit corners
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 two chairs comfortably along the length of one side of the table or a bench that's designed to seat three, but could probably accommodate four adult bottoms and five 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.
See how to choose practical and stylish display items
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. Avoid those lurid coloured ones you see on supermarket shelves. Opt for something with a designer feel instead. This Brabantia washing up brush comes with a suction cup that sticks to the inside of the kitchen sink, so that it is largely hidden from view.
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 tea towels and the same goes for oven gloves and other kitchen linens too.
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.
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.