When you need to maximise the number of people you can get around your kitchen or dining table, a bench works much better than individual chairs.
And, a bench is particularly useful if children are on the guest list as they don't mind squishing up. Opt for upholstered for additional comfort and a bench with a back for more support.
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.
Many small appliances, from toasters to food processors, are ugly little things. When you use these items regularly and you have no choice, but to keep them on show on your worktop, try to look for models that both function well and look good. Smeg's latest range of small electrical appliances have the looks and the brains.
With its discreet base, this stylish jug kettle will look at home on any worktop.
And who wouldn't want this retro-style KitchenAid blender out on display? And tomato red is not the only colour option.
Or this sleek toaster?
One day you may dream of having a home larger enough for a range, but if you live in a studio flat, this little mini oven, with the clean lines and functionality that Dualit is known for, has everything that you need. It offers defrost, grill, bake and convection cooking options and it has a 18L internal capacity and curved back to take large circular dishes.
It's a useful stand in for people about to rip out and replace a kitchen too, allowing you to cook full meals when your kitchen is out of order.
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.
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.