Repair in a small kitchen is a problem familiar to most of our compatriots. IN «Khrushchev» and standard-layout apartments, the size of the kitchen space ranges from 5 to 7 sq. m. It is not easy to place the required amount of household appliances, storage systems within such a small room, and most often to install a dining area. It is good if a married couple will use such a kitchen, but if it is necessary to organize daily meals for a family of three or four people? The owners of small kitchen spaces need to solve many dilemmas and acute issues when planning the renovation or reconstruction of a multifunctional space. Donate one cupboard for a dishwasher? Or move the dining area into the living room? Leave the refrigerator or «relocate» it into the hallway, disguised as an ensemble of storage systems? How to rationally use every centimeter of usable space and at the same time not create the feeling of a small, cluttered kitchenette, in which it is difficult for one person to turn around, let alone the whole family to accommodate. Let’s try to answer these questions together with the help of practical, interesting and functional kitchen design projects, which we have collected in a selection of impressive sizes. We hope that the versatile design ideas presented by experts from all over the world will help you organize a comfortable, modern and visually attractive environment in your kitchen..
The principles of shaping the interior in a small room
Before you start planning the workflow for remodeling your small kitchen, you need to refresh your memory on a few key points in the formation of a convenient, functional and at the same time beautiful design:
- light color palette is the best option for small spaces. It’s no secret that white surfaces do an excellent job of visually increasing the volume of a room, reflecting light and creating a light and clean image of the interior. But in everything it is important to observe the measure. It is not easy to decorate the kitchen exclusively in a light tone, neglecting dark spots and color accents, having achieved an outwardly attractive result;
- the use of glossy, glass and mirror surfaces expands the space. Gloss can be found on kitchen fronts, backsplash trims and even floor coverings. Glass cabinet doors will visually make the look of the kitchen unit lighter and fresher. And translucent chairs and a table made of plastic seem to dissolve in space without weighing down its interior. Thin chrome-plated legs of chairs or bar stools are great for small spaces – they look elegant and modern;
- the basis for the successful formation of the kitchen interior is the correct choice of the layout of the kitchen set. Not only the number and location of storage systems, work surfaces and household appliances will depend on the choice of the layout of the kitchen ensemble, but also the whole image of the room;
- «simple» interiors seem more spacious, so it is important to discard all unnecessary, minimize decorativeness and rely on the practicality of all interior elements;
- kitchen renovation is a great opportunity to revise all kitchen utensils, household appliances and the number of necessary accessories. Conduct an audit, get rid of everything superfluous (often household appliances are never pulled out of their boxes, which take up half of the storage space, and large dining sets are not used even half of their capacity);
- if you have a network, the ability to take the dining area out of the kitchen, do it, leaving more space for the process of cooking and storing food;
- get rid of the interior door separating the kitchen from the rest of the rooms (your hood will in any case cope with cooking odors and droplets of grease in the air that can occur during cooking) and finish in both segments in the same color scheme and possibly even with using the same materials. Then the feeling of the continuation of one space will be created, and not the division of the apartments into mini-rooms;
- use the results of technical progress for the benefit of your small kitchen – the right choice of household appliances (in size and functionality), the distribution of storage systems (use of corners and hard to reach places) will not only save precious meters, but also reduce the time spent on the implementation of certain workers processes;
- providing a small space with a sufficient level of illumination is a guarantee of a visual increase in its volume. If we often cannot influence the size of the window openings, then we can equip the kitchen with artificial light sources. A central chandelier is not enough even in a small kitchen. It is necessary to highlight the work surfaces well. Several built-in lamps or lighting of the lower part of the upper tier of cabinets – there are many options to achieve the goal.
Choosing the layout of the furniture ensemble
The choice of the layout of the kitchen set will depend on the shape of the room, the number and location of door and window openings, the number of household appliances that you need to equip the kitchen with. Also, the choice of layout will be influenced by the possibility of moving the dining area to another room or the need to locate the dining area within a small kitchen. Within a standard apartment, the kitchen space is most often represented by a separate room. But in private houses or apartments, where the redevelopment was carried out, the kitchen can also be a walk-through room. Of course, the location of the kitchen space relative to other rooms will also affect the layout of the furniture ensemble and household appliances..
If your small kitchen is a walk-through room or has an exit to a balcony, then the most expedient arrangement of the kitchen unit will be in a parallel way in two rows. Of course, this option is only suitable for rooms where there is no need to have a dining area. With a parallel layout, even in a small kitchen, it is possible to place a large number of storage systems, while integrating all the necessary household appliances.
One of the options for using a parallel layout is to place a full ensemble of the upper and lower tiers of kitchen cabinets on one side and an island or peninsula of similar dimensions on the other. Such a compact ensemble can be placed in the corner of a room that combines living and dining areas or serves as a kitchen and dining area in a small space.
U-shaped layout allows you to install a large number of cabinets and household appliances, even in a small kitchen. «Triangle rule» – the location of the refrigerator, stove (hob) and sink in the imaginary tops of the figure is easy to perform with such a layout of the furniture ensemble. But this leaves little room for maneuvers. With this arrangement of the kitchen set, the dining area must be taken to another room.
Corner or L-shaped layout is a versatile option for the location of storage systems, household appliances and work surfaces in a kitchen space of any size. The location of the working triangle meets the rules of ergonomics, the hostess (owner) can conveniently move between the main elements of the kitchen base. At the same time, the headset turns out to be quite roomy, practical.
Very often, the angular arrangement of the furniture set is complemented by a peninsula – a module attached to the main part of the ensemble. Such a device allows not only to increase the number of storage systems or to build an oven into the peninsula, for example, but also to organize a place for breakfast (for a married couple, the tabletop of the module can also become a place for a constant meal).
For small kitchen spaces, a single-row layout of a furniture ensemble with built-in appliances is often the only option. This is especially true for premises in which, in addition to the working area, it is necessary to place the dining sector. The single-row layout is compact, but with an abundance of built-in technology, there is little room for storage systems. Therefore, in modern projects, you can increasingly see the placement of a kitchen set from the ceiling to the floor. On the upper shelves, you can place kitchen utensils, which the owners do not use often, and then the issue of access to the cabinets located under the ceiling will not be acute.
If it is necessary to place the dining area within a modest kitchen, the designers offer several options for solving the problem of rational use of usable space. Compact round and oval tables will save space – they take up less space, but can accommodate more people. But in many kitchens there is not enough room for even a small table. The solution may be to extend the countertop of the kitchen set on the principle of a bar counter. For a couple, such a place for meals will be enough. Folding mechanisms and compact consoles that are attached to the wall (often based on only one stand) can also be an excellent solution for organizing a place for meals in a small kitchen.
A portable compact island is a great help in organizing work combos and dining places in a small kitchen. You can move your workstation on wheels depending on the processes being performed, and if not needed, simply move it against the wall. The island tabletop can be used as a work surface and as a dining table.
Color palette – creating an image of the kitchen space
The appearance of the kitchen area is formed by the surface finish and facades of the furniture ensemble. Obviously, these two essential components must be in harmony with each other. But this does not mean that all elements should be made exclusively in light colors. Light shades enlarge the space and create a light, relaxing atmosphere. But too much of them can create an image of a clean room, which does not fit with the idea of many of us about a comfortable and cozy heart of a home – a kitchen room. Among modern design projects, there are many examples of the successful combination of dark and light colors within small spaces. Using mainly light tones, emphasized by dark elements, you can achieve a difficultly contrasting image of the room, but a unique, original design.
It is difficult to imagine a small kitchen with a dark wall finish. Such a design example is capable of «squeeze» an already small amount of kitchen space. But this does not mean that in a small kitchen the walls should be exclusively white – many pastel shades are great for creating the perfect backdrop for furniture and household appliances. Obviously, in a small room, you should abandon the decoration with any print. Only solid colors and preferably light colors. Brightness, colorful ornament or pattern can be left to decorate the kitchen apron. Let it be only one, but an accent element of the kitchen interior.
Bringing a touch of brightness to a bright kitchen is not difficult. For anyone who worries that a room with light walls and snow-white facades may be associated with an operating room, there is a simple way – bright details. This can be dishes on open shelves, made in one bright color, household appliances in a retro style, which often have a very colorful color..
The combination of dark flooring and light walls allows you to visually increase the height of the room. Against the background of pastel tones of finishing vertical surfaces, it will not be difficult to choose a darker palette for floors – imitation of a wooden coating using porcelain stoneware or tiles that create the illusion of masonry will not only be a beautiful addition to the decoration of the room, but also a practical and durable floor covering.
The appearance of the kitchen facades largely shapes the image of the entire room. Not only the design of the entire kitchen, but also the atmosphere formed, the level of comfort and convenience of being in the room and carrying out work processes depends on the color palette, the features of the execution and the location of the facades of the furniture ensemble. For a small kitchen, the principle «less is better» applicable to the choice of furnishings. Laconic facades in a sleek design, lack of decor, a minimum of visible fittings – the choice of designers for small kitchen spaces.
Absolutely smooth light facades are a frequent element of design projects for kitchen spaces decorated in a modern style. This approach to the formation of a furniture set allows you to create an interior in which there will be no oppressive atmosphere of a small room, but a light and fresh image will be created. In combination with modern household appliances, it is the strict facades without handles and decor that look the most effective, modern, organic.
The use of glass inserts in the upper tier of the kitchen unit allows you to somewhat refresh the image of the room and make it lighter. For a small space in which furniture and household appliances are located in a continuous «stream», such interior elements can become a highlight, a design nuance.
Gray is incredibly popular in modern design projects. Kitchen design is no exception – the neutrality of the color palette allows you to create ensembles that organically fit into any interior, create an unassuming atmosphere in which everyone is comfortable. Various shades of gray can be easily combined with the light decoration of the walls of a small room and look harmoniously with the shine of household appliances and accessories. And to create a color accent against the background of gray facades, it is enough to use bright dishes or install a couple of colorful chairs.
Kitchen facades made of light wood (or its spectacular imitation) are an excellent opportunity to bring natural warmth into the interior of a small kitchen. A light woody pattern will not make the image of the room heavier, but at the same time it will bring that necessary comfort that most housewives so want to see in a space where they have to spend a lot of time. Wood goes well with dark stains of household appliances, light wall decoration. It is also not difficult to choose the color of the countertop for similar facades. Can «play» in contrast and use dark countertops – let this be the only accent in the interior. Light-colored countertops will also look organic, giving the look of the kitchen space even more freshness and lightness..
Metallic facades (stainless steel, as a rule) are the choice for modern style or high-tech. Even a small kitchen can be decorated very organically in these styles. Stainless steel facades are practical and durable. But it is important to understand that they will require a lot of care – reflective surfaces increase fingerprints and even drops of clean water. The execution of metal facades will look organic if you use them only for the lower tier of cabinets, and replace the upper level with open shelves. Thus, the kitchen will look easier and more interesting..
Experts do not recommend using dark facades in small kitchens. If your color preferences are in an extremely dark palette and the kitchen space is at least medium in scale, then you can use a deep dark tone of the facades only in combination with a snow-white ceiling, light walls and flooring. Even countertops in this case are better made of light stone or its analogues..
Kitchen combined with living room and dining room – interior features
If your kitchen area is part of a room that combines the functions of a living room and a dining room, then it must be designed in accordance with the main motives of the overall picture of a multifunctional space. Obviously, the idea of combining several life segments within one space was motivated by space savings. Creating a comfortable and at the same time sufficiently spacious room is possible when using an open plan. As a rule, in such cases, the kitchen area is represented by a single-row (sometimes corner) set. If the room has a sufficient area, then the kitchen set can be supplemented with a small island. But more often than not, a compact kitchen smoothly flows into the dining area, represented only by a dining group..
In an open-plan space, the use of the same finishing materials for all functional segments is assumed. The only exception is the design of the kitchen apron, for the protection of the surface of which a finish that can withstand high temperatures and constant exposure to moisture is required. In such a room, zoning occurs at a conditional level – with the help of lighting fixtures, furniture, and sometimes carpet.