The kitchen is the most popular place in any home. There is no need to talk about how much time the average Russian woman spends in the kitchen space. Obviously, this room is the heart of the house, its hearth. But for most of our compatriots, the kitchen space becomes a stumbling block when planning repairs and, above all, because of its small size. Even in standard apartments, built in the last century, kitchens are small, and even small dwellings are not worth mentioning at all. The problem of placing all the necessary interior elements for carrying out working kitchen processes on a modest area of 5-7 sq. m is familiar not only to most of us, but also to designers all over the world. Over the years, they managed to develop many techniques, methods for planning furniture and arranging household appliances, designed to not easily organize an environment for cooking, storing and absorbing food, but also drawing up a beautiful, functional, ergonomic and practical design. We bring to your attention 100 ideas for the design of a small kitchen space and we hope that the presented design projects will help you find your unique solutions for equipping your dream kitchen, albeit on a few square meters.
Preparing to plan a renovation in a small kitchen
Before starting the basic planning of a kitchen renovation, you need to figure out what steps can be taken to facilitate the design of a small but multifunctional space:
- it is necessary to clearly represent the final result of the repair, in a small kitchen there are no trifles, absolutely all interior elements must be listed before starting work – the number of built-in household appliances, the binding of devices to communication systems and the need for their transfer;
- if your kitchen has an ordinary window, then you need to find out if it can be expanded during the change of double-glazed windows. The more natural light in a small space, the better;
- it is necessary to find out if there is a possibility of taking out some large-sized household appliances outside the kitchen – for example, some owners of standard apartments install a washing machine in the bathroom, while others have to mount it in the kitchen, many manage to build a refrigerator into the closet in the hallway;
- also, it is important to know in advance whether it is necessary to equip a full-fledged dining area in the kitchen space or whether a small countertop will be enough for short meals (this depends on the number of household members and the possibility of bringing the dining area into the living room);
- the stylistic execution of the kitchen space must be planned in advance (many types of styles simply cannot «take root» in a small kitchen – classic styles will be inappropriate, but modern variations on the theme of decorating small rooms are very welcome).
Ways to actually and visually expand the space
In order to actually increase the space of the kitchen, it is necessary to connect it with an adjacent room, most often a living room. In some cases, the owners manage to use the space of the corridor to increase the area of the kitchen segment. Another way to increase the number of square meters is to attach a balcony or loggia. Obviously, such measures will require preliminary insulation and waterproofing of the balcony..
You can only achieve a visual connection between the kitchen and the corridor or hallway if you remove the door and finish the adjacent rooms in the same color using identical finishing materials. It will create the feeling of one smooth flowing space, rather than two tiny rooms.
But more often than not, there is no way to actually change a small kitchen area. In the arsenal of apartment owners, there are only design techniques for the visual expansion of the kitchen space, and there are many of them:
- the use of light shades for decoration and execution of room furnishings – snow-white surfaces perfectly reflect light, visually increase the volume of space;
- if the ceiling is made in white, the walls are a tone or two darker, and the floors are completely dark, then visually the height of the room will seem larger than it really is;
- a similar effect can be achieved by using a light tone for the upper tier of kitchen cabinets and dark shades for the lower part of the headset;
- glossy surfaces contribute to the visual expansion of the room’s dimensions and the spread of lighting – these can be the facades of the kitchen set, countertops and stretch ceiling;
- if the floor tiles are laid out diagonally, the floor area will appear larger;
- the use of glass tabletops for dining tables and furniture made of transparent plastic (acrylic) helps to create an easy image of a small room – interior items seem to dissolve in space.
In small rooms, it is better not to use colorful textiles – curtains on windows, tablecloths on the table. A large drawing in a small kitchen will be inappropriate. It is also important to get rid of all unnecessary things, use the minimum amount of decorative elements. If you need to put a houseplant on the windowsill, then let it be the only one; if you need to hang potholders and aprons, then it is better to hide them in a closet. In small rooms, clutter and clutter can be created very quickly..
Layout options for the kitchen ensemble
The atmosphere of the entire room largely depends on how the kitchen set is located. The location of storage systems, built-in appliances and work surfaces affects not only the appearance of the kitchen, but also the ergonomics of kitchen processes, ease of use of the room and even its safety. In a small area, the choice of the correct, most successful layout becomes one of the most pressing issues. So, the location of the kitchen ensemble in the room will depend on the following factors:
- by default, we accept the fact that all the options for spaces under consideration have a small area, which means that the shape of the room becomes important;
- the dimensions of the window and doorway, their location relative to adjacent rooms;
- passage of communication systems (not in all buildings it is possible to redevelop gas pipes, for example);
- the number of built-in household appliances;
- the need to arrange a place for eating and the number of households for which the dining area should be calculated.
The layout, in which the kitchen set is located in one row, is suitable for very small kitchen spaces in which it is necessary to place a dining table (console, countertop – any surface that serves for eating). It is also advisable to use a single-row layout in the homes of bachelors and married couples without children, who do not need to build in a large number of household appliances.
When placing a kitchen ensemble in one row, it is not easy to follow the rule «working triangle», it is necessary to install the refrigerator near the wall perpendicular to the headset. Then all the main working points (the vertices of the conventional triangle) will be located ergonomically – refrigerator, sink and stove (hob).
Often, single-row breading is accompanied by the installation of an island or peninsula. In terms of saving usable space in a small kitchen, a peninsula design is most often used, into which household appliances, a sink or a hob can be integrated. Most often, the peninsula also serves as a place for meals (if not 1-2 people live in the apartment, then such a dining area will not cause discomfort).
A single-row layout is also used if the kitchen is part of a combined room (it contains a dining room and a living room). So-called «kitchen in the closet» can be presented only in such an arrangement of storage systems and household appliances. The convenience of such a kitchen is that in case of receiving guests, it is enough just to close the cabinet doors and the room becomes a full-fledged living room. And it doesn’t matter if there are dirty dishes left in the sink or not disassembled products on the cutting surfaces.
L-shaped or angular
The corner layout is great for square and rectangular (not very elongated) rooms. This is the best option for placing the required number of kitchen items on a minimum number of square meters. In addition, distribute «working triangle» in this case it will not be difficult. The corner layout leaves some free space even in a very small kitchen – it can be used to set up a small dining table (preferably an oval shape) or a console that only mounts to the wall to save space.
In terms of saving every square centimeter, storage systems in the form of closed cabinets or open shelves are used in any accessible place. For example, the space around a window opening can be used with maximum efficiency..
It is equally important to arrange the most efficient storage in the furniture set itself. In modern stores, there are enough convenient and functional devices to help distribute the storage of dishes, cutlery and various kitchen accessories. And the manufacture of a furniture ensemble according to an individual project (and for small kitchens this is how it usually happens) will help create a storage system ideally adapted to your conditions.
If you do not need to place a dining group within the kitchen space, but there is a need for a large number of storage systems and household appliances, then a U-shaped layout may be an ideal option. Organize «working triangle», those. it is not difficult to arrange the refrigerator, stove and sink ergonomically. In most cases, the U-shape of the upper tier of cabinets is interrupted by a window opening – this helps to avoid cluttering storage systems, which in a small kitchen can create «slammed box effect». If there are no windows in the room (and sometimes this happens), then experts recommend using a combination of storage systems – alternating hanging cabinets with open shelves.
If your kitchen is rectangular and one of the short walls contains a doorway, and the second is a large window or balcony block, then the best option for the location of the kitchen set would be a parallel layout. Most often, such a layout leaves no room for a dining group. But, if the room is really long, and few storage systems are needed, then there will be room for a small dining table.
Finishing in a small kitchen area
When choosing finishing materials for the kitchen space, it is necessary to take into account the special microclimate of this multifunctional room:
- high humidity;
- temperature drops;
- possible mechanical damage (in particular, this applies to the flooring);
- the ability to clean surfaces (sometimes with the use of chemical cleaning agents).
If we talk about the features of the choice of finishes for small spaces, then to the listed technical characteristics it is necessary to add aesthetic – laconic design, light shades and ease of use. In other words, finishing in a small kitchen should be a light, practical and aesthetic backdrop for a kitchen set that takes up most of the space..
For finishing the ceiling, it is best to use the simplest solutions (especially if the room has a low height) – a perfectly smooth, even white ceiling will be the ideal option. Complex suspended structures in several levels, a small space simply cannot stand visually.
For wall decoration, it is better to choose monochromatic versions of non-woven wallpaper (they can be cleaned with a damp sponge), decorative plaster, wall panels or liquid wallpaper. Ceramic tiles are ideal for decorating a kitchen apron. In matters of finishing small spaces, it is necessary to focus not so much on modern trends as on common sense and personal comfort – the finishing material should retain its original presentable appearance even after several years of intensive use and cleaning..
In order not to visually «break up» the walls of a small kitchen into strips, experts recommend using the finishing of the kitchen apron to the very ceiling. In some cases, this method helps to preserve the integrity of the image – the weight depends on the chosen layout of the headset, the height of the ceiling and the location of the window opening.
The ideal option for flooring is the use of porcelain stoneware tiles. It is able to withstand the impact of falling objects, is resistant to high humidity, temperature extremes and cleaning with chemicals, does not fade in the sun and serves for many years. Floor tiles can mimic masonry or different types of wood, lending a subtle touch of luxury to a modest small kitchen.
Color solutions for walls and facades of kitchen cabinets
If the room is very tiny, then apart from a light color palette for wall decoration and the execution of a kitchen set, you can hardly think of something better. Snow-white surfaces will help create not only a light and clean, but also a light image, which is important in conditions of the risk of creating the effect of a closed space. Dilute this snow-white idyll interspersed with household appliances – dark spots and shine of stainless steel. And the color accent can be brought in with bright dishes.
The advantage of snow-white facades is that they can be built in from the ceiling itself, and the resulting ensemble will not look cumbersome and monolithic. But the useful space of a small kitchen will be used as efficiently as possible. On the upper shelves, you can put items of infrequent use.
In order for your small kitchen not to resemble a hospital room, the designers recommend «dilute» snow-white (pastel colors) surfaces with wooden elements of furniture and decoration. The warmth of the natural wood pattern not only diversifies the bright interior of the kitchen, but also brings the much-needed coziness and comfort to the kitchen space..
An even greater effect can be achieved if «dilute» light surfaces with contrasting dark elements of the interior. This can be dark wood countertops, artificial or natural stone, kitchen apron edging, flooring and even lighting fixtures..
Acceptable color options for the facades of a kitchen set in a small area include light shades of gray, beige, blue, mint, pistachio, olive, turquoise and sand. On a white background, even such pastel colors will stand out and look spectacular. But at the same time, a shade pleasing to the eye will not become an obstacle in creating a light, light and at the same time practical image of the kitchen space.
Lighting and decor in a small kitchen
The smaller the room, the more important the role of the lighting system becomes. In order to provide your small kitchen with the maximum amount of sunlight, do not use blackout curtains, but thin curtains, a translucent veil for draping windows. Or completely abandon textiles for window openings (you can decorate only the upper part with a lambrequin). If the room is located on the south side of the building and protection from the sun is simply necessary, then it is better to use a laconic and at the same time attractive drapery option – fabric roller blinds.
Artificial light sources in small kitchens receive particular attention. Obviously, one central chandelier in the kitchen space cannot be dispensed with – spotlights or strip lighting of work areas and places for meals are needed. Luminaires can be recessed along the perimeter of the ceiling and under the drawers. Instead of built-in lighting on the ceiling, you can use one large chandelier (it all depends on the height of the ceiling) or a couple of small pendant lamps – above the working area and the dining area.