Compact Kitchens

Compact Kitchens
Universal Magazines


If you’re all too familiar with the pokey little space that leaves you pivoting between work centres, read what these experts have to say.

The small kitchen is a constant source of grief for many homeowners. Renovate & Extend asked some architects, designers and suppliers for their tips on how to make the best of a small space — and it all comes back to the word “clever”.

First you need to assess whether you can rearrange your space. There are a number of ways to lay out a kitchen, but they all come back to the work triangle — the distance between the fridge, sink and cooktop. Ideally the sink should be in the centre of your workspace as it is the most utilised area in the kitchen.

Ample storage is undoubtedly vital, with food, appliances, utensils and waste all vying for space. David Cross, Poliform’s kitchen specialist, recommends an investment in “clever hardware to maximise the use of the space. Drawers are 30 to 40 per cent more efficient with storage volume. You can fill a drawer but you can’t a fill cupboard. Also, increasing the height of the wall units to the ceiling can create more storage area.”

A smaller kitchen sink is another option to provide more bench space if you regularly use a dishwasher. Many sinks also now come with recessed chopping or draining boards so you can make even better use of the limited space. And no matter how small your kitchen, natural light and fresh air will make it more tolerable.

Andrew Hagemann of Fringe Architects explains what tricks they use to get the biggest impact. “Splashbacks are mirrored to bounce light around and create expansive spaces, and surfaces are becoming more seamless with the use or low-VOC lacquer finishes, mouldable benchtops and flush detailing.”

“Clever design is the key here. You need to think outside the square about the space you have, while not cluttering the kitchen area. Purchase versatile cookware and small appliances that have more than one function … this reduces clutter and can be a very cost-effective idea.” — Daniel Bertuccio, ILVE also has some creative advice that would really make a noticeable difference: “Remove all non-daily kitchen utensils/crockery/accessories to a giant but stunning cupboard or armoire in your dining room, living area or hallway.”

The application
You don’t have to wait for your renovation to use these ideas in your kitchen. Look at the room with fresh eyes. Many of the products on the market are made for kitchens that are getting smaller and have become part of our living spaces so need to always be clutter-free. Appliances now have dual-uses, compact forms and stunningly beautiful design.

Publish at: , last modify at: 30/06/2013

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