Since the first lockdown began, the kitchen has become the heart of the home once again. With restaurants and cafes being forced to close, people have started making more creative dishes for themselves. According to a recent poll, we’re spending on average an extra 14 hours a week in the kitchen, and this is leading to people feeling the urge to get renovating.

Indeed, there was a boom in kitchen renovations in 2020 and the trend is continuing this year. But with many of us having small rooms to work with, some will be scratching their heads wondering how best to make use of the limited space they have.

Utilise wall space

Have you thought about going vertical? Your walls might provide the perfect storage space you’ve been needing. You can buy shelves, rails and even magnetic knife racks to hang on walls and free up counter space.

Removing handles

Stephen Lynskey, Head Designer at Hammonds Kitchens, recommends getting rid of handles: “Choosing an integrated handle or handle-less design for your kitchen cupboards and drawers gives a seamless effect and therefore delivers on the illusion of space. The sleek lines this design creates will make your kitchen seem far larger simply because it won’t look like it’s been put together in little bits.”

Consider installing a breakfast bar

This is far less bulky than a table, and can fit particularly well if you have a long thin space to play with. It’ll allow you to chat to a friend or loved one over a coffee as you prepare food… and it might even encourage them to help!

Alternatively, a foldaway table might be the answer. This gives you the best of both worlds – a place to sit and eat as a family, and much needed space between mealtimes.

Negotiate awkward corners

A Le Mans pull-out tray could solve the problem of that awkward corner where angles put things infuriatingly out of reach. These trays slide out as you open the cupboard door, giving you easy access to everything inside. Otherwise, you could install tall units to optimise a tight corner and hang glasses from cupboard ceilings to save space.

Add a splash of colour

You’ll be amazed how a clever colour scheme can add perceived space to a small kitchen. You might want to opt for a natural look or make a real statement with bold colours. Either way, it can make a tired kitchen look as good as new without the need to renovate.

Transforming your small kitchen needn’t cost the earth, nor should it cause unwanted upheaval or stress. But if you’re planning to spend more time there in the coming months and years, it’ll be worth getting it as well utilised and stylish as you can, so it feels clean and inviting to you and your family.