In this blog post we discuss how to get the most out of kitchens in small spaces. Read on for our tips and advice
Our guide to making the most of small kitchens
Just because a kitchen is small, it doesn't mean it can't be fabulous...
The term ‘galley kitchen' comes from the narrow cooking corridors on barges and boats, where efficient use of very limited space and facilities was essential. Today, creating a galley is easier than ever before, because high-tech appliances and integrated units mean that you can literally fit a kitchen into a corner. When you're compromised on space, there are two ways to go: hide everything away behind a sleek facade so the kitchen merges seamlessly into the living area. Or make the kitchen a feature, with everything on display. There may only be room for a sleek breakfast bar worktop area with a couple of high stools.
If you enjoy cooking, you might want to have pots and pans hanging down and handy. Or, if you like entertaining, hide the galley behind sliding doors which you throw open when guests arrive, so you can chat while you cook. Flexibility is key and props like foldable, stackable tables and chairs make the very best use of space. If you're on a tight budget, cheaper white appliances and units merge visually into one. It costs more to buy and build in fully integrated appliances, but it's easier on the eye. If money is no object then a composite work surface - with an integrated sink - looks very stylish. There is no rule about the colour you paint your galley, or whether it blends in or stands out from the rest of your living area. But in a small space, bear in mind that people have to stand closer to everything, so a poor finish is more noticable.
All-in-one kitchens work well in tiny studio spaces. There are some really clever concepts around, such as 180-degree revolving kitchens (as in picture above) with an integrated sink, fridge, dishwasher, microwave and hob, storage and a tiny eating area, all in less than 1.8m space. Or a built-in hideway kitchen (see opposite, below right), where you open sleek cupboards to reveal all. Otherwise go for small appliances that you can bring out or hide away: you can get tabletop ovens and washing machines, and a dishwasher that fits in a drawer.