Small Kitchens


Recent trends have seen many new home-owners and renovators opting to downsize into smaller homes, resulting in what can be challenging spaces in which to achieve a functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen. Consequently, small kitchen designs have evolved as people don’t want to compromise too much.

The kitchen remains the most important, and heavily used room in the home, regardless of size. When undertaking a renovation in a small kitchen it’s important not to skimp on functionality or style. Easier said than done? You may think so, however if you follow our tips you’ll be pleasantly surprised about what can be achieved in a small space.

Top Tips for Small Kitchen Designs

Upgrade Finishes

As the overall space is smaller, your opportunities to upgrade the standard of finishes and appliances in your kitchen improve. In other words, you are spending less on cabinetry, so invest the savings in other areas of your kitchen.

Light and Bright

lighter tones generally work better than dark tones in small spaces, giving the illusion of more space. Additional lighting under island benches and cabinets, and above breakfast bars and cooktops, will really enhance the visual appeal of your kitchen, making it a more pleasant place for food preparation and entertaining.

The WOW Factor

Add personality and your own sense of style by considering coloured benchtops and splashbacks. Depending on your budget there are some beautiful stone benchtops available and glass splashbacks that come in a vast range of styles and colours.

Maximise Bench Space

Perhaps the best basic design for a small kitchen is the galley kitchen as it optimises bench space in a small kitchen. Other kitchen designs (U-shape, L-shape) may also work well, depending on the size and configuration of the space you have available.


integrated appliances and handle-less cabinets and drawers will give your small kitchen a streamlined look, while retaining functionality. Integrated appliances “blend” into the kitchen cabinetry, enhancing the illusion of space, and creating a luxury feel.

Breakfast Anyone?

Provided space exists for a breakfast bar (on one side of an island bench or other cabinetry), design the breakfast bar so that bar stools will store neatly underneath rather than taking up valuable floor space. A breakfast bar may also be a convenient way to eliminate the need for a dining table if space is really at a premium in your home.


If your home is open-plan and you look into your kitchen from an adjoining room, avoid blocking the view into, or out of the kitchen. If there’s sufficient space for an island bench, keep it low enough that it doesn’t impede sight-lines.

Hide It

Avoid putting microwave ovens on the kitchen bench as it unnecessarily wastes bench space. Specially designed microwave cupboards can be incorporated into your cabinetry. They look very neat and free-up your preparation area.

Sophisticated Glass

A bank of solid overhead cabinet doors in a small space can be claustrophobic. Consider using glass doors where possible. Clear or frosted glass is one of the most popular choices of modern kitchen designers and can be used to conceal or reveal what’s stored behind. Display your beautiful crockery and glassware in backlit, clear glass cabinets. This is an easy, cost-effective way to add colour, light, and personality to your kitchen.

Down-sized Sink

A one and a half bowl sink instead of the traditional double-bowl sink will free up valuable bench space, while adequately performing its’ function. Some modern sinks come with a stylish cutting board that sits neatly into the top of the sink, extending the food preparation area without intruding on bench space.

High and Deep Cabinets

Traditional kitchen design typically features overhead cabinets that terminate well short of ceiling height. This space is often left open or may be filled with a bulkhead to create a “finished” look, eliminating an area that is a magnet for dust. In small kitchens the overhead cabinets can be extended to the ceiling. While ceiling-height cabinets may be impractical for everyday storage, it will improve capacity, however you may need a small set of steps to safely reach the top. Similarly, cabinet depths can be extended to deal with the storage needs of small kitchens.


We’re yet to meet a client who’s complained about having too much storage in the kitchen. Clever use of every nook and cranny is particularly critical in small kitchen design. There are some amazing products available to transform difficult storage problems into practical solutions. Pull-out wireware, condiment and cutlery inserts, and concealed corner units will take advantage of every storage opportunity in a small kitchen.

Think Outside the Square

Utilise that empty wall or space that adjoins but isn’t part of the kitchen, by designing an “out of kitchen” pantry for storage of appliances and canned goods. Provided this area has good proximity to your kitchen, it will serve a useful function and help you maximise space to store more important items within the kitchen itself.

Drawers Instead of Cabinets

For many items typically stored in a kitchen, drawers have become the storage solution of choice. Drawers more efficiently use the space and can be designed to accommodate everything from condiments to your largest pots and pans. Drawers also make it much easier for you to reach the things that tend to become lost at the back of cabinets.

Contact Us

Imperial Kitchens are experts at designing and installing kitchens in small or irregular spaces. Our designers are skilled tradesmen who understand that appearance and functionality are important, regardless of the size of your kitchen. Contact us and you’ll be amazed at what we can help you achieve in your small kitchen.

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