How to maximise space in a small kitchen

  • 18.June 2019
  • Like us on Facebook

The kitchen is the heart of every home and clever design choices can make even the tiniest kitchen feel welcoming, functional and spacious. Here are a few tips and ideas to help you make the most of your kitchen space.

Use every inch of cabinet

In a small kitchen, every bit of space is valuable, but using all of it can require some out-of-the-box solutions.

For instance, instead of sticking with standard horizontal shelving inside your cabinets, consider vertical shelves, which can be used to ‘file’ large flat items like cutting boards, baking sheets and pot lids.

Some kitchens come with false drawers, usually in the section underneath the sink or when closing off awkward corners. With a little ingenuity, these can be utilised more efficiently, creating storage areas that could have been wasted.

When the corner cupboards do open, install a rotating shelf to store bulky items like pots and pans in a space that would otherwise be difficult to organise. Get some shelf risers to be able to use the vertical space in each cupboard while still being able to see what’s inside.

Even small areas can contribute to your kitchen storage. The backs of cabinet doors can be the perfect spot to store small items, such as herbs and spices, using narrow storage baskets or magnetic tape. Mugs can be hung from hooks along the underside of shelves and you can use the whole depth of a cupboard by installing rolling shelves that let you reach the items hiding in the back more easily. 

Bring the eye upwards

Maximising storage is all well and good but we also want our kitchen to feel like it has space for us. Design elements that draw our attention towards the ceiling can give a kitchen that feeling. And by adding features above, you won’t be taking up any valuable floor or counter real estate!

That space between the top of the cabinetry and the ceiling is perfect for the addition of plants or decorative elements like prints or vintage finds, so you can display your items without having them get in the way in a busy kitchen. Ornate coving can direct interest upwards too, and a light feature colour ceiling can make the room feel airier without much effort.

Hanging statement light fixtures can also help, though do keep in mind that in a kitchen with a low ceiling, these could achieve the opposite effect and bring the room in closer. Install open shelving in areas that are not covered by closed cupboards for additional storage and extra space you can decorate.

Adapt the furniture to suit you

There are some standards you can expect in every kitchen – sink, cupboards, cooking appliances, storage – but that doesn’t mean that a standard approach will work in every space. In a small kitchen, some creativity is needed to ensure your kitchen is fully equipped without becoming impossibly cluttered.

Decide what you need your kitchen to do for you. Will it only be a space to prepare food or do you want to be able to sit down and eat there as well? Multi-purpose furniture can be the answer if you want a sit-in kitchen. An island can seem like it would take up a lot of floor space but if it does triple duty as work surface, storage unit and bar-style dining area, then it more than makes up for it. 

Drop leaf tables, which can be folded away when not in use, are a good option that allow you eat in the kitchen without having to maneuver around a bulky dining table. A wall-mounted fold down table can also create an ad hoc dining space without permanently occupying precious floor space.

Keep it tidy

One of the hardest parts of having a small kitchen is avoiding the natural instinct to put things in it. Everyone dreams of having a large kitchen but when space is at a premium, clutter makes a room feel smaller than it is. In a compact kitchen, it can even stop you from being able to use it fully.

Resist the urge to buy new stuff until you have identified a space where it can be stored. The counters should be a no-go area for keeping things long-term. Consider a ‘one in, one out’ policy on new gadgets if you have maxed out your storage allowance already. Make like Marie Kondo and declutter regularly to keep your kitchen organised and looking great.


Looking for your next property in Malta? REMAX has a large property database that includes homes with kitchens great and small. Get in touch today to find out more.