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6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs

30th October 2017

Planning a kitchen takes a lot of time and thought. If you’re planning a small kitchen, you need to be extra clever in the planning process to make the space work twice as hard.

Today, I’m going to explain to you my 7 Interior Stylist’s essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs.

I’ll  give you the low-down so that you’ll have a small kitchen that packs a punch, look great and is practical too.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

Tip 1 / Decent Shelving

When space is tight – you need to make the most of every corner. That is why shelving is so key. It acts as storage and, if done properly can make a great display space.

Open shelving is great for small kitchens as you don’t block out the light. You can cram way more on shelving as you can stack things up.

This unit below from Ikea is a perfect example  – it has drawers for spices and tea bags. Hooks for hanging up utensils and perforated shelving for your serving dishes.

I have bespoke shelving in my kitchen made in copper piping and scaffolding boards which you can see here.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

Tip 3 / Great Task Lighting

In a small kitchen space, the brighter it is the bigger it will feel. You’ll need to install spot lights and under counter task lights to chop and cook under.

You can make a feature of lighting pendants. Pair up two over a food prep area or over a sink for a stylish look that also looks pretty dam cool. These lights are from on-line home accessory store, Nest.

I also have another lighting tip that you won’t want to miss out on – that I reveal in this post.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

Tip 3/ Hidden Appliances

One style tip I always say stick to – is to hide away your appliances. Why? Because to make the space feel bigger you’ll want a run of units, not a few then appliances dotted in the middle.

In my own kitchen I had one tall larder made where my standing fridge freezer fits, and above there is room for a small cupboard. This makes the most of the space. My dishwasher and washing machine are both hidden behind door and it makes my kitchen look finished and neat, rather than cluttered up with white goods. See here.

If you can’t afford to get rid of your existing appliances, you could paint them the same colour as your kitchen units to blend them into your room.

I’m loving the black kitchen accessories in this shot from George Home.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

Tip 4/ Designer Taps

In a small kitchen, you can afford to splash out on the details. And that includes a picking a designer tap. Look for a tap that has a great shape, sleek styling and minimal lines will stand out in a small kitchen.

Many have a few functions, like spray nozzles, rotating heads or instant hot water. Adding a multi-functional tap is the key to small kitchen planning.

When planning your kitchen makeover, don’t forget to budget for a great-looking tap. I always think the German’s have the best designed taps in the world – just look at this one by Grohe, which I found on SuperBath. It will totally up-scale your small kitchen.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

5/ Nifty Breakfast Bar

You may not have room for a dining table in your kitchen. This is why at the start of kitchen planning process try to configure if you have space to put in a small breakfast bar.

Either by putting stools against your central island. Buying a small table and chairs. You can even get flip down breakfast bars that fold up against the wall when not in use.

A place to eat or a spot for guests to sit will come in really handy.

6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

6/ Useful Homeware

When cupboard space is tight you may not have room for all your plates, mugs and bowls. And they often end up on the kitchen counter. If you are going to have them on show, then they might as well add something to your design.

These hand thrown style ones from Oliver Bonas not only look beautiful, they also add pretty colour (and character) to your small kitchen.

I’m also a big fan of kilner jars filled with pasta, rice or cous cous. They look great too, and having them on your work top does save cupboard too.
6 essential design ideas that every small kitchen needs by Interior Stylist and Home Blogger Maxine Brady at

It doesn’t matter if you are planning a kitchen makeover or a complete renovation project, it’s helpful to consider all the element above. Adding just one or two will transform your space. Adding all 6 and you’ll be a winner at kitchen planning.

If you want to see some other small kitchen ideas, you have to see my own kitchen makeover which was featured on Apartmentherapy! Once your kitchen planning is underway, you’ll want to read my post that is full of 10 ‘Style Tips For Small Kitchens

Have a great week.



** This was a collaborative post


  • Reply
    Nha dep
    1st November 2017 at 3:56 pm

    So smart and gorgeous! I learned a lot from your post and gonna apply them to my kitchen. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      2nd November 2017 at 10:57 am

      That is great to hear!

  • Reply
    Kate Evans
    16th November 2017 at 7:05 am

    Hi Maxine, I always like to decorate my kitchen. In your blog you shared the great stylish interior design ideas. I like all of them. Now I am very excited to try these ideas in my kitchen to decorate it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    1st February 2018 at 6:38 am

    Thank you for helping me. I want to make my kitchen new model but I have no idea. your information is really great for kitchen interior design ideas. I like your post.

    • Reply
      1st February 2018 at 8:56 am

      I so pleased.

  • Reply
    Esther Diaz
    31st May 2018 at 6:47 am

    Thank you so much for sharing these great ideas. Will surely take note of them, I’ve always wanted to have that simple yet amazing look for my kitchen. Loving this blog, Kudos!

    • Reply
      31st May 2018 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you somuch for your lovely comment. Good luck with your kitchen planning.

  • Reply
    Lex Reyes
    11th June 2018 at 7:27 am

    These are just great! love what i read, nice article. it gives a short and straight to the point trend and essential design ideas for small kitchens and somewhat also in small spaces

    • Reply
      12th June 2018 at 3:15 pm

      Thank you Lex. Lovely to hear x

  • Reply
    Trần Dương Company
    18th July 2018 at 2:12 pm

    The last picture made me happy.

  • Reply
    Bristol Builders Network
    17th August 2018 at 7:04 pm

    Gorgeous design! You are so right when you say storage is important for smaller kitchens. Having a small kithcen doesn’t mean having to compromise, it means making the most of the space you have.

  • Reply
    Andrew Agar
    25th September 2018 at 1:32 pm

    Thankyou for such amazing ideas.

  • Reply
    26th September 2018 at 12:59 pm

    That’s really great. All the design ideas are just amazing which utilizes the small space efficiently. We also like to share some ideas which include choosing bold colour combinations, invest in the patterns and designing of the floors, mix and match the materials, expand the visual approach with proper lights, choose portable and sleek appliances, go for hanging cupboards.

  • Reply
    15th October 2018 at 4:50 pm

    Love love love!!! I think the finishing touches like taps and handles are what really makes the space your very own!

    • Reply
      16th October 2018 at 10:25 am

      So pleased you like the post.

  • Reply
    27th October 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Hi Maxine,
    I am saving this for future reference! I love this and I am definitely keeping this 6 essential design ideas 🙂
    I enjoyed reading, as always. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      1st November 2018 at 4:09 pm

      Thank you sweetie x

  • Reply
    4th December 2018 at 6:01 am

    A decent shelving helps a lot in keeping a kitchen organized and clean.

  • Reply
    Judie Jake
    4th February 2019 at 7:29 am

    Wonderful ideas …. Gorgeous designs ….. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

  • Reply
    Herman Stark
    14th March 2019 at 6:13 am

    Amazing photographs. Truly, I found your article pretty impressive to me.I’ll never become tired of watching this excellent kitchen. I love the details and your picked pieces to complement the general look. Thanks for sharing such a great article.

    • Reply
      15th March 2019 at 10:04 am

      Thank you

  • Reply
    Ajeesh Kumar
    18th July 2019 at 8:06 am

    All are great ideas. I definitely going to apply these tips. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    25th November 2019 at 6:40 am

    I’ve been looking for advice for my small kitchen. Thank God I came across your blog because as now I have lots of ideas on how to handle my small space. Thank you very much for sharing.

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