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Styling up a Small Kitchen

April Kennedy April Kennedy
Peponi House - Back Door to Africa Tropical style kitchen by STUDIO [D] TALE Tropical
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Small kitchens can have serious style. They take up very little space, so the smallest changes can have a powerful impact. But best of all, upgrading a small kitchen is relatively cheap and easy when compared to the initial cost of installation.

A small kitchen upgrade is also one of the best investments of time. The kitchen, no matter how small, is the hub and life of the home. It needs to be simple, efficient and decluttered. An easy-to-use small kitchen will make you feel energised and more likely to spend the time preparing your food—and this can only be a good thing!

Today we take a peek at a few quick and easy small kitchens. Each has its own unique qualities and packs a lot of style into a very small space. So if you're thinking of refreshing or upgrading a tiny kitchen, keep reading for a few handy hints.

Update the kitchen cupboard doors

Kitchen cabinets and fittings are usually made in standard sizes. This means you can simply change the cupboard doors without the hassle of moving the base cabinets. With the right accessories, you can even change a very modern kitchen to a vintage, country Scandinavian-style kitchen like this. This is one upgrade that novice DIY-ers can tackle without too many tools. Another top tip is to rummage through a vintage market in search of some unique handles or knobs. Adding these to your cupboards will give them a new lease of life and ensure you have a truly bespoke kitchen.

Make some creative kitchen shelves

Peponi House Tropical style kitchen by STUDIO [D] TALE Tropical

Peponi House


Small kitchens are often lacking adequate storage, so look for unused corners and make a splash with something a little different. The clear, blue perspex kitchen shelves in this lovely small kitchen add a distinctive touch in a very small space. If you like DIY projects, kitchen shelving is one of the easier projects to tackle. Don't forget that the biggest advantage of being a DIY pioneer is that you have the opportunity to create something completely unique too.

Add a small breakfast bar

Almost every small kitchen in an open-plan layout can be modified to accommodate a small breakfast bar, even if it's just a matter of adding a couple of great, bright bar stools like this to a normal kitchen bench. A portable trolley-style kitchen bench could easily work if you have a rental kitchen and can't make any permanent changes. As an side note, check out the fabulous retro wallpaper and floor tiles here. If you have a little extra to spend on your project, you may want to look into hiring a kitchen planner

Create feature flooring

A small kitchen often has to compete with the living room for attention in an open-plan layout. So consider how you might delineate the kitchen from the living room with some dedicated kitchen flooring. Beautiful ornate tiles like this pack a lot of punch without actually taking up any floor space. If you can't make permanent changes, look at investing in a good quality, distinctive rug or large floor mat. Kitchen rugs or mats are good because they muffle noise and ease up on the wear and tear on the floor. But it's best to find something small that can easily be thrown into the washing machine. Find something that lies flush with the wall if possible, to minimise the potential for tripping over it when holding heavy dishes.

Rethink your lighting scheme

The biggest danger in remodelling is that it's easy to just keep adding more elements when you should probably be removing and decluttering the space. This is particularly important in a small kitchen. But the biggest decorative power is often in the cupboard and shelving lighting—and obviously, this can take up almost zero space. It's important to think about the most important features in your kitchen and work your lighting around them. Great under-shelf lighting will help define and draw focus to the key areas of your design and really define and upstyle the look.

Create some feature lights

Every small kitchen has some unused vertical space—and that doesn't just mean wall space. Look at upgrading or changing up your lighting with some stylish pendant lights like this. You don't need to change the light fittings, just get some string light-bulbs that can be plugged into a wall socket and add a few hooks to the ceiling. Without these vintage pendant lights, the grey kitchen might be rather minimalist and slightly drab. Note the quirky stool covers here as well.

If you're interested in upgrading a small kitchen, make sure you check out this Kitchen simplicity ideabook too—it's packed full of ideas!

What do you think of the small kitchens we have explored today? What are your top tips for kitchen style? Let us know in the comments section!
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