How to make a compact kitchen feel bigger
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May 15, 2020
We all love to admire large, spacious kitchens in glossy magazines, brochures and online platforms such as Pinterest and Houzz; but when it comes to the reality of interiors, many UK homes present the challenge of a less than roomy space. We may dream of a light, airy, open-plan design but if adding an extension is not on the cards, don’t worry as there are plenty of ways you can make a compact kitchen feel bigger and some of them won’t even cost you a penny!
Store and order
The first thing to do is have a really good clear-out, and this is where the minimal spend comes in. Remove everything from drawers and cupboards, clean the insides with a damp cloth then be ruthless in what goes back in. It’s surprising how much stuff we hang on to for years, so make this your chance to declutter and spring clean. Keeping worksurfaces free from clutter will instantly make the kitchen feel more spacious. You’ll want easy access to the kettle, toaster, coffee machine, chopping boards, a utensil pot and knife block. Pretty much everything else can be hidden from view to leave a sense of calm, order and space.
Silestone Calacatta Gold
Your choice of worksurface material, colour and finish can have a huge impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. Worktops are one of the first things we see when entering the room so it’s important to consider the effect you wish to create. Smooth, solid surfaces with no visible joins will offer a seamless look while integrated sinks moulded from the same slab create even more of a streamlined effect.
Silestone is the perfect example of how worktops can make a compact kitchen feel bigger. Made from over 90 per cent natural quartz crystals, our Silestone worksurfaces are ultra-practical with high resistance to scratches and stains. Silestone comes in over 50 colours and has a shade and consistency that’s not found in natural stone. This makes it ideal for worksurfaces as well as splashbacks and sinks.
Get the on-trend marble look with Calacatta Gold, Classic Calacatta or Bianco Calacatta. Alternatively, create an industrial feel with Desert Silver or Eternal Serena. And while neutral tones evoke a sense of space, using darker colours can also bring an edge to your design. Consider different finishes for a mixed materials approach, perhaps for an island unit or a mini worksurface within a freestanding larder unit or dresser. Eternal Noir and Charcoal Soapstone are deeply dramatic and guaranteed to add instant impact.
As well as selecting the right colour and finish for your worksurfaces, it’s also important to carefully consider the right tone for your cabinets, too. High-gloss, handleless units will instantly create a seamless look with no handles to detract from the streamlined flow. The reflective finish that bounces light around the room makes the kitchen feel bigger and brighter. Whites and greys are always a good bet but you can also play around with colour; this is a great way of adding your own personality to the space.
This year it’s all about emerald and forest green. This could be in the form of high gloss or painted wooden in-frame doors with a Shaker style. If you prefer the more traditional look of timber cabinets, consider brushed brass handles and hardware with matching taps and light fittings for a luxe look. Navy blue is another on-trend colour choice and this timeless tone makes a great investment. Don’t be afraid to be bold! So long as you lighten the space with pale or neutral worksurfaces and avoid a heavy feel with wall cabinets (think open, floating shelves instead), then you can indulge your darker side.
Surfaces play a big part in making a compact kitchen feel bigger. Once you’ve chosen the worksurfaces and cabinets, it’s time to consider the flooring. If you’re going for tiles or planks, choose large format tiles or wide planks. That way, there will be fewer grout lines and gaps between them, which creates an illusion of space. If you have doors leading to the outside, blur the boundaries and install the same flooring inside and out. A product such as Dekton can be used both in the kitchen as well as outdoors.
An ultra-compact surface, Dekton is made from a blend of inorganic materials using an innovative ultra-compaction process. For you, this means it’s highly resistant to the sun’s UV rays as well as scratches, stains and thermal shock, so it can even cope with our harsh winter frosts. It’s perfect for a seamless finish throughout the kitchen and beyond. It can be used for worktops, splashbacks, flooring, wall cladding, external facades and even bespoke furniture. With over 30 different options, it also includes the Dekton XGloss line with a luxurious high shine finish. And while glossy surfaces enhance the light and airy feel, it’s also worth considering adding texture or a matte finish. This will break up the look and prevent the kitchen from appearing too shiny. After all, no-one wants a showhome scheme; today’s kitchens are all about being lived in and loved, no matter how compact they are.
Pick ‘n’ mix
If going neutral for the main elements of the kitchen, you still want a focal point that anchors the look. This could be in the form of a statement appliance – think colourful range cooker or designer extractor hood – or perhaps with a granite surface such as Sensa by Cosentino. With built-in protection treatment that reduces its stainability, the result is always attractive and on-point. Low maintenance with different veinings, textures and tones, it can also be used outside for that seamless inside-out effect.
Additional ways to create a sense of space in a compact kitchen include choosing built-in and fully integrated appliances. Think touch control rather than chunky knobs. This will create an uninterrupted flow for a bank of appliances comprising oven, steam oven, coffee machine and warming drawer. Then conceal the dishwasher, fridge freezer and washing machine with fully integrated models hidden behind matching cabinet doors. Sinks can be seamlessly incorporated when made from the same slab of Silestone – or if you are opting for a stainless steel design, look to flush or undermounted rather than inset installations.
By paring back to the essentials but adding elements of your own personality, you’ll achieve the ultimate spacious kitchen.