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5 things an interior designer would never do in a small kitchen


Dreaming of more kitchen storage and space? We’ve got you covered. Here are five mistakes homeowners often make in a small kitchen. 

© IQI Concept

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home. While it functions mainly as a place to prepare a meal, it’s also a place where countless good times are shared over family dinners. This is why having just a functional kitchen won’t cut it anymore. We can fill it with the prettiest utensils and appliances, but a kitchen without any style of design can be, well, dull and uninspiring. 

The thing is, a good design doesn’t come easy. Especially if you have only a limited space to work on. So to help you design the ideal kitchen for your home, we asked the team behind IQI Concept to give us the lowdown on what you absolutely must not do in a small kitchen. 

Read how this filmmaker tackled small space decor and interior design

1. Opt only for dark colours 

© IQI Concept

The number one rule for decorating a small kitchen is to never, ever use dark colours. In fact, avoid dusky tones in a small environment because they tend to absorb light, making a room look smaller than it should. Instead, go for white or neutral paint colours. Lighter colours reflect light, making a room feel more open and airy while allowing the features of the room to stand out and the walls to recede. You can also consider adding pops of colours to the kitchen cabinet or splashback to spruce up the look. 

Read more: Wet and dry contemporary kitchen design ideas to inspire you

2. Not cleaning up after you cook

© IQI Concept

The last thing you need in a small kitchen is clutter. To save you from all the stress of cleaning up a messy and disorganised kitchen, give minimalism a try. Sleek, simple and structured, a minimalist kitchen does not only add aesthetic value to your home but adopting the less is more concept also makes you realise you don’t actually need so many appliances at home — when was the last time you use your spiraliser or bread machine anyway? Pare down the number of items you own and keep only the basics you need for cooking and chores. Buy compact appliances whenever possible to save space. 

Read more: 6 easy DIY kitchen upgrades anyone can do

3. Leave a gap between the ceiling and shelves

© IQI Concept

The one common mistake people tend to make in their kitchen is leaving a huge gap between your kitchen cabinets and the ceiling. By bringing your cabinets all the way up to the ceiling, you can visually increase the room’s perceived height, making it look more spacious than before. Besides, if you allow space between cabinets and ceiling, the top of your cabinet will soon turn into a dust collector.  

4. Install open shelves

© IQI Concept

We get it. Open shelves look fancy and you can identify where you store an item almost immediately. Unfortunately, we can’t vouch for open shelves in small kitchens, especially for galley kitchen. If you leave everything out in the open, chances are your kitchen will feel disoriented and cluttered. But don’t worry, there’s a way to get around it. What you can do is to include a mix of open and closed storage to balance it out. So keep the less attractive utensils and appliances out of sight, and exhibit only your prized collection out in the open. 

Read more: Which kitchen countertop is best for you

5. Choose warm lighting instead of natural light

© IQI Concept

Whether or not you’re an expert in interior design, you’d know that having the right lighting can make or break a space. Natural light is always welcomed in a small space as it enhances and broadens the room. For places where natural light is sparse, settle for white light and LED strips as they work well in smaller kitchens. Better yet, install pendant lights above the kitchen island or dining table to illuminate the space. 

Whatever you do, don’t choose warm lighting. Warm lighting may be the perfect choice for your bedroom —  it helps calm down the atmosphere — but the soft, yellowish lighting is a big no-no in small kitchens. As mentioned above, bright and light colours help expand a space while warm and dark shades absorb light and recede. 

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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