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

Dreaming of more kitchen space? We’ve got you covered.

© 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. 

1. Opt only for dark colours 

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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. 

Read more: 6 ways to brighten up your apartment with natural light

2. Not cleaning up after you cook

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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: The key to a minimalistic living room is simpler than you think

3. Leave a gap between the ceiling and shelves

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The one common mistake people tend to make in their kitchen is leaving a huge gap between your kitchen cabinet 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

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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. 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

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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.

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 light 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. 

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