If you happen to have a small kitchen, there are some creative ways to maximise and use the space for a comfortable cooking experience. We spoke to the experts at Metropolitan Plumbing who had a few ideas you can use for your own home.

1. Embrace Vertical Storage

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When space is limited in your kitchen, think up. You can maximise the storage potential of your walls and tight corners, although you might have to think outside the box. For example, consider the way you use above-counter cabinets.

Yes, they provide storage, but can you easily access anything stored above the fridge? Perhaps shelves could be more useful. And a quirky addition of hooks and wall mounted utensil holders can free up quite a bit of space. Pots and pans could hang above the benchtop, creating more accessible space in easy-to-reach cupboards.

2. Utilise Hard to Reach Corners

Also consider purpose-made storage cupboards. A tall, narrow slide-out pantry could be built in the space between a fridge and wall. Meanwhile, a corner pantry can be the perfect addition for a small kitchen. Floor to ceiling storage with deep shelves is made accessible via a folding door. These are areas that are otherwise neglected but could be incredibly useful.

3. Maximise the Kitchen Triangle Workflow

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Being able to efficiently use your space is going to help a small kitchen feel larger. Therefore, you must maximise the kitchen triangle. If you’re unfamiliar with it, the kitchen triangle is the perfect layout for a smooth workflow. Each corner is a key part of the kitchen: the oven and cooktop, fridge and sink. They are three frequently used kitchen features.

Separation in a small kitchen means there is space to move around. You’re not bumping shoulders with someone while cooking. If there are multiple people moving in and out of the space there is enough room to breathe and maintain organisation.

4. Create Appliance Stacks

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Instead of losing too much valuable bench space for a microwave, stacking your kitchen appliances will save space. Traditional appliance stacks include an oven, grill and microwave. It’s a helpful way to centralise your cooking – although it does mean the cooktop will be separate to the oven. But for many of us that’s already the norm.

Alternatives to a kitchen appliance stack include an under bench or above bench recess for the microwave, which again clears up more space on the bench top.

5. Introduce Natural Light

Honestly, you don’t even have to do anything here other than open the curtains! Natural light will help your kitchen feel larger than it really is, creating an inviting sense of openness. Try to keep the window open when the weather’s nice, too. The breeze will make it feel like your kitchen’s outside and not restricted by four walls.

6. Decorate with Light Colours

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Lighter colour palettes and shades are one of the best ways to make your small kitchen feel larger. Great options include white, light blue and light grey. The best locations for light colours include cabinets and joinery, kitchen curtains and splashbacks.

Meanwhile, you can also mix-n-match dark and light colours for balance and contrast. Dark wood tones or colours such as navy blue, red or black are wonderful for statement pieces of furniture or appliances. A feature line of colour in the splashback is another great way to introduce dark tones without creating an imposing space.

7. Versatile Kitchen Splashbacks

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A versatile kitchen splashback that can double as storage is a wonderful thing. There are splashbacks that include hanging pan racks, for example. You could also mount your own mini-knife block to the wall so key utensils can be stored right above where you cook. Everything is easily within reach.

8. Sliding Doors

If space is limited you don’t want to open doors into a narrow walkway. It makes movement incredibly difficult. Instead, go for sliding doors! Overhead cupboards with sliding doors are especially sleek and attractive for a modern home. They also avoid nasty collisions when someone forgets to close the door after grabbing a snack. Under bench sliding doors are less common as you typically have a combination of drawers and shelves.

9. Install Drawers over Cupboards

It can be difficult to utilise all of your storage space with deep cupboards at floor level. The back corners often collect junk that’s never used, reducing the efficiency of your small kitchen’s storage. Instead, install a couple of deep drawers instead of cupboards. Large drawers are perfect for pots, pans and other bulky items.

They can fit in deep spaces and are easily accessible. Nothing will be lost or forgotten at the back of a cupboard anymore. And be sure to consider rearranging your cupboards and drawers, too. You could unlock more space by shifting certain features around, like the sink or dishwasher. Just be sure to call your local plumber when any plumbing is involved to make your life easier.

Maintain Clean and Open Benchtops

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Keeping your benchtops clean is one of the best ways to not feel cluttered in a small kitchen. If you have appliances and other knick-knacks taking up valuable space then you will feel hemmed in. Make sure to always maintain a clean kitchen by putting things away and not over filling. A minimalist approach will allow you to breathe. You will have room to prepare dinner and entertain without nudging a blender or mixer bowl out of the way.

This article was created in cooperation with Metropolitan Plumbing.