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Small kitchen ideas – 29 stylish tips for your compact space

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  • Our small kitchen ideas are perfect for those not blessed with a large and sociable kitchen-diner. Sure, you might not have space for a kitchen island, range cooker and dining table to cram guests around. But diminutive doesn’t have to mean drab.

    There’s a wealth of clever kitchen ideas to make your scheme feel spacious.

    Storage is one of the most important elements in a small kitchen. By maximising every spare inch, reorganising areas that don’t work as hard as they should and adding extra solutions where necessary, you can turn a tiny room into a Tardis. More and more, kitchen design looks to benefit from minimal clutter and maximum efficiency.

    Start by thinking about how you use your kitchen and where everything needs to be as this will help you decide what sort of storage you require. For example, it’s best to store items by how often they’re used, so make sure that everyday dishes are on an easy-to-reach lower shelf with special-occasion pieces higher up.

    Small kitchen ideas

    1. Save space with a sliding door

    A small blue kitchen with sliding glass door and a wooden dining table

    Image credit: Future Plc/ Colin Poole

    In a small kitchen where space is tight you may be tempted to remove the door to avoid the feeling of claustrophobia. But a door to a kitchen is a handy tool to be able to contain the smells of cooking from filling the rest of the house.

    Consider sliding doors, which are the ultimate space-saving room divider.

    In this small dining room idea, the homeowner has used a sliding door that takes up zero space, yet provides separation from the kitchen beyond. Even when it is pulled closed, the reinforced glass design means it doesn’t act as a solid barrier from one space to the next.

    2. Be mindful of dimensions

    A small grey galley kitchen with a narrow island and glass bifold doors

    Image credit: Tom Howley, Hartford kitchen in Chicory, from £20,000

    ‘Kitchens need to be as functional as they are beautiful,’ says Tom Howley, design director at Tom Howley bespoke kitchens. ‘If you take a standard galley kitchen to have a 6ft width and a 12ft length, island and peninsula counters are rarely an option in this sort of space. The importance of walkway space should be a key consideration.’

    ‘When designing your layout, always leave a metre of walkway space either one or two sides of your worktop, island, or peninsula counter. This is a functionally and aesthetically effective dimension to keep in mind.’

    3. Make more space with collapsable furniture

    A small dining room with a wooden table and white cupboards

    Image credit: Norden table, £150, Ikea

    Choose collapsable furniture to allow the space freedom in the purpose. This modern kitchen includes an extendable table, which provides an island of sorts. Then, when needed, it extends out to form a sizeable dining table for meal times.

    The table could even provide a valuable desk space for working from home. Due to the nature of collapsable furniture the space isn’t in any way compromised by the need for a table. It’s a highly efficient way to make the space work to its full potential.

    4. Get creative with corners

    A small white kitchen with corner cupboards and glasses rack next to an orange fridge

    Image credit: Future Publishing Plc/ Fiona Walker-Arnott

    A tiny kitchen still has to cater for even the most basic of food prep and serving, which requires a lot of ‘stuff’. This means it is key to use every last bit of available space by being savvy with the design solutions.

    Ensure the units are as tall as physically possible to elongate the space. Making the most of magic corners and other clever mechanisms will also help use every millimetre of space, such as this under cupboard glass rack.

    Hanging glasses below the cupboards is a clever kitchen storage idea. It not only uses up space that is otherwise redundant, but more importantly it frees up storage space inside the cabinets.

    5. Utilise wall space to create a compact design

    A navy kitchen with a narrow island with a white worktop and light flooring

    Image credit: Kitchen Makers

    When space is at a premium, clever compact kitchen design comes to the rescue. ‘When presented with a smaller space it is essential that the layout is carefully considered to make sure every inch of the kitchen is utilised,’ says Ben Burbidge, managing director at Kitchen Makers.

    ‘Creating a bank of cabinetry along one wall is a great way of streamlining and opening up the space. Tall wall units are particularly suited to narrow, galley style kitchens, as using this space ensures the area feels less cramped than if filled with larder style dressers.’

    6. Pay attention to details

    A white Scandi kitchen with wooden worktops

    Image credit: David Giles

    If you’re designing a new kitchen to make your small space more useable, don’t overlook the finer details. ‘Small details, such as the use of materials, is key when designing a small kitchen,’ says Tom Howley. ‘Lighter wood finishes and paint colours work well to expand the perceived space of your kitchen.’

    ‘However, whites and creams are less popular at the moment, so a great compromise is a smoky grey scheme, using a smoked oak wood paired with a matte grey paint. Pair these tones with very light coloured countertops, and your kitchen will look spacious and airy.’

    7. Open up the space with glass

    Neutral kitchen with glass fronted cabinets

    Whether planning a new kitchen or carrying out a makeover on existing cabinets, glass is a key material to enhance a small space. ‘If you do decide on floor to ceiling cabinets, these should only be fitted with glass door display cabinets. This will open up the space in a way that opaque cabinetry will not in a smaller kitchen,’ explains designer Tom Howley.

    8. Use fresh mint green to promote calm

    Small kitchen with mint green kitchen with island and bar stools

    Image credit: Dulux

    Kitchens of all sizes can feel chaotic, but by their very nature, small kitchens are particularly vulnerable. Tackle this head on by painting your small kitchen in a colour that promotes rest and relaxation. Green is the ultimate tone when it comes to making us feel collected and calm, due to its abundance in nature.

    Mix in different tones in cabinetry, walls and accessories as shown in the green kitchen above. That layering will mimic the green of a garden, woodland or forest glade, exaggerating the effect.

    9. Create an optical illusion using colour

    A grey painted kitchen with a wooden stool and white tiles

    Image credit: Dulux

    Painting kitchen cabinets is having a resurgence, as homeowners look for affordable ways to revamp existing kitchens, rather than the expensive task of replacing.

    This budget kitchen idea is a great way to revive the surfaces and make your space look brand new with a simple splash of colour. In small spaces, a new colour scheme can do wonders to help the space feel that little bit bigger too.

    A neutral on the surrounding walls, such as Dulux’s ‘Timeless’ provides a  fresh airy feel for the space. While a stronger, more dominant colour such as Dulux’s ‘Urban Obsession’ can give presence to the kitchen cabinetry. By painting all the base units in a darker shade the room will feel divided, creating the optical illusion of a greater sense of space between floor and ceiling.

    10. Opt for a crisp colour scheme

    An eggshell blue kitchen with a patterned splashback and green plants

    Image credit:

    Make a small kitchen feel light and airy by opting for a neutral kitchen colour scheme. However, neutral doesn’t just mean beige or cream kitchens. Pair white patterned tiles and marble worktops with duck egg blue kitchen cabinets for a crisp colour scheme that will bounce light around, making the kitchen feel spacious.

    11. Invest in flexible storage

    A close up shot of white kitchen wall shelving with crockery and utensils

    Image credit: String

    In a small kitchen you need to think creatively when it comes to storage. Instead of investing in ordinary shelves, this wire panel shelving from string maximises storage by adapting to your kitchen’s needs.

    Add in or take away shelves, hang glasses upside down and even introduce a wine rack. When space is at a premium you need to make sure every inch counts.

    12. Distract the eye with bold flooring

    A small pale green kitchen with copper accents and white metro tiles

    Image credit: Jonathan Jones

    In a small kitchen, go all-out with bold tiling. A strong pattern on the floor distracts the eye and makes the room feel bigger. Every inch of this kitchen has been designed to make the most of the small space from the slimline appliances to the hanging pot plant.

    Hanging the copper planter is a great way to add some life and decoration in the kitchen without cluttering work surfaces.

    13. Hide appliances in a breakfast cupboard

    A close up shot of a tea and coffee station with decorative tins

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Keep surfaces from looking cluttered by tucking the toaster, kettle and coffee machine away in a breakfast cupboard. As soon as you open the cupboard your favourite gadget is sat ready to use. This is a nifty trick for making use of awkward corners and making sure that none of your kitchen tech gets lost at the back of a cabinet.

    14. Swap an extractor hood for a combined extractor induction hob

    An induction hob with a whit tiled splashback and grey drawers

    Image credit: IKEA

    This combined induction extractor hob is a great space saver in a small kitchen. It means you can swap a bulky extractor hood above the hob in favour of extra storage. If you don’t require an extra cupboard or set of shelves, consider leaving the area above the hob empty to give the illusion of a more spacious kitchen.

    Buy now: FÖRDELAKTIG Induction hob/integrated extractor, £1,150, IKEA

    15. Swap a table for a kitchen island

    A small kitchen island with exposed brick walls painted white

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Adding an island might sound like a terrible idea in a small kitchen. However, in a long thin kitchen, a well-thought-out kitchen island idea can be the perfect way to add in extra storage and surface space, whilst keeping the kitchen a sociable space.

    Choose an island like the one above with plenty of storage space underneath for stowing away vegetables and linens. A slight overhang from the counter top ensures that the four bar stools fit easily under the island, avoiding any potential trip hazards.

    16. Paint kitchen cupboards to match the walls

    A small white kitchen with wooden ceiling beams and pendant lights

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    Create the illusion of more space in a small kitchen by painting the cupboards in the same colour as the walls. The ultimate white kitchen idea, it creates a light and airy space where the units blend into the kitchen walls.

    In this rustic kitchen, every spare inch of space is crammed with storage but a uniform wash of white paint keeps the space looking neat and spacious.

    17. Turn an awkward corner into clever storage

    A close up shot of clever cupboard storage with pots and pans

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    A small kitchen requires you to make use of every inch of storage space you have. If you have a small boxy kitchen, rather than cramming all your pots and pans into a deep cupboard that is going to become a nightmare when you need to find a particular frying pan, consider swapping a cupboard for a drawer.

    This clever pullout drawer maximises space and makes finding your favourite frying pan easy-peasy.

    18. Consider compact containers

    A close up shot of open grey shelving in a kitchen

    Image credit: Simon Scarboro

    Put a windowsill, shelf or recess to work by adding a selection of strong baskets and use to stow bottles, packets or even fresh herbs in pots. Baskets are also a great way to store condiments, meaning you can take them all to the dining table in one trip.

    This is also an easy way to incorporate accessories inspired by rustic farmhouses or shabby chic decorating ideas, such as vintage canisters or mason jars.

    19. Find a new home for the washing machine

    A small cupboard with a washing machine inside

    Image credit: Caroline Arber

    You may think the kitchen is the obvious place to put a washing machine. But in continental Europe, you’re more likely to find it in a bathroom. So if you’re stuck for space, it might be worth relocating your laundry appliances and incorporating them into your bathroom ideas. If your bathroom is just as teeny, you might be able to squeeze it in a cupboard under the stairs.

    Alternatively, if you have a separate washer and dryer, you could consider keeping them in the kitchen but stacking them one on top of the other in an old larder cupboard. It hides them out of sight, saves space and helps streamline laundry days.

    20. Supersize the sink

    A white sink with a black tap and grey metro wall tiles

    Image credit: Georgia Burns

    Investing in the best dishwasher is tempting, but your small kitchen might not have space for one. So, it’s worth finding room for a double sink instead. Keep one bowl for washing and one bowl for dirty dishes. That way you’ll have somewhere to stack mucky prep kit and plates out of sight, and without cluttering up the work surface.

    21. Turn every corner into a storage space

    A marble effect dining table next to open shelving and below two lamps

    Image credit: David Parmiter

    If you don’t have the budget for a kitchen extension, optimise the space you already have instead. Identify places where there’s wasted space, such as the gaps between shelves, at the back of cupboards, below the sink, unused corners and windowsills. Stack wherever you can and have a clear out of kitchenware that’s infrequently used or only has one purpose, so you have less to store.

    Think also about relocating items that aren’t in everyday use, but you don’t want to throw out, to elsewhere in your home. Next, think about the space on your walls and doors. Try adding a utensil rail or magnetic knife board, hooks on the sides of your cupboards or racks hung over a door. Extra shelves in corners or across alcoves will also come in handy.

    22. Add storage helpers

    A colourful kitchen with open shelving and a small freestanding red island

    Image credit: Dan Duchars

    Your cupboards and drawers are your biggest storage resource but it’s likely that they’re not being used fully. Internal storage solutions will make the most of them, so think about retrofitting wire racks that pull out of corners or slim cupboards, some plinth drawers, or using drawer dividers for utensils, spices, pans or plates.

    The colourful kitchen wall idea shown above uses open shelving to display and store crockery. You can boost your storage further with a mobile solution, such as a trolley or butcher’s block on castors, or think about popping baskets or containers on top of your wall cupboards. Just keep a sturdy stool nearby so you can reach them.

    23. Clear away the clutter in small kitchens

    Grey open shelving with crockery and two vases of flowers

    Image credit: David Brittain

    Wall cabinets can really encroach on space, so consider doing away with yours. Open kitchen shelving can make a huge impact in a small kitchen, creating an open and airy feel. Just ensure you limit the amount of shelves you use, and what you keep on them.

    24. Tidy your work surface

    A light kitchen worktop with a black toaster and a bread basket

    Image credit: Future PLC/ Lizzie Orme

    If there are too many items cluttering up the worktops, consider clever solutions like wall-mounted magnetic knife strips, rails to hang utensils, pans, mugs, spice jars and cutlery bins.

    Also think about what you need to have to hand every day, such as chopping boards, wooden spoons, washing-up liquid, and what can be stored away until needed. Look for genius kitchen appliance layout ideas to save even more space.

    25. Keep your kitchen scheme simple

    A small white kitchen with grey flooring and a tall round table

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Nothing makes a room seem larger like simple white walls, so why not take it further with sleek, contemporary details that open up the space.

    Light, reflective materials and minimal designs are your friends in a small kitchen, so consider white or frosted glass cabinet doors, white stone or composite, or stainless-steel worktops, and white splashback tiling.

    26. Look to portable storage

    A kitchen with grey cupboards, red lamps and wooden details

    Image credit: Simon Whitmore

    Consider a kitchen trolley on casters, which provides an additional prep surface when you need it, tucks away when you don’t and also offers extra storage for cookery books, pots and pans. You can even use it as a handy food and drinks trolley when you have guests.

    27. Don’t let space go to waste

    A white kitchen with a large window and a narrow island with a yellow stool

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Not every kitchen will have room, but if your heart is set on having an island or peninsula, consider a slimline design. The central workstation shown here may be small, but it provides extra storage space and a useful worktop for food preparation.

    28. Neaten up a compact kitchen

    A small U-shaped white kitchen with a hanging green plant

    Image credit: Lizzie Orme

    Not every home is blessed with a vast open-plan kitchen but, if your room is on the small side, there’s plenty to feel positive about. For a start, it’s easy to keep everything to hand, and you’ll find a wealth of storage ideas to get the very best out of your space. To avoid cluttering the worktops, plenty of cupboards have been incorporated into this kitchen design.

    Opt for handleless designs for a sleek, streamlined appearance. Don’t overdo the materials in a small space. This compact U-shaped kitchen idea features a maximum of three different materials, all in muted colourways.

    29. Install floor-to-ceiling cabinetry

    A white kitchen with a narrow island, pendant lamps and two bar stools

    Image credit: Barbara Egan

    Think vertically by continuing your cabinets up to the ceiling but plan carefully to ensure the room feels as open as possible. Store less frequently used items in high cupboards. Add a breakfast bar if you can and smart kitchen lighting ideas like the one shown above.

    The amount of storage and workspace it provides makes great use of the footprint and will ensure your kitchen is more sociable.

    How do I plan a small kitchen?

    As with any kitchen, large or small, you need to think about the journey. How do you use the space? There’s a triangle of use within every kitchen, the journey made from fridge to sink to oven – the key elements that need to be considered. Plan your layout around the best way to use the floorspace. Look to use vertical solutions to make the most of every storage space available.

    What is the best layout for a small kitchen?

    Ben Burbidge, at Kitchen Makers says small kitchens needn’t compromise on dream layouts. ‘Don’t be afraid to include an island or breakfast bar but try not to make the overall dimensions too big, as it may restrict movement around the kitchen. Opting for an open or floating island will keep all areas accessible and provide additional seating opportunities. The area under the island’s worktop can offer ample space for storage and kitchen.’

    What is the best colour for a small kitchen?

    Light is the greatest tool to help a small space feel bigger, brightening the space by bouncing light into shadows and lifting the entire room. Therefore white is a great option. A staple for small spaces, pure brilliant white is devoid of all pigment. This means it reflects back nearly all light that hits it. Conversely, the darker the colour, the more light it absorbs.

    Help your chosen colour go even further in a small kitchen by painting the cupboards in the same colour as the walls. An allover colour scheme helps to keep the look light and airy by seamlessly blending the cabinets into the kitchen walls.

    Will you be using any of these small kitchen ideas to create your dream space?


    In a perfect world, you would knock out a few walls and build the kitchen of your dreams from the ground up. Chances are, a major kitchen remodel isn't in the cards for you right now. In that case, incorporate a variety of small kitchen design hacks to maximize your space without compromising your home's overall look and feel, whether it's modern, traditional or farmhouse-inspired.

    Here, you'll find small kitchen ideas to fit every style, budget and need, everything from cheap DIYs that you can easily handle on your own to more intensive projects that you may want to hire out. All of these ideas are clever ways to make the most of the space you already have with smart storage solutions, organizing tips and painting how-tos that trick the eye. You'll often be challenged to think high and low, taking advantage of empty wall space, ceilings and lower shelves. In the end, you'll have a kitchen that's beautiful and functional a.k.a. the perfect place for cooking, eating and entertaining.

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    While the all-white kitchen will probably never go out of style, there are lots of new design trends for 2021 that will make you equally happy. Think: natural elements with some pops of color as well as a visit to the dark side with colors you might never expect. We know, we know. You've already carefully chosen every appliance, picked out each piece of hardware, and planned your kitchen design to a T, but there are ways to dip your toes into the world of color without messing up your rustic farmhouse kitchen aesthetic. On the color front, why not try painting your ceiling a fun color, like Haint Blue? How about hauling in some colorful appliances?

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    If you've been wanting to layer in more natural elements, try "sustainable" and "eco-friendly" items. These are words that are popping up more and more, with many companies offering green solutions for cabinets and shelving. You can also think about bringing in handmade tiles in materials like terra-cotta and cement—a great solution for adding a little more soul to your space, regardless of whether or not you opt to completely switch over to a farmhouse style vibe.

    When it comes to countertops, quartz is quickly becoming an affordable and low maintenance alternative to our beloved marble. There are even new trends for accessorizing your countertops, like vintage plate racks made to display your grandmother’s china. Hardware and metal finishes continue to push the envelope—think brass, nickel, and matte black. Removable wallpaper companies are making it even easier to experiment with pattern on walls and backsplashes. Consider 2021 as the year of the kitchen!

    Modern Kitchen Cabinets - Kitchen Cupboard Designs Ideas

    Kitchen ideas, above all else, have to be practical. They have to work around your life and how you use your space, but, obviously, we think it is also important that they look super stylish too.  

    Now, we would like to think we know a thing or two about kitchen design, we are home to many a kitchen decor expert and do tend to spend a fair amount of time staring at pictures of stunning kitchens. So, we have put all our know-how into one place: this marvelous gallery of inspiring ideas for your kitchen. 

    Here you will find everything from small DIY jobs you can tackle in a day, to bigger looks to create if you're starting your kitchen design from scratch. Or maybe you just want to look at some nice kitchen ideas? So keep scrolling for all our ideas, advice and gorgeous inspiration to take your kitchen look to the next level.

    1. Update your kitchen cabinets with paint 

    (Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

    If you like the current layout of your kitchen and the 'bones' of your cabinets are perfectly fine, but you just aren't keen on the color or finish, painting them is the answer. Painting kitchen cabinets is the quickest and cheapest way to make an old kitchen feel like a totally new space. You can do it yourself too – just follow our guide to painting kitchen cabinets. Make sure you use the best paint for kitchen cabinets too. 

    2. Go for a bold color and simple cabinets

    (Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

    We encourage you to be bold in your color choices too! We love the Mid-century vibe of this kitchen –  the oranges and yellows are have a retro feel that just makes the space feel sunny and fresh. Keep the walls and floors light and it's doesn't overwhelm the space at all, in fact it looks really fresh in this Mid-century kitchen. 

    3. Add color and texture with a tiled wall

    (Image credit: DeVOL Kitchens)

    Something else you can do to your current kitchen or plan into your new kitchen design, is a completely tiled wall. Really practical in a kitchen, tiled walls are easy to clean and perfect for areas that get splashed a lot or get splattered while you're cooking, but they also can add so much interest and texture to a kitchen. See them as feature walls – to bring color and even pattern into the room. 

    We love these green tiles and how each one is unique, you can find similar ones at Tiles Direct, and if you want any more tips on how to choose kitchen tiles, head over to our guide. 

    4. Retile a splashback for a pop of colour

    (Image credit: Katie Lee)

    If a whole tiled wall doesn't take your fancy, why not just make a change by retiling your splashback? Again it's a job you can do yourself too if you want to keep costs down, and will only take an afternoon. Just check out our guide to how to tile a splashback for practical steps. 

    Since a splashback is usually such a small area you could be bold with your choice of tiles too. Choose a color or a pattern that could start a whole new color scheme in your kitchen. We love how this blush pink works with the sage green – a color combo we will definitely be trying out ourselves.  

    5. Mix and match unexpected colours

    (Image credit: Neptune)

    Blue and green should never be seen right? (or is red and green? Pink and green?) Anyway, it's all wrong! We love combining the sea-like hues to add depth to a room. They work particularly well in this light and bright kitchen extension – bringing color and texture into what would otherwise be quite a traditional kitchen. 

    6. Wallpaper a kitchen backsplash

    (Image credit: Big Chill)

    Yep, it's a think and a great way to change the look of your kitchen on a budget. Obviously we wouldn't recommend you wallpaper an area that's going to get constantly wet – say behind a sink, but to add some color and pattern behind a worktop it works really well. Just make sure you have sealed it properly. 

    7. Create an exposed brick wall in your kitchen

    (Image credit: deVOL Kitchens)

    Now if you are lucky, you will find beautiful bricks under your plaster and it can be a straightforward, if not slightly messy, DIY project to expose. We have a guide to how to create an exposed brick wall if you want a step by step, but it basically goes like this: strip back layers of plaster until your get to the original brick; once you've got to that and it's in good condition you can do what you like with it; leave it bare (but coat it with a suitable clear finish to stop it shedding), paint it, hang shelves on it. 

    8. Panel your kitchen walls 

    (Image credit: Lundhs Real Stone)

    This kind of shiplap style paneling is bang on trend at the moment – it's a subtle way to add interest into your kitchen and a bit of a rustic feel too. If you are experienced with DIY you can actually create this look yourself with cladding or get a joiner to help you out. And of course, you can always cheat the look with a panel effect wallpaper. 

    9. Paint your kitchen walls for a fresh new look 

    (Image credit: Benjamin Moore)

    Want a less messy kitchen idea? Just paint your kitchen walls with a new fresh coat. Pick a different kitchen paint color to your current walls to make the space feel new and add some hints of the new color to the rest of the room to create a whole new feel. 

    10. Hang wallpaper to add pattern and texture 

    (Image credit: Little Greene)

    Wallpaper is a great idea for a kitchen if you want some pattern and don't want to spend too much money. Chances are in a kitchen you won't want to cover all your walls with wallpaper, as most walls will be covered in cabinets anyway. That means you could just add a feature wall, treat yourself to a couple of rolls of your dream kitchen wallpaper and hang it yourself. An update for under £100! 

    If you want to learn how to wallpaper just head to our guide.

    11. Mix traditional wallpaper into a contemporary kitchen

    (Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

    When your kitchen is predominantly white and sleek to boot, choosing a wallpaper is actually a dream. Why? Because a white kitchen is a blank canvas and therefore pretty much anything goes. What we love about this kitchen is that the chosen wallpaper – Gable by Farrow & Ball– shows village and farmhouse scenes which at first thought may not match due to being quite trad, yet the stylized design works really well in this modern kitchen.

    12. Throw down a kitchen rug

    (Image credit: Laura Brophy)

    Kitchen floors looking tired? A  rug can cover many a sticky lino sin. And before you go thinking rugs aren't practical in a kitchen, they can be, you just have to choose the right fabric, color and pattern. Top choice for us would be a hardwearing jute rug that will hide scuffs and stains. You could also go for a rug that's already 'worn' – you know the ones that already look they have been in someon's home for decades. Check out Wayfair for loads of affordable options. 

    13. Put up prints for a quick kitchen makeover 

    (Image credit: Georgia Burns)

    Even the small things can make a big difference. Hanging up some prints in your kitchen will bring in color and pattern plus fill a blank space that's just going unused. Depending on your space you could have just one large prints – this always looks very cool in a small kitchen when you don't want too much fuss – or you could create a gallery wall. 

    14. Create simple displays using your kitchen utensils 

    (Image credit: Future)

    You all have utensils right? Well, then you have decoration. You see this in lots of Scandinavian kitchens, mostly because it's practical, but it's a bonus this display looks cute too. All you need is a peg rail to hang your nicest spoons, pans and very stylish string shopping bags from and there you have it – a quick Scandi-style update.

    Take a tour of the rest of this Victorian country cottage for more ideas, it has loads of lovely Scandi elements. 

    15. Or go overboard on the displays to create a country feel 

    (Image credit: Brent Darby)

    Be sure to fill up shelves with lots of lovely knick knacks – crockery, cookware, jugs, flowers, plants, prints, anything and everything that looks pretty. It's these kinds of eclectic displays that will instantly add a rustic kitchen feel. Again, look out for decor in charity shops – our go-to place for weird but wonderful things to decorate your open shelves with. 

    16. Mix in plenty of textures for a kitchen filled with personality

    (Image credit: Iben and Niels Ahlberg/

    How glorious is this rustic kitchen?! And you can get a similar look in your kitchen – the key is textures!  Adding baskets is a really simple way to do that, plus they mean extra storage too. If you can find them second hand on Ebay or Etsy you'll get the most rustic look, but Amazon sell some cute baskets too for fab prices.

    (Image credit: Nordic House)

    Adding pantry storage into your existing kitchen or your new kitchen design is great if you have the space. Not only do pantries look lovely, but they are also really practical if you need plenty of storage and your kitchen cupboards just can't hack the amount of stuff you have. 

    You don't need totally start from scratch to a pantry either, just see if there is anywhere in your current layout you could put up a stud wall or maybe you have a laundry room or garage that could double up as a pantry. You could also invest in a pantry cupboard so no building work would be needed – just check out the Cotswold Company for plenty of lovely options. 

    18. Incorporate an island to add surface space and seating

    (Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

    A kitchen island is another great kitchen idea, and again you don't have to be buying a whole new kitchen to add one to your current space. You can buy a kitchen island separately or even pick up something like a butcher's block secondhand for a similar effect. 

    19. Make your kitchen island be the main part of your space

    (Image credit: Bruce Hemming)

    When it comes to kitchen ideas, we do tend to think of traditional wall and floor cabinets as being a must, but what if in fact all your space needed was a sizable kitchen island? Keep the walls and floors at the edges of your room free of furniture and just have a kitchen island in the center – sink, oven, and storage all built-in! Perfect if you have an open-plan space.

    20. Or add an instant DIY kitchen island 

    (Image credit: Katie Lee)

    In case you didn't already notice, this isn't an island. Surprise! It's actually just a vintage find, a table or a desk, that has been popped in the middle of the kitchen, giving an instant island. Very clever!

    Kitchen islands are really practical addition, but there's no denying they can be expensive, and sometimes you even need a kitchen fitter to install one. However, buying a cute second-hand piece of furniture and positioning it correctly, can give you a very similar effect. Have a look out on eBay for a bargain buy that will add style and plenty of extra storage and surface space to your kitchen. 

    21. Tile your island to add pattern and texture

    (Image credit: Georgia Burns)

    You can make a kitchen island even more of a feature in your space by simply tiling it. It's an easy DIY job, but can make an amazing difference. You could make this even easier (and cheaper) by using tile stickers. Check out all the options of Etsy, they even have this exact pattern...

    22. Add a metallic finish your kitchen island

    (Image credit: Dunelm)

    A all gold kitchen might a little much (but hey you do you) but a gold island? The perfect amount of metallic without going overboard. A textured, almost worn gold works well with so many colors too – deep blues, greens, grey, black and this of course this gorgeous coral.

    23. Create interest with open shelving 

    (Image credit: Jemma Watts)

    We love open shelving as a kitchen idea. They add texture and interest and personality to a space that can otherwise be quite void of stuff that isn't, well... kitchen-related. Use open shelving ideas to display your nicest crockery, but add prints and photos and house plants too. Maybe pick a few key colors and use them to start a new color scheme in your kitchen – it could be all your kitchen needs to feel refreshed. 

    24. Or hang a wall unit to display crockery 

    (Image credit: Georgia Burns)

    See how much color this shelving unit adds to this space? For such a quick and cheap kitchen idea, it can really give your space a good revamp. We love the light, industrial feel of this wall unit, and, you can find really similar designs at Cox and Cox , while Etsy has some nice options too. 

    Check out more of this lovely, colorful family home. 

    25. Bring a bookshelf into your kitchen 

    (Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

    Loving the vibrant colors in this kitchen, the space looks so bright and cheerful. But actually, the core of the kitchen is very neutral and what brings in that color is simply books and a few accessories. We have always said if you have books you have decoration and that applies to decorating your kitchen too. A freestanding bookshelf is not only a practical addition, it can add instant color and personality to your space.

    26. Add an industrial edge (and save space) with butcher's hooks 

    (Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

    Suspending a rail above your worktop is a fast, easy and cost effective kitchen storage idea. This is the perfect way to hang those awkward pots, pans, measuring cups and sieves that often clutter up your cupboards. The slated shelves in this kitchen have butchers hooks hanging from them, doubling up the storage. It frees up the kitchen drawers and makes a feature of practical items. Nifty!

    27. Add plenty of quirky displays for a rustic retro look 

    (Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

    Fill up shelves with lots of lovely knick knacks – crockery, cookware, jugs, flowers, plants, prints, anything and everything that looks pretty. It's these kinds of ramshackle displays that will instantly add a rustic country kitchen feel. Loving the slightly retro feel of this color scheme too. 

    28. Swap kitchen doors for curtains 

    (Image credit: China Cooper)

    Love Scandi interiors?  This a kitchen idea for you. The Scandinavians are really clever at balancing the hard surfaces in their homes (think wood flooring) by adding layers of fabrics. In a Scandi kitchen, it's typical – and rather lovely – to have cushions on dining chairs and curtains instead of base cabinet doors. 

    It's an easy update too and you can make curtains for your kitchen doors yourself. Simply pick out a fabric, measure it to fit your cabinet, allowing for a bit extra so it pleats and hangs nicely and then sew a fold at the top of the piece. Thread through a curtain wire and there you go. 

    29. Use slimline units to maximise space

    (Image credit: @cloud_nine_interiors)

    If an extra run of units down one side of your kitchen would leave you with barely enough room to squeeze through, Jo at @cloud_nine_interiors has a clever trick for you: reduce the depth of the cabinets down one side of the room. You'll keep a decent amount of floor space while gaining extra worktop and storage space – it's a win win.

    30. Add don't be afraid of clutter

    (Image credit: Neptune)

    In smaller kitchens, you tend to be afraid of 'clutter' and honestly we have given the advice of 'less is more' in a small kitchen many times, but sometimes stuff is exactly what a small kitchen needs. Hang pots and pans on show for a pretty but practical storage solution, fill your walls with shelves to display your crockery, add plants and prints too – bring personality into your space no matter what the size. 

    31. Choose freestanding furniture for a flexible kitchen 

    (Image credit: Future / Kasia Fiszer)

    We all love the look of freestanding kitchens – they are so lovely and personal. They are also relatively cheap to create, too, so if you are doing up a kitchen on a budget it could be a good option. You can find lots of pieces secondhand in reclamation yards, charity shops, and Ebay. You could also add freestanding elements to your current kitchen with dressers, islands and shelving units. 

    32. Shop your own home for freestanding furniture 

    (Image credit: Zara Home)

    Fell in love with a piece of vintage furniture but just can't make it work in its current space?  See if you can repurpose it in the kitchen. You would be surprised what you can make work – use a chest of drawers to store pans, an old shelving unit for cookbooks, or a console table for your best crockery. 

    33. Mix and match your freestanding kitchen units

    (Image credit: The Painted Furniture Company)

    Because a freestanding kitchen does away with the ‘matchy matchy’ element, you can invest in beautiful bespoke pieces that will fit into those awkward spaces that normal sized units won’t. It’s worth checking out specialist companies as they will happily create a masterpiece like this stunning dresser to complement the rest of your kitchen design – and we love how it matches the range cooker! 

    34. Go freestanding even in a small kitchen

    (Image credit: Douglas Gibb)

    While a small fitted kitchen can be an efficient use of space in a smaller kitchen, if you like a more relaxed look you can mix in some freestanding units too. Just pick pieces that are as functional as they are good looking and avoid really solid pieces that will close in the space – pick pieces with shelves and open backs so light can still get around the room. 

    35. Add a butler sink for an instant rustic feel

    (Image credit: Cuisinart )

    Another update for your current kitchen, or to consider in your new kitchen design, is switching up the sink. A new sink style, plus a few decorating tweaks, can totally change the feel of a kitchen. Butler sinks are popular at the moment for adding a rustic country feel to a space, so have a look and see if you could replace your current sink with one – they are quite deep so you may need to replace that entire unit to make it work. 

    If you want more advice on how to choose a kitchen sink, head over to our advice page next. 

    36. Pick handle-less cabinets for a contemporary look

    (Image credit: Meir Australia )

    If you are after kitchen ideas that will create a clean, contemporary feel, choosing handless cabinets is a guaranteed way to get that look. If you aren't buying a new kitchen, you can switch out your cabinet doors for something more modern. A lot of sizes are standard so you could easily find replacements. Also, check out companies who make door fronts like Plykea and Naked Doors.  

    37. Or change up your current hardware 

    (Image credit: Farrow and Ball )

    Replace all the knobs and handles, easy peasy. You would be surprised how much of a difference it can make; if you are after a more modern look, pick out simple T-bar handles (black is super on trend right now) and for a more traditional vibe switch your handles to a cupped style. We love John Lewis and Anthropologie for hardware, and just think, new handles are way cheaper than a new kitchen – so, go on, treat yourself to handles you really love. 

    38. Choose a classic all white kitchen that'll never date

    (Image credit: Neptune)

    Let's talk about kitchen colors. As we said earlier, you can change the color of your kitchen cupboards using just paint, but do put some thought into the overall feel and look you want to go for. What is the natural light like in your kitchen? What is the color of your existing furniture and decorations? 

    All white kitchens are bang on trend at the moment and they are classic, they won't date and they give you a nice blank canvas to change up the overall look as styles come and go. If you are the kind of person who likes to change their home often with the trends, a white kitchen would be the way to go.

    39. Contrast your white kitchen with a deeper color

    (Image credit: The Shaker workshop)

    And to ground your all-white kitchen and to create a focal point, add in a deeper more dramatic color like a dark blue, green, or black. Here the island provides the contrast but if you don't have an island you could paint a feature wall, choose a dark colors floor or tile a splashback in a darker hue.

    40. Pick a grey kitchen for a classic look 

    (Image credit: Fiona Walker-Arnott)

    Grey is of course always a popular kitchen color choice and is definitely more practical than white – something you might want to consider if you have young children or pets. They are also so many hues and shades of grey you could go for, from light cool tones to really dark and dramatic colors.

    Like white, grey is great backdrop color that you can easily pair with other colors to create new looks. We have a whole gallery of grey kitchen ideas if you want more inspiration and to see how different grey tones look in a space. 

    41. Or go for bang on trend dark kitchen ideas

    (Image credit: Kitchen Makers)

    If you want kitchen ideas that will add some drama, choose a dark color for your cabinets would do that instantly. When we first saw dark or even black kitchens increasing in popularity, we were sure they would date within a year, but they have been going strong for years now. A dark blue kitchen is as popular as a grey kitchen nowadays.

    42. Be bold and choose a colourful kitchen

    (Image credit: DelightFULL)

    And at the other end of the spectrum, choose bright kitchen cabinets! Best thing about being able to paint kitchen cabinets is that if you tire of a color you can always paint over it. We love this bright sunny yellow, but we've been seeing green kitchens popping up on Instagram more frequently and even pink ones! Check out more colorful kitchens in our gallery. 

    43. Mix and match your kitchen cabinets 

    (Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

    Can't decide on one color or finish for your kitchen cabinets? Just mix and match! Bare wooden cabinets look lovely combined with painted ones, and different colors work well too. If you do go for the two-tone look, just take some inspiration from this kitchen idea and keep the rest of the room quite simple and minimal – let the cabinets be the focus. 

    44. Keep walls free of cabinetry


    Images kitchen cupboards

    Stark Kitchens Johannesburg – Superior Quality Kitchens at Affordable Prices

    We are a specialized team of kitchen designers, manufacturers and installers, focused on delivering a fresh sense of luxury and comfort to our customers. We only use top quality materials for our kitchen cupboards, built in bedroom cupboards and bathroom renovations. Whether your project is big or small, you should call us first. There is only one choice in making your dream project come to life.

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    25 Beautiful Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas - For Kitchen Remodeling Ideas

    We talked to the trend experts to find out which kitchen trends will be big in 2022.

    With cool new kitchen brands popping up and lots of innovative design ideas and clever twists on old appliance designs on display in kitchen showrooms across the country, there are plenty of on-trend looks and state-of-the-art appliances to pick from.

    Kitchen trends 2022

    Below, we look at the biggest trends and new kitchen ideas and pictures of kitchens to inspire your next kitchen remodel.

    1. Glazed tile backsplash

    (Image credit: Chris Edwards / Natalia Miyar)

    A tiled kitchen backsplash is nothing new, but there will be a shift away from matt finishes and towards gloss. A glazed tile is not just easy to clean – it will also reflect the light around the room, with effective results regardless of the color. 

    Interior designer Natalia Miyar has these richly hued green kitchen tiles handmade in Florence. 'Paired with the rustic wood and marble work surfaces, they create a really beautiful contrast with the earthy colors, as well as adding different layers of texture to the space,' she explains. You don't need to use a saturated shade to enjoy the full impact. 

    For a more muted look, choose glazed white tiles, which will certainly make the most of the natural light. Zelliges will also remain a popular choice. Handcrafted in Morocco, these distinctive glazed clay tiles, with their irregular surface and varying tones, bring texture and artisan character to a scheme. 

    2. Mixing in vintage and antiques

    (Image credit: Simon Brown)

    Future kitchen trends are about dispelling any notions of a show home, and introducing some antique or vintage furniture into a kitchen has the immediate effect of creating a warm, lived-in home environment. Farmhouse kitchen furniture in the form of a scrubbed kitchen table or dresser is the obvious choice for a traditional look. Timeless, built to last and often inexpensive to find at vintage fairs, antique pieces will introduce character to a new space. 

    This design by Ben Pentreath was a 21st-century take on a Welsh farmhouse kitchen. Simple joinery, including a large larder cupboard and open shelves, combines with a butler's sink, Delft tiles, period-style lighting and antique furniture to create a timeless feel, perfectly in keeping with the house's architectural style. 

    3. Glass partitions 

    (Image credit: Alexander James)

    After years of breaking down walls to create large open-plan rooms, over recent times we've come to appreciate the benefits of being able to close the door and escape the soundtrack of the entire house. A glazed partition can split spaces without compromising on light or the feeling of togetherness. It also has the advantage of helping to contain smells in the kitchen area. 

    In his own home, Thomas Cox, co-founder of Ham Interiors, replaced the wall between the kitchen and sitting room with a reclaimed Georgian shop front. 'We like to use glazed partitions as they define area and create the illusion of space without having to be fully open plan,' he explains. 'If the existing kitchen layout won't allow for a fully glazed wall then a smaller glazed panel can enhance a space; it offers architectural interest and is also useful in providing a backdrop for a piece of furniture.'

    4. Statement metal hoods

    (Image credit: Lucy Call)

    While they are generally considered something of a necessary evil in the UK, the American approach to extractor hoods has long been more celebratory, with custom-made designs in unusual finishes making strong and defining statements in kitchens across the land. This kitchen trend looks set to take off in a big way, too, especially in eye-catching metal surfaces. 

    'Aesthetically, adding a striking extractor canopy to a kitchen scheme is a chance to interrupt with shape and sculpture all the angular lines of cabinets and panels,' says Bruce Hodgson of Somerset-based Artichoke Ltd. 'This etched zinc extractor canopy is made using specialist crafts and traditional materials, throwing a spotlight on our handmade values as well as a nod to the past.

    5. Layered lighting 

    (Image credit: Eric Piasecki)

    Lighting in a kitchen is always a challenge to get right but the art of layering will be key to designing kitchens successfully going forward. The reality is you only need a certain amount of task lighting in specific preparation areas, too many downlighters and the kitchen ceiling ends up looking rather like a landing strip. 

    New York-based Steven Gambrel Inc. is known for his sophisticated interiors. Having originally trained as an architect, he's a master at considering how kitchen lighting, kitchen layout and functionality create a sense of place in a room. In this family kitchen for a recently built beach house in East Hampton, Long Island, he's made a feature of the lighting, introducing two sets of bold pendants. In a large, open-plan kitchen space, choosing two such different designs adds character but also helps define the distinctive areas within the room. 

    6. The single open shelf

    (Image credit: Matthew Williams)

    With so much going on in kitchens, the risk of a visual overload is always high. Those searching for a more restrained look will need to focus on colors, which should be kept simple, and thinking about leaving wall space bare. 

    In this design for a house in Hudson, New York, by General Assembly, a single shelf has been used in place of wall-hung kitchen cabinets resulting in a relaxed and unfussy look. 'We grouped a full-height pantry with the fridge to give us the possibility of removing upper storage,' explains Colin Stief. 'The shelf is used in the place of cupboards to give the concrete backsplash a place to end and a visual break to the monochromatic scheme.' As always, when working with open kitchen storage, a curated display is essential. Some designers choose to use a single open shelf for artwork rather than kitchenalia to elevate the room. 

    7. Natural elements 

    (Image credit: Victoria Pearson)

    The use of natural materials has increased considerably during the pandemic and will strengthen in appeal as marble, granite and unpainted wood kitchen cabinets become a firm fixture. Not only do they have a rich aesthetic quality, but they are increasingly being recognized for their health benefits (reducing the amount of chemically treated items in the home). 

    With this beautiful design, Californian decorator Ohara Davies-Geatano of ODG Interiors demonstrates how the materials add warmth and depth to a kitchen. 'The cabinetry is cerused oak, which is incredibly durable and provides wonderful texture,' she says. 'I love how the timber highlights the depth of the limestone backsplash. The basket-style pendants introduce another layer – their scale gives great balance to the overall design. As the materiality of the space is so tonal, the addition of the floating wood shelves enabled moments of curation.'

    8. Concealed kitchens

    (Image credit: Future)

    Small space living gives way to even more kitchen innovation, like the small kitchen above. This chic open-plan space conceals the cooking area with chameleon-like skill, allowing the focus to be on entertaining. 

    Maximize the feeling of spaciousness by uniting cooking, dining and relaxing into one glorious, light-filled room. Here an uninviting and small kitchen was demolished 
in favour of a big living room with the kitchen tucked discreetly at one end. 

    The layout is flexible so it transitions from a kitchen to a dining room to 
a living area in an effortless way. The cooking space is as invisible as possible, with door panels looking like decorative wall finishings. 

    All doors are hidden, with fingerprint sensors that allow them to open and close in a smooth a manner.

    9. Mesh cabinetry

    (Image credit: Davonport)

    Bespoke kitchen specialist Davonport has added a burnished wire mesh cupboard door to its design portfolio. Teamed with diamond-cut brass handles, the look makes for a sophisticated twist on industrial style. 

    10. Using materials in surprising ways

    (Image credit: Quirky Interiors)

    Theres something free-ing about having a kitchen that doesn't feel 'off the shelf'. Even if some elements like cabinetry and appliances need to be standardized, think about adding character with practical elements sourced elsewhere. 

    This sink area features a rustic shelf to display pottery and a narrow geometric backsplash made of brass sits behind, creating an unusual vignette and wall decor for the kitchen.

    11. Brave color contrasts

    (Image credit: DeVOL)

    Picking two shades on opposite sides of the color wheel, like pink and green, will achieve bold contrasts. Here the Classic English kitchen by deVOL is painted in a Farrow & Ball green and a custom pink. 

    12. A fresh take on fifties design

    (Image credit: Future)

    Bright white kitchens contrast with rich timbers and soft curves to lend a modern mid-century flair to modern kitchens. 

    Dark walnut cabinetry works to keep the look simple with smart bespoke detailing. Tall white cabinets and light marble splash-backs and countertops draw the eye up creating an illusion of space, keeping the look fresh and of the moment.

    13. The sink skirt revival

    (Image credit: Beata Heuman)

    Once considered outdated and frumpy, the sink skirt is back in fashion creating opportunity for texture and pattern, softening kitchen schemes and adding a touch of nostalgia. 

    The idea is based around replacing the base cabinet doors underneath the sink with pleated curtains, often suspended on a decorative rod. Here is an opportunity for an element that can be updated often – on trend gingham, tactile untreated linen or pale pink stripes amongst bold colors like Beata Heuman.

    14. Marvel at marble 

    (Image credit: Blakes London)

    It’s the time of strongly veined marble, the busier the better for unmissable luxury and next-level style. If there’s one thing that’s storming the style charts and shaking up interiors, it’s the return of marble.

    As an architect Natalia Miyar has a great passion for materiality and uses the finest, high quality materials in her design schemes. She says ‘heavily veined marble is making a significant comeback in the design world and has become synonymous with high-end luxury.’ A popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms, it is also highly sustainable; its durability, classic attributes and ability to withstand passing trends makes it a good investment and good choice for kitchen flooring.

    Marbles with naturally strong veining add statement value and create a textural contract between other polished surfaces, metals and woods. Within a kitchen, Natalia uses marble to create an eye-catching sink or a kitchen island.

    15. Wood finishes

    (Image credit: Caesarstone)

    Out of fashion for a while, wood is now enjoying a bit of a revival. These kitchen cabinets use subtle-grained ash, paler than oak or walnut, to pick out the warm tones in manmade stone.

    16. Dark drama

    (Image credit: Neptune)

    Black kitchen ideas are having something of a moment. Often overlooked as purely an 'accent' color, black walls, cabinetry and work surfaces are having something of a moment. Black becomes liveable, luxe and inviting, with textured woods adding rustic, homely charm.

    17. Color pops

    (Image credit: Martin Moore)

    Throw the rulebook out of the window in favor of unexpected paint-color pairings. Kitchens are rife with color opportunities, from appliances and flooring, to window treatments, kitchen tile ideas and cabinets.

    Start by deciding how much of a permanent commitment you are willing to make. One of easiest and least expensive options is to change your kitchen styling or paint a wall because either can be easily updated should you tire of it. Choosing color is such a personal experience. In fact, no one knows for sure whether we all even see the myriad shades in the same way.

    Mark Wilkinson, founder of Mark Wilkinson Furniture, believes that the colors we choose automatically are naturally influenced by current fashions. 'The color in a kitchen – be it on walls or fittings – should last for at least five years, minimum, so try to look beyond immediate trends and choose a kitchen color scheme that will keep you feeling good long term,' he advises.

    18. Statement lights

    (Image credit: Original BTC)

    Far from the drama of what you would expect from 'statement' lighting, the latest collection of pendants from Original BTC are quietly show-stopping. The Drop series follows the journey of a droplet of water through the air and this bone china light captures the moment when it flattens as it hits the ground. 

20 years ago, it was initially pulled from the range because it proved too technically challenging to make. But, thanks 
to new developments, it has finally made a long-awaited appearance. 

    19. Double islands

    (Image credit: Kitchen Architecture)

    With the move towards larger kitchens, in open plan spaces, the kitchen island has become an essential kitchen feature. New kitchen island ideas, such as opting for a pair of island units, has become the last work in luxury - an expansive addition for when space is no object.

    20. Handleless design

    (Image credit: Future PLC and David Lovatti)

    The latest modern kitchen ideas are all about multi-tasking, free-flowing designs with a paired-back look. Technological advances in push-open and close doors means that it has become possible to dispense with handles in both wall and base cabinets. 

    If you prefer not to have push-open cupboards, then recessed handles provide the same sleek look and can be lined with contrasting colors and materials to add interest.

    'Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2022 for more pared-back, streamlined look. It’s all about simplicity and a focus on cabinetry details,' explains Busola Evans, Kitchen and Bathroom Supplement Editor.

    21. Pantry living 

    (Image credit: Harvey Jones)

    Pantry cupboards have been kitchen staples for centuries. In the last few years, pantry ideas such as pantry cupboards have established themselves as one of the must-have items in modern homes.

    'Having a pantry makes perfect sense. All the food goods are in one place and not scattered around in numerous wall cupboards, meaning people can be more organized when doing their food shopping.

    'The other great advantage of a larder and its storage capacity is that a kitchen no longer needs to be full of wall cupboards. It frees up entire walls to either be left free or have an attractive piece of artwork in the kitchen which in turn helps it feel less like a kitchen and instead more of a relaxed environment, perfect for open plan living areas,' says Leisha Norman, Designer, Harvey Jones.

    22. Larders for small kitchens – that can double up as home offices

    (Image credit: LochAnna Kitchens)

    'The trend for clever storage continues to be a key design choice due to the practicality it offers,' says Paul Jenkinson, Founder and Managing Director of British kitchen brand LochAnna Kitchens. 'From bi-fold dressers to tower and corner larders, storage can be both a design and practical trend. 

    'Storage is, and will continue to be, a big part of the kitchen space. For those with smaller kitchens, the need for clever kitchen storage ideas in this space is crucial in terms of efficiently utilizing the room you have. 

    'In bigger, minimalist kitchens, clever storage allows for clutter to be easily tidied away. Many homeowners are adding more storage solutions into their kitchens as a way of storing their office supplies as they adapt to working from home indefinitely.'

    23. Walnut cabinetry

    (Image credit: Charles Yorke)

    We have recently seen a rise in walnut cabinetry. It’s rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth are prized by makers for its feeling of instant luxury.

    24. Gold finishes

    (Image credit: Grohe)

    Now that faucets are available in a wide choice of colors and finishes, sinks are following too, and shouldn't drive up the average cost of a new kitchen too much. Aesthetics have made an impact in wet areas just as they have in furniture and appliance design, with color, shape, size and material heavily influenced by the overall look of the room.

    'Sinks have moved up on the scale of importance in kitchen design,' says Joan Fraser, product development and training manager for Smeg. 'Models are introduced to meet customers’ demands for a sink which, in addition to being purely functional, also makes a definitive style statement.'

    25. More metallics

    (Image credit: Ledbury Studio)

    A by-product of metallics in the kitchen comes the demand for well-executed quality materials that don’t just look good, but have integrity, too. 'That’s why I decided against metallic finishes sprayed onto wood, in favor of real metals that I could work with sensitively to bring out their natural beauty’, says Charlie Smallbone. 

    The founder of iconic brand Smallbone of Devizes and Ledbury Studio, Charlie has been pushing the boundaries of kitchen design for over 40 years.

    26. The curated kitchen

    (Image credit: British Standard)

    As pride in interior styling takes center stage, we have witnessed an increase in sales of glazed cupboards and opening shelving, following a growing demand for kitchens designed for a ‘curated’ look. 

    Thoughtfully designed, these visual spaces are carefully styled with artworks, decorative ceramics, cookery books and other curiosities, to achieve an instant lived in look – adding personality and resulting in a space that feels homely.

    'In an age of uncertainty and with busy digital lives, people are increasingly nostalgic for a space to slow down and surround themselves with the comfort and security of tactile items and personal treasures. We are moving away from hiding everything away in cupboards, instead drawing inspiration from displays of china and silverware in glazed cabinets and on shelving, racks and dressers of grand houses – the end result sitting between the maximalist and minimalist styles,' says Merlin Wright, Design Director at British Standard and Plain English.

    27. Appliances in drawers

    (Image credit: Fisher & Paykel)

    This isn't so much a new innovation – Fisher & Paykel introduced its first DishDrawer™ 20 years ago. However, as we become more interested in the ergonomics of our kitchens – and more of us suffer back problems – these innovative appliances will become more popular. 

    Fisher & Paykel’s DishDrawer™ and CoolDrawer™ provide an array of functions that make life easier. When placed at bench height, the need to bend down is significantly reduced and there is no longer a need for you to get on your knees to fill the salt, rinse aid or detergent – it is as easy to open as a normal drawer.

    28. 'Broken-plan' living

    (Image credit: British Standard)

    Set to define the next decade, zoning will replace open-plan when planning a kitchen in 2022 and beyond. The new phenomenon is being referred to as ‘broken-plan’. Retaining the spacious feel of an open plan design, the trend employs the use of screens, freestanding furniture, cabinetry and house plants to create distinct zones and nest-like nooks intended for cooking, relaxing and entertaining.

    29. Utility rooms and mud rooms

    (Image credit: British Standard)

    Ancillary spaces – we mean functional but thoughtfully considered utility, pantry, larder and mudrooms – provide the perfect space in which to house everyday essentials away from the main kitchen. Ancillary spaces and larder cupboards have become the ultimate status symbol and are fast becoming number one on kitchen wish lists. 

    ‘Having a utility room has become a status symbol. Coupled with the current trend for neat and tidy spaces and zealous cleaning, it provides a much-needed dedicated housekeeping area,’ says Design Director at British Standard and Plain English, Merlin Wright.

    30. Painted kitchens

    (Image credit: Future / Richard Gadsby)

    The year 2021 saw the revival of hand-painted kitchens – and this kitchen trend continues into 2022. 'They wear well, age even better and continue to be repairable in ways that a factory-applied laminate cannot match,' says Ledbury Studio founder, Charlie Smallbone. 'From this point of view, hand painting is also more ecologically sound.'

    One of the most appealing and varied finishes for kitchen cabinetry, paint lends itself to both the classic looks of the traditional kitchen and to crisply modern linear designs. 

    The advantage is in its almost limitless choice of colors, allowing you free rein to express yourself, whether your home is period or contemporary, country or urban. And you can always re-paint if you want a change or update in the future. 

    31. Pendant lighting 

    (Image credit: The Shaker Workshop/Maple Photo)

    Our feature on Instagram kitchen trends looked into what was trending on social media for kitchens. Unsurprisingly, kitchen islands came out tops, but the next searched term was 'pendant lights'. 

    More than just a practical addition, kitchen pendant lighting is a decorative feature over worktop spaces, too.

    'Lighting is key to any kitchen design scheme,' comments Sarah Davies of Floella Interiors. 'My advice would be: be open to exploring different pendant kitchen lighting ideas . For example, grouping multiple pendants to add drama to the kitchen.'

    32. Retro style kitchens

    (Image credit: Colin Poole)

    Design styles from the past will be making a comeback – but with a new, contemporary spin. Inspired by the painted kitchen of thirty years ago, Ledbury Studio are reinterpreting paint finishes and wood tints to sit beautifully alongside more modern kitchen designs.

    33. Mixed materials

    (Image credit: Ledbury Studio)

    Contrast is king when it comes to mixing materials; the trick is to make sure that every material used encourages the others to really sing. 

    Brass and steel married with marble and dark timbers prove a winning formula in this luxurious and vibrant family kitchen by Ledbury Studio. 

    'Use a fusion of tactile materials to achieve a confident blending of styles,' advises architect Natalia Miyar. 'Marble, wood and metallics complement each other well with different shades of wood and metal often bringing warmth and contrast to a cold marble surface. 

    'Using contrasting materials for different worktops within a kitchen naturally creates different zones within a room, not only making a space more practical but aesthetically creates a visually pleasing and harmonious space to live in.'

    34. White kitchens

    (Image credit: Classic English Kitchen by deVOL)

    There are many good reasons why white kitchens are so enduringly popular: white is calm, neat, minimal and light-enhancing – all must-have qualities in a space that's increasingly busy (and sometimes somewhat chaotic). 

    White is also so easy to change up: 'white cabinets are great for giving you that fresh clean minimal look but are also a great backdrop for layering up color and texture,' says Sarah Davies of Floella Interiors.

    And, of course, white kitchens are the most likely to please potential buyers, should you decide it's time to move on.

    35. Floating shelves

    (Image credit: Future)

    Over 122,000 of us have tagged our floating shelves on Instagram – at our last count. Not only are they practical, but they are the perfect spot to show off your most attractive kitchen accessories, making your kitchen feel more like a living space than a cooking space.


    You will also like:

    50 Splendid Small Kitchens And Ideas You Can Use From Them

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    Keeping wild aspirations in check can be difficult when viewing compact modern homes on the market. All can be going swimmingly until you walk to the end of a hallway and ask “Where is the kitchen?”, and the real estate agent opens out their arms and says “This IS the kitchen.” Before you head for the exit, consider that small CAN be beautiful. Limited dimensions set challenges in creating a functional and stylish space it’s true, but the two goals are achievable in tandem. These 50 small kitchen designs bring tips on how to make a shining gem out of restricted cooking space by thinking outside the tiny box.

    Jazz up old kitchen tiles with patterned stickers. Our first small kitchen design is covered in intricate monochrome wall and floor tiles that draw you into the compact space. You don’t have to start from scratch to achieve this look though, tile transfers are a quick and cost effective way to transform an existing tiled backsplash.

    Free up drawer space and decorate the walls with useful kitchen tools. This magnetic wall mounted knife holder keeps kitchen knives out of limited small kitchen organization trays, and instead moves them up on display. In this small kitchen remodel, the display complements the sharp design of a geometric backsplash.

    • 3 |
    • Visualizer: aTng 糖 & Dunqiang Chen
    Create a recessed kitchen nook. This one-wall kitchen layout is set within a dividing wall of a studio apartment. The recessed design hides the kitchen cabinetry away from the rest of the open plan space, resulting in almost a separate room.

    • 4 |
    • Visualizer: aTng 糖 & Dunqiang Chen
    Source small kitchen appliances to maximise bench space. A two ring induction hob leaves extra space for dishes and prep in this small modern kitchen. The tiny extractor canopy leaves wall space looking more spacious too.

    Add luxurious finishes. This marble kitchen backsplash creates a look of sophistication through the centre of contemporary white cupboards. Larger wooden storage cupboards flank the end of the kitchen run and span the upper space, creating a warm frame around the cool scheme.

    Inject a little colour. Beautiful traditional tiles bring a stripe of joy into this L shape white kitchen design, complemented by a classic teapot.

    Install an eye-catching centrepiece to distract from limited room dimensions. A large kitchen clock is an ideal piece to draw the eye, and it also serves a practical function. The chunky retro analogue clock with calendar feature gracing these shelves is available here. This country style small u shaped kitchen also utilises wine decanters, storage jars, carafes and colourful dry foods to expand the display.

    Double bank wall cabinets to make the most of vertical real estate. Adding in an extra row of wall cupboards can drastically increase your small kitchen storage space.

    Give kitchen items a dual use. This hard working little space offers up a number of small kitchen storage ideas. Mini wine racks hold up ceiling skimming shelves, a glass mixing bowl doubles as a fresh egg holder, and a water jug sidelines as cooking utensil storage.

    The simplistic wooden bar within this black and white kitchen can be used like a small kitchen island for cooking prep, or as a small kitchen table for dining. Two low hanging kitchen pendant lights give its placement more prominence and permanence.

    In this colour injected grey kitchen, a bright yellow small kitchen island with seating sits below statement shelving that holds wine glasses within easy reach.

    Get creative with lighting. LED strip lights create a glow around these wall cabinets, causing a floating effect. The colour of your units can brighten too; yellow accent kitchens make an uplifting choice for a shady little spot.

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! This fiery orange backsplash takes a grey small apartment kitchen up another level.

    Choose slimline seating styles. Sourcing small kitchen table sets can be a tricky task. There must be enough room for the whole family to gather round but high-backed chairs can eat up a lot of space. Consider stools instead; they can be pushed away completely beneath your table to maximise walkable floor area. Look at tables that open on all sides too so that they can be pushed flush against a wall whilst offering leg space under all three remaining sides.

    Go handle-free. A handless kitchen has a far less fussy finish. There are also no pesky sticking out pieces to accidentally hook clothes on whilst passing by in close quarters. Particularly useful in corridor-like layouts like this green kitchen that leads straight up to a doorway.

    Use the art of camouflage. This minimalist kitchen uses white cabinets against a white backdrop to blend in. A soffit takes the line of the cabinet fronts right up to the ceiling for a smooth seamless finish.

    Make awkward shaped spaces work for you. Install shelving below sloping eaves to squeeze out every last inch in small kitchen remodels.

    Another one below the eaves. This glowing small kitchen sink area is surrounded by bespoke grey kitchen cabinets that follow a sloping ceiling without a single gap.

    A small kitchen table and chairs can act as a partially dividing wall, like in this small galley kitchen.

    Go large on just one wall. In this wood and white small u shaped kitchen, tall larder units have been restricted to just one wall. The taller cupboards are plain white so that they fall away from attention too.

    Use glass doors to create a sense of added space.

    The best thing about a tiny cooking space is that a small kitchen remodel cost is a lot less than its bigger cousins! This means that you can opt for some high-end finishes, like the recessed ceiling lights around the perimeter of this tall but small kitchen layout. A couple of black kitchen bar stools anchor the lofty design.

    Another great example of how small kitchen islands can double as dining space.

    Plant a kitchen greenhouse window. If you love growing your own herbs but are pushed for sill space, then look up! Be inspired by this ikea small kitchen; install a few rods across the glass to hang extra indoor herb planters right where they flourish. This small kitchen design incorporates hanging hook systems all over the walls too. A magnetic knife holder with hooks is an even more space friendly option.

    Paint kitchen chalkboards. A chalkboard doesn’t have to take up wall space, you can splosh blackboard paint right onto your cabinets. Use your new writing space to jot shopping lists and display the weeks menu. Cover a few small kitchen shelves too to match the look.

    A small kitchen stand offers a large amount of storage. A stand or a small kitchen cart has a tiny footprint that can fit into a disused corner. This one tiny addition could solve your overspill problem and leave benches clear. Unique hanging planters in this Scandinavian kitchen clear a little extra prep space too.

    Use a-maze-ing pattern. Ok, your tiles don’t have to have a maze pattern like these stunning monochrome examples, but strong geometric line works fabulously over small kitchen floor plans. Light wood cabinets and cutting boards make a soft accompaniment to black and white decor.

    Small kitchen tables often work best as a bespoke built-in design.

    Think you don’t have room for a dishwasher? There are numerous slimline small kitchen appliances on the market to fit challenging spaces.

    Follow colour theory. Red is believed to enhance the appetite, hence why red is a popular choice in food packaging design. A red kitchen could get you in the mood to create more delicious dishes. You don’t have to go all in on red though, a single red shelf could create pop without being overwhelming. The copper desk lamp in this all encompassing scheme is eaten up by red reflection.

    Embrace the power of patterns. A simple white and wood small kitchen design achieves individuality with drill hole patterned boards. A black framed divide brings in a cubist pattern too.

    Divide and conquer. Coloured perspex panels act as a subtle visual room divide whilst allowing light to flow through. Unique storage for wine doubles as a modern art piece.

    Do not underestimate the importance of beautiful flooring.

    Indoor plants are a cheap and attractive way to dress your nest, and they clean the air too.

    Task lighting is key. Locate pendant lights exactly where needed by using ceiling hooks.

    Storage display nooks nicely break up a solid wall of cabinets.

    Mix and match. This small kitchen table matches the white and wood finish of the cabinets. However, multicolour is the order of the day in this green kitchen backsplash, yellow chairs and blue accent kitchen.

    Look at a tiny open plan home as one whole. This kitchen decor blends with the dining area, lounge and bedroom.

    Strictly allocated kitchen storage places are a must.

    A small tv for kitchen diners is commonplace, but how about a generous projection screen?

    Unique kitchen pendant lights can be the crowning glory to small minimalist kitchens.

    A small round kitchen table is easy to get around without bumping a hip on a sharp corner. This black kitchen table has been teamed with bottle green chairs to change things up a bit. A modern chandelier cuts through the view of black kitchen cabinets behind.

    Recommended Reading:
    40 Captivating Kitchen Bar Stools For Any Type Of Decor
    50 Unique Kitchen Pendant Lights

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