Kimberly Duran, award-winning interior design blogger at Swoon Worthy, shares her tips from her own small kitchen renovation.
When we first moved into our Edwardian 3 bedroom semi on the outskirts of Manchester, our kitchen was what you might consider ‘small but functional’. Although ‘functional’ may be an exaggeration seeing that there was very little storage and there was no extractor at all. The lack of storage and space simply wasn’t working for us and we knew we had to make changes.
I started to look to blogs, Pinterest and magazines for small kitchen ideas on a budget. We had only just moved in and between deposits and fees, we didn’t have a lot left over. Our situation was certainly not unique. In fact, in a recent survey carried out by Zopa, kitchens were found to be the most renovated room in the home.
So, we scrimped and saved and happily a few years later, we were able to implement enough ideas to create the storage options we so desperately needed with a few smart tricks – without having to knock down walls or spend a lot of money on a costly extension.
1 – False ceiling? Open it up!
The very first thing we did which really made a huge difference to the light and space in our small kitchen was remove the false ceiling that had been installed years ago by previous owners. It was clearly a trend at some point but it made the room look smaller and more cramped and while we only gained around a foot in height, that foot made the world of difference in terms of how the space felt. We saved money by doing the work ourselves and discovered my other half was a dab hand at plastering, a new skill to add to our bow!
2 – Add Open Shelving
While open shelving can be a bit of a ‘Marmite’ design decision, it was cheaper then adding wall units as well as adding some much needed additional storage to the big empty wall above our cooker. Previously, there were just two tiny shelves but adding large open storage across the entire wall more than doubled our storage area.
Of course, this look is not for everyone and it does require a bit more work to keep things clean and tidy but if you are someone who rather enjoys having their prettiest items on display, it’s a great way to save a few pounds on your remodel.
3 – Get Creative with Corner Cabinets
One idea that I’m keen to implement soon is installing revolving circular Lazy Susans into the corner cabinets. These allow you to easily access items even at the furthest reaches of your cabinets and maximise space. You can also try pull out drawer inserts or baskets to create more accessible space in deeper drawers.
4 – Utilise Your Wall for Vertical Storage
We also installed two brass rails below our shelving units which hold our utensils on one side and our everyday mugs on the other. This frees up valuable cabinet and drawer space and makes it easy to grab what you need whilst cooking or simply making a cuppa.
5 – Make Use of Dead Space
As our ceilings are now quite high, we even utilised the dead space at the top of our upper cabinets and refrigerator by using large baskets to store items we don’t necessarily use on an everyday basis. They are practical as well as attractive, adding a touch of texture and colour even in the highest spaces.
Embarking on your own kitchen remodel? Check out Zopa’s guide, How to Prepare for a Kitchen Remodel here.
All images courtesy of Swoon Worthy and used with kind permission.