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Tips to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen
The kitchen is the heart of every home-a place to cook, eat and socialise. And while not all of us are blessed with a spacious, Pinterest-worthy kitchen, even the smallest of kitchens can be somewhere for you to create and entertain if you make sure every centimetre of space is being used to its full potential. We’ve got some easy ways you can maximise available storage in your kitchen so you have the space to prepare and enjoy good food with family and friends. So keep reading for some smart small space hacks and design solutions to ensure your small kitchen is big on style and practicality, without having to start knocking any walls down.
Having a smaller kitchen shouldn’t put the brakes on your culinary creativity, or mean you have to sacrifice owning the appliances you love to use.
We have designed plenty of products that are ideal for using and storing in areas where space is limited, like the Chefette Metal Bowl Hand Mixer, which is a hand and stand mixer combined that’s perfect for passionate cake bakers who may not have the space for one of our larger kitchen machines. Or there’s the HandMix Lite with Metal Bowl, which despite its compact size can take on pretty much any recipe, and has a bowl capacity big enough to make up to 18 cupcakes in a single load.
If making soups or sauces is more your thing, our range of jug and hand blenders make light work of chopping, grating and mashing and so much more, while the sleek and stylish Blend-Xtract Sport Blender allows you to whizz up your smoothie ingredients straight into the sport bottle attachment, ready to grab and go.
All of these innovative products more than prove that when it comes to kitchen appliances, size certainly isn’t everything. But a lack of space shouldn’t necessarily put you off one of our larger stand mixers either. Our versatile Chef range of mixers is available in both standard and XL sizes, giving you the option of a smaller bowl capacity but the same design-led functionality. Your bowl tools can also be detached and hung on a rack or on the inside of cabinet doors when not in use.
And if you’re looking for a food processor that can meet all your food prep needs without taking over your worktop, the MultiPro Compact+ is our most compact 3 litre capacity model, with no sacrifice on multi-tasking functionality. While the MultiPro Express Weigh +MultiPro Excel and MultiPro Sense models come with specially designed handy storage, so all the attachments and bowl tools can be neatly stored away.
There are plenty of quick fixes to make your kitchen cabinets work smarter for you.
Shelf risers help you use every bit of available space in cupboards that are short on shelves, while pan stackers and vertical or tiered plate racks make sure everything is easily accessible, as well as preventing any non-stick cookware from getting scratched. Use wire baskets and plastic containers in bigger cupboards to create compartments and keep things neat and organised. Another way to create extra storage is to fix storage racks to the inside of cupboard doors-great for stashing away saucepan lids or chopping boards.
In food cupboards, using a rotating turntable at the front of a cabinet for everyday essentials such as cooking oils and seasonings will help make it easier to grab what you need without having to reach over other jars and bottles. Another top tip is to label the lids of jars, so if you’re looking down on them you can easily see the one you want-especially useful when you’re confronted with row upon row of identical spice jars!
You separate out your cutlery in drawers to make it easier to see and get what you need, so why not use the same approach with the rest of your cooking utensils and gadgets? Drawer dividers or cutlery trays will save you digging through cluttered drawers, while your most used utensils can be stored in an attractive jar on the worktop so they’re always close at hand.
Shallow drawers are ideal for utensils, but if you only have deep pan drawers or cupboards use baskets or pull out shelves to help organise and ensure everything is easy to find.
Tea bag organiser
If some days you prefer waking up with an Earl Grey rather than your usual English Breakfast, and in the evening you alternate between settling down with a mint tea or a chamomile, you’re likely to have a cupboard stuffed full of boxes of different teas. In which case, getting a tea bag organiser will be a complete game-changer. These compact organisers allow you to store and display around 100 different types of tea without sacrificing storage space. Sounds like it might be time to get the kettle on…
If your kitchen cupboards are fit to bursting, squeezing in some extra shelves somewhere is an inexpensive way to find that additional space.
Small floating shelves for mugs, glassware and other small crockery items can be fitted in otherwise unused areas, such as on the side of a wall hung cabinet or integrated fridge/freezer, or in the space underneath a wall hung cabinet. You can even look to install a shelf above a door or window-perfect for storing decorative items like jugs and vases that aren't used everyday.
Open wall storage
Modular or floating shelves not only add extra storage space, they can make a real style statement-injecting some more personality into your kitchen. Use open wall storage to display your favourite crockery and glassware or copper pans, alongside trailing house plants and framed artwork and photos.
The key to decluttering is to be ruthless. Empty a drawer or cupboard completely and ask yourself when you last used each item before you put it back in.
If you’re struggling to make a decision about whether to keep an item think about whether it makes your life easier-for instance a tool or appliance that speeds up a process. Also consider whether you have similar items that do the same job and that you would always reach to use first-how many garlic presses do you realistically need? Finally, do you love it? If it’s a decorative item that you wouldn’t buy today and it has no sentimental value, it would probably bring more joy to someone else. This isn’t about throwing functioning things away-offer your unwanted items to friends and family, donate to a charity shop or sell online.
Similarly, do a stock take of your food cupboards and cleaning products. Throw away items that are past their use by date, and if you have multiple open bottles or jars of the same thing place the emptiest one at the front of a cupboard so you use it up first.
Finally, most of us have a dreaded junk drawer somewhere, where anything that doesn’t have an obvious place to live gets put- chargers, random batteries, sellotape, allen keys, torches, tea lights, string-the list goes on. Go through it and get rid of anything that’s not fit for purpose.
Once you’ve taken stock you’ll have a clearer idea of what storage you actually have available to you-you'll be surprised how much space you can free up after a good clear out.
If storage space is at a premium, go high. Using wooden pegs or metal hanging racks to hang pans, chopping boards or utensils on a wall is a practical, not to mention stylish, way to free up space in your drawers and cabinets and on worktops, and ensure everything you need is within easy reach.
Having a magnetic knife rack above your food preparation area rather than a knife block saves precious worktop space and is much more convenient (and safer) than having knives stored loose in a drawer. You can also add hooks to the underside of wall cabinets or shelves to hang mugs.
Used well, corner cupboards are a really effective way of creating hard-working storage in even the most awkward of spaces. Installing a rotating carousel which brings the contents to you makes for easy access-pull-out shelving also works well.
Stash less frequently used or larger objects, such as cake stands or special occasion serving dishes and platters in the harder to reach parts of a corner cabinet.
Bulk buy dry goods, baking ingredients, herbs and seasonings and decant them into glass storage jars and canisters. Not only will they look stylish enough to have on display, clear containers make it really easy to see where everything is, and check which supplies are running low before you do the weekly shop. Use chalkboard labels or invest in your own embossing label maker for some retro chic.
With a wealth of recipes, video tutorials and apps available online to inspire your next cook off or show-stopping bake, now might be the time to consider whether you need dozens of recipe books on your kitchen shelves, some of which you may only dip into for one or two tried and tested favourites.
There are some great online recipe organisers available which allow you to import digital recipes and synch them across all your devices, as well as add recipes manually and scan PDFs or photos of cook book recipes. No more marked up pages, dog-eared recipe cards or sauce-splatted recipes torn from magazines-just everything organised and at your fingertips. Some of these organising tools also allow you to create shopping lists and meal planners, share your own recipes with other users and even search for recipes based on your leftover ingredients.
In need of some new foodie inspiration? Our Kenwood World app gives you free access to over 1000 step-by-step cooking and baking recipes. You can search and filter by product, food type, meal, occasion, preparation and cooking time, dietary requirement or how easy it is to make. Once you find something you love you can save it as one of your favourites for next time, and you can even send recipe commands direct to your connected appliance, leaving you more time to get creative in the kitchen.
Slide-out prep station
If you’re short on worktop space in your kitchen, creating a slide-out prep station will give you an extra food prep spot. Insert a butchers block into the top of a deep worktop-level drawer, and bring it out as and when you need it. You can use the space underneath for extra storage.
Make the most of sink space
The cupboard under the sink is usually the most disorganised spot in any kitchen, rammed full of cleaning products, bin liners, spare plastic bags and assorted other items that you can’t find a real home for. And then there’s a great big u-bend taking up valuable space. But with the help of a few clever storage hacks it doesn’t need to be like this.
Utilise the back of the cupboard door by attaching an over the door organiser to store cleaning bottles and sponges, or hooks to hang cloths or dish towels.
Caddies and baskets will help you store things away tidily and avoid scrabbling around the back of the cupboard trying to find that missing rubber glove. You can also buy shelving units with removable panels to accommodate pipes, or sliding tiered storage systems that you can pull out for easy access. Remember adding shelves will always maximise your storage space.
If worktop space around the sink is at a premium there’s a couple of easy fixes. Get a cutting board that fits over the sink to create an extra space for food preparation. Some even have a collapsible colander for rinsing chopped fruit and vegetables. A wall mounted drying rack is another great space saver- and as an added bonus wet dishes will dry quicker with more air circulating around them.
Explore the Kenwood range
Hopefully we’ve shown that when it comes to kitchens, bigger is not necessarily better. No matter the size, with the help of some of these smart storage solutions you can make your kitchen somewhere to relax and enjoy making-and eating, delicious food with the people you love.
Available in all shapes and sizes, our versatile range of kitchen products are designed to inspire your next creation and help you get even better results. Discover more here.