You may wish your kitchen were larger and more spacious. But, even without relocating walls, you can give the impression of greater proportions by following some simple design tips, which are explained below. Also, discover ways to maximise the available storage area and make it more accessible. After all, when creating a custom kitchen, you have the freedom to configure it any way you wish.
Reducing Visual Clutter
Excessive visual clutter in a small place can give the impression of it being crowded, cramped, and smaller than it is. To avoid this, install smooth surfaces such as flat doors on the cabinets rather than contoured ones with ornate handles. You could eliminate handles altogether by opting for push-open doors or ones with grooves along the top.
If you lay floor tiles, choose large format sizes that create fewer grout lines and less detail. A glass splashback will help create a streamlined look as it doesn't feature grouting. Another possibility may be an under-mount sink to eliminate the rim and leave a cleaner benchtop appearance.
Other elements that create a busy look in a kitchen are the appliances. Your fridge might be white and rounded at the corners, while the dishwasher may be black and square. These diverse colours and shapes add clutter. To reduce this, integrate the appliances behind the cabinetry to maintain consistency.
Creating Efficient Storage
Some design tips are about giving a sense of space. But you also need to consider how to maximise storage in a small kitchen to ensure you have enough room for everything. One way to achieve this is to install drawers in place of lower cupboards.
The problem with cupboards is that they have a one-size-fits-all strategy. They don't customise the storage for different-sized objects, which results in a lot of dead space. For instance, a small jar of vegemite will leave much more vertical space above it than a tall box of breakfast cereal.
Drawers are more efficient as they come in varying depths to hold different-sized items. So you can put large saucepans in a deep drawer and mugs in a shallow one. Cutlery drawers have been around for aeons to prevent wasting space. This concept can be applied to all lower cupboards.
Accessibility is also better with drawers, which you can pull out to see what's stored in the back regions. This form of storage makes sense as you look downwards at the bottom cabinetry and thus have a bird's eye view of an open drawer. Conversely, it's difficult to see what's on the shelves in standard bottom cabinets, as you have to kneel or crouch to look inside. Often, you have to feel around in the dark for what you want.
Pull-out pantries are also a great alternative to lower cupboards in custom kitchens. They're often made of wire baskets, allowing you to see through the sides so that finding what you want is effortless.