Small & Compact Kitchens
Kitchen Lifestyles are expert in the design of small or compact kitchens. As a company we are often challenged to create appealing yet fully functional kitchen designs suitable for the restricted spaces common to many properties. Our clients quite rightly wish to maximise use and enjoyment of their kitchens, but are often frustrated that some kitchen designers do not possess the skills necessary to produce tailored designs that overcome the confines of compact kitchens.
Colour For Small And Compact Kitchens
Lighter colours are particularly suited to smaller kitchens as they help make a room look larger. However, there is no need to fear this making your room look too stark – we have an extensive colour palette containing subtle tones such as Cashmere and antique white, and of course they can also be combined in two-tone colour schemes. The obvious choice of door finish is gloss, which reflects light and brightens a small kitchen; however we have found that our satin lacquer finishes have proved extremely popular with clients who do not want gloss finishes but are wary of the light absorbing characteristics of matt kitchen finishes.
Why Do Lighter Colours Reflect Light?
Choosing colours that will help reflect light within a room is important. Most surfaces will reflect light as it falls on them but how well this happens depends on the colour, composition and texture of a surface. Without getting too technical, light is an electromagnetic wave and when it hits a transparent substance it is reflected back. The more opaque a surface the less well the light wave is able to do this, for example, a black, matt surface does not reflect light well but instead the light wave’s energy is absorbed by the atoms of which the substance is composed, making them vibrate. In turn this vibration generates heat and this is why dark surfaces get warm if exposed to sunshine. It also verifies that dark colours are much less suitable for small kitchens because by absorbing rather than reflecting the light they tend to make a room feel smaller. In respect of other colours, part of the electromagnetic wave’s energy is absorbed within a material when it hits it but some is reflected back; how much depends on the colour tone and texture. The lighter the colour and the smoother it is, the more light will be reflected back. This explains why a shiny white gloss would be the best option for enhancing the feeling of space within a compact kitchen.
Maximising Natural Light Within Small Kitchen Spaces
Mirrors reflect light and in doing so effectively add a sense of space to a room, making it feel larger. And mirrored finishes also create a tremendous perception of depth; doubling the depth of the appearance of a work surface for example. We have a stylish selection of mirrored glass available including plain, bronzed and smoked mirror
Mirrored glass is a beautiful addition within a kitchen design but if incorporating this behind a hob then only toughened mirrored glass should be used as the toughening process ensures the glass withstands any heat exposure without damaging the glass.
Tall Units And Extra Wall Units For Small Kitchen Spaces
Tall wall units are excellent for maximising on otherwise unused space at upper levels of a kitchen. These units are ideal for storing household items that are infrequently used, or that need putting out of reach of children as a safety precaution. The maximum height option for one of Lead Wolf’s tall units is 910mm but if space permits they can also be stacked one on top of another. For the handleless system this ‘doubling up’ is only possible with push-to-open catches, though in our experience this proves to be an advantage as too many handles on show can easily make the kitchen too cluttered or ‘busy.’ Our tallest units measure 2360mm from the floor (including plinth). Should room space permit this height can be added to from a selection of wall units, ranging up to 910mm in size, for a total maximum height of 3270mm. At this height, the units are clearly out of reach, but whilst not recommended for storing everyday items, they are still easily accessible via store-away stool or ladder systems.
Space Maximising Solutions For Small Kitchens
Research by Blum GmbH (a manufacturer of kitchen storage technology) concluded that the useable space in a kitchen could be increased by 55% with effective integration of suitable storage solutions. We offer tall pull-out larders that slide out on beautifully engineered, damped supports, and then rotate outwards through ninety degrees for easy access to their voluminous shelving. Le Mans Corner units are precisely shaped to allow their trays to glide smoothly around a corner and fully extend outwards, vastly increasing the use of existing space within a deep cabinet that would be otherwise unreachable; effectively they bring their contents to you! Carousels perform a similar function and furthermore base units containing tables that fold out and upwards create additional workspace, particularly useful for appliances such as blenders or bread-makers. This technology greatly enhances the usability of small kitchens, and helps keep worktops clear and uncluttered.