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Expert reveals seven tips to maximise functionality in compact kitchens

By Matt Ayres, Appliance Expert at RDO Kitchen and Appliances 

It’s said that the kitchen is ‘the heart of the home,’ but with so many functions, from socialising and hosting to day-to-day cooking and even being used as ‘office space,’ it’s important to use whatever space you have wisely. 

With a growing number of popular gadgets such as air fryers and blenders as well as all the cooking essentials like crockery, cutlery, cookware and bakeware, it can be easy for a small space to become cluttered and dysfunctional. 

Here are seven tips to maximise the functionality within a compact kitchen...

Kitchen Studio _ RDO-1.png
RDO Kitchen Studio

Invest in streamlined appliances


One of the biggest challenges for compact kitchens is the non-negotiable appliances we all need and use daily. Refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens and stoves can take up a considerable amount of space.


Selecting compact and streamlined appliances that fit seamlessly into your kitchen’s design allows you to take up the minimum amount of space. If possible, having these appliances in the same style and colour can bring a seamless look to the room. Alternatively, consider integrated appliances to create a streamlined look throughout the kitchen.


Utilise vertical space 


In compact kitchens, vertical space is your best friend. Install shelves or racks on walls to store items like spices, utensils, or small appliances. 


You can also install hooks or rails underneath cabinets to hang mugs, pots, and pans, freeing up valuable cabinet or counter space. If you have plenty of open wall space, consider adding a large peg board with hooks to hang your most often-used pans and utensils.

If you’re starting your kitchen design from scratch, installing tall cabinets or pantries that reach the ceiling will maximise storage space. Use the upper shelves for items you don't use frequently or for storing bulkier items like small appliances or serving dishes. Consider installing pull-out shelves or baskets to improve accessibility to items stored in the back.


Downsize kitchen gadgets and tools


Evaluate your kitchen gadgets and tools and prioritise those you use most regularly. For the items you do need, opt for compact versions of appliances and tools whenever possible, such as a handheld immersion blender instead of a bulky countertop blender or purchase multi-tool items such as a combinedblender, mixer and juicer as an example.


If you have limited drawer space but plenty of wall space, opt for wall-mounted storage solutions to keep frequently used tools accessible without cluttering countertops.


Pick creative organisers


Organisation really is key when it comes to maximising functionality within a smaller kitchen and installing pull-out drawers and organisers in your cupboards can be a great hack. These allow you to easily access items stored at the back of the cabinet without rummaging through everything. 

Stackable shelves, drawer dividers, pull-out racks, lazy Susans or rotating trays can maximise storage in corner cupboards and if you’re short on cupboard space, in some cases, you can add organisers on top of the units too.

Keep countertops clear


In any small space, keeping things as neat and tidy is key to creating the illusion of a larger space, but this is particularly true in kitchens as we often have so many items on the countertops.


Clear countertops visually expand the space and make the kitchen feel less cluttered. Limit the number of appliances and decorative items on the countertops to essential items only and where possible, put items such as toasters or coffee makers in cupboards after use. Whilst this might not always be practical, it’s a great option for when you need as much space as possible.


Portable units can also be incredibly helpful. Consider using a kitchen island on wheels, equipped with storage baskets or boxes, can be handy in a smaller kitchen and easily move as needed.

Consider foldable furniture


There’s nothing better than cooking a meal and sitting down to enjoy it with friends or family at the table, but tables can take up a huge amount of space. Shop around for a table that either folds away taking up as little space as possible when not in use, or one that has storage solutions within so you can utilise the table in a variety of ways.


Often, it’s the chairs that can take up a lot of room, so opt for folding chairs that can be stored elsewhere when you don’t have guests or opt for banquette seating that makes use of an awkward corner.

Matt Ayres, Appliance Expert 
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