Bathroom & Kitchen Guide

Your complete guide to remodeling, design and new products.



Julia Lawson's dream home in the country had a big kitchen that was perfect for her culinary pursuits - but then she found her dream job as an advertising executive in Manchester. Forced to move back to the centre of the city and into an apartment, she suddenly found herself faced with a small kitchen that hadn't been renovated in years. This is how she transformed it into a workable space that sacrificed almost nothing in terms of functionality.

Starting Over With a Small Kitchen


"The apartment is well positioned for work and it's fair sized, but it hadn't been renovated in years. I was really unhappy with the layout of the small kitchen as it was and really needed to start from scratch," Julie said.

The apartment's kitchen was a small, galley style space with a pantry off to one side. The range and oven unit was located close to the window, with the sink and fridge placed in a line alongside, creating an inefficient work area that didn't conform to the kitchen triangle design principle. Also, Julie wanted a space to eat in the kitchen, a tricky proposition in such a limited space.

Making the Most of a Small Kitchen Space


The sink was left in the middle of the room, but Julie relocated the range to the other side, in the refrigerator's former position. In between she placed a convenient dishwasher. This opened up space near the window for a breakfast nook, which she created with a small table and small bench-style seat.

The refrigerator was located to the other side of the galley kitchen, in the place where the pantry once stood. But this created a new problem - precious storage space had been sacrificed.

Clever Small Kitchen Designing

To combat this, Julie employed a clever idea often recommended by small kitchen experts - wall-mounted storage that extended as high as practically possible. This created enough storage space for both food items and Julie's extensive collection of cookware. The cupboards were fronted with glass, to give the impression of extra space.

"I'm a neat person and I've got a lot of nice things I want to put on display, so the glass-fronted cabinet look appealed to me," Julie says.

"I also opted for a clear glass splashback over the range. That helps give an impression of space too. And I stuck to a fairly neutral colour tone so the room wouldn't be overwhelming to sit in."

Julie, who is single, also opted for a microwave built into a cabinet above the range, which could also double as a hood vent. "I don't have kids and I can reach up there easily, so it just made sense in this kind of small kitchen," she said.

We have 14 guests online