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Mini kitchen design ideas to live large in your small home

By Ela Das

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What makes a house big or small? The first answer that comes to mind is the square footage. But then, one also considers the number of people who have to reside within that floor space along with the overall functionality of the home to define how big or small it is. And, sometimes, the biggest of all homes can still seem quite cramped if not planned well, and the smallest of spaces can end up being tremendously functional simply due to clever design and judicious use of space.

One the main rooms of a house that conventionally requires the right amount of functioning space is the heart of a home—the kitchen. For many, the idea of a grand sprawling kitchen is a dream come true, which can sometimes be far from reality in urban cities in India. And, if you manage to fit in an island, as well, you’ve probably built your dream kitchen. But, most of the time, we have to make do with a small-space design and find ways to create the perfect mini kitchen.

If that’s your case, here are eight tips to inspire you in creating the best mini kitchen in your home.

The key for making a mini kitchen work in a home is minimalism. This isn’t a space for anything unwanted and unnecessary. While your sense of style or design doesn’t have to be muted or pared down, the things you accumulate or store in this space should be. To start, clear out anything that isn’t essential on the counters and create ample storage under the countertop and on the walls overhead to store away your kitchen essentials. The rule of thumb when discarding things is: if you haven’t touched it in over six months, you probably don’t need it. This, however, doesn’t apply to family heirlooms and old china.

STYLE TIP: Brighter, lighter colours always open up any room and 

Minimal mini kitchen design with bar chairs, matte white walls, light wood and grey cabinetry

Image courtesy, Ottimo

trick the eye into seeing added space. A simple palette of matte white walls, light wood and grey cabinetry breaks the monotony in this mini modular kitchen while also keeping it visually tranquil.

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Mini kitchen with sturdy wooden frame on the entrance door and glass, white cabinets and light floors

Image courtesy, Richa Bahl

The biggest thing to consider in a mini kitchen is finding ways to create a sense of space and openness. While light and bright colours usually do the trick, you can even go a step further by using materials around your cabinetry, fittings and doors that are transparent or opaque. In this mini modular kitchen, while the door at the entrance has a sturdy wooden frame, the rest of it is fitted in glass to add more light to stream in while also allowing the room to be a part of the corridor outside. The same has also been followed on the window next to it.

For a mini kitchen to function well, it requires every inch of space to be utilised judiciously and cleverly. This means finding a way to make sure all the area under the countertops and across the breadths of the walls is put to use. Well-planned and designed cabinetry will go a long way in looking visually pleasing—especially if you have an open mini kitchen that is part of the living room—while also storing away any unwanted items that wouldn’t display well on the countertop. Creating open shelving across the walls will add a unique styling method for showing off all your fancy china or keepsakes. This also helps keep regular items, which are used daily, within reach.

PRO TIP: Before considering any kind of open shelving or storage space, make sure the area isn’t prone to too much dust and germs or can be cleaned regularly. Not only will this create an unsightly mess but also lead to an unhygienic situation in the heart of the home.

Yellow mini kitchen with open shelving and well-planned cabinetry and storage space

Imahge courtesy, Megan Markham, Unsplash

Mini kitchen with a singular colour palette, backsplash with tiles in earthy tones

Image courtesy, Interiors by Mili

To make the small space of a mini kitchen look neat and more tied-together, consider using a singular colour palette for the entire space. While you can mix different mediums and finishes, a singular colour or similar shades from a singular hue will create a sense of uniformity in the space. We love how this mini modular kitchen ends up looking smart and modern with its countertop in stone and woodwork in the cabinetry paired in the same colour. To avoid leaving the room looking lacklustre, the backsplash has been tiled in complementing earthy-toned tiles to add more depth—a far cry from a cramped aesthetic one would otherwise have to tackle in a limited space.

While maintaining a singular colour palette is wise in a small-space kitchen, a modern mini kitchen can, however, mix textures and finishes to achieve a unique mood or aesthetic in the limited space. In this kitchen, while the matte-finished cabinets on the wall blend in the with the finish in a similar colours on the ceiling, the storage below the island-bar is in textured wood to break the space from looking too matchy-matchy.

STYLE TIP: If you are keen to play with textures and finishes, but afraid of making a small space look too busy, consider muted or light tones within a similar hue to suggest a well-planned and thought-through room design and not an oversight.

Mini kitchen with mixed textures, matte-finished cabinets and kitchen island in textured wood

Image courtesy, FADD Studio

Mini kitchen with muted countertop and bright coloured cabinets

Image courtesy, Kurafuto Works

Don’t let a mini kitchen make you shy away from bright or bold colours—especially if those echo in your personal style. The key here is picking one focal point or pièce de résistance for the entire room and highlighting it in your favourite colour to add some drama to the space, while leaving the rest of the walls and countertop in a softer shade. This will make it a clear canvas or backdrop to the one focal element you chose.

STYLE HACK: Too scared to commit to a bright colour but still want a dash of intrigue in the mini kitchen? Use movable accessories or pick your crockery or utensils in bright colours and prints to add a pop of excitement while you’re cooking.

In a studio apartment, the entire home comes together in one singular room. The best way to design such a space is styling it with things that are multifunctional and save space. The first thing to consider in a studio is placing the mini kitchen or a kitchenette close to the living room area, once you do that you may realise you don’t have enough space on the countertop of your kitchen for an entire cooking range or fixed hob.

To solve this and many other space-related issues, a moveable induction cooktop not only looks neat, but can be 

Mini kitchen in one-room apartment with moveable induction cooktop and other movable appliances

Image courtesy, Dinga /shutterstock.com

brought out while cooking and stored away after. Other electric appliances such as an electric kettle and a microwave will go a long way for all your culinary needs.

INSIDER’S EYE: Since this will be a space that opens up into the rest of the home, including the bedroom, it’s a good idea to style the mini kitchen in a studio apartment in a way and colour scheme similar to the rest of the house/room.

Scandinavian-styled mini modular kitchen in simple white and wood with potted plants

Image courtesy, Michaela Klenkova /shutterstock.com

Instead of shying away from the limited space in your mini kitchen, embrace it! Since smaller spaces equal cosier nooks, there’s no one stopping you from making your mini modular kitchen into a quaint haven to not only whip up a storm but also savour your culinary treats. Does this Scandinavian-style nook not inspire you to create your own hygge-styled space? We can already imagine ourselves enjoying a cuppa and dessert on a cold winter day or stormy monsoon evening.

Read more articles about kitchen designs.
Discover inspirational living room ideas for your home décor at Beautiful Homes.


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