TUNE INTO EPISODE TWO BELOW
ONE - CLEVER APPLIANCES
In a small kitchen, look for smaller appliances (they do exist). In this kitchen, we used a cute little 30cm cook top which still has 2 cooking zones but gives you much more bench space than if we'd used a standard 60cm cook top. And have you ever heard of a "microwave combination oven"? We hadn't either until we discovered a beauty from Fisher & Paykel. It has a turntable inside just like a traditional micro but you can also use it to bake and crisp with its oven setting #dualpurpose. And last but not least, not all dishwashers are the same - you can get single dish-drawers which are often all you need in a small household (it's also much quicker to unpack #bonus ;-).
TWO - INTEGRATE, INTEGRATE, INTEGRATE
To give the illusion of a bigger kitchen, integrate your appliances where ever possible! In the River Shack kitchen we hid the fridge and dishwasher behind black cabinetry and even tucked a euro-style laundry behind the doors too. Tip: not all brands can be integrated. That's what's great about Fisher & Paykel appliances, they have loads of options for integration.
THREE - SEEK OUT STORAGE
You'd be surprised how much dead space can be sitting in a kitchen... behind a panel here and there or tucked around an awkward corner of the pantry. Talk to your kitchen designer and ask him (or her) to find you every spare nook and cranny and turn it into extra storage. At the River Shack we installed shallow shelves under the servery which you'd never know were there (perfect for the Pimms).
FOUR - LOSE OVERHEAD CABINETRY
This tip kinda flies in the face of the previous one but if you want your kitchen to look and feel larger, ditching head-height cabinets will help do that. Allowing the splashback to run all the way up to the ceiling, uninterrupted, will immediately make the space feel larger and taller. You could consider adding a floating shelf to hold a few items which is a better option than heavy, protruding cabinets (especially if they're black!).
FIVE - INSIDE/OUTSIDE SERVERY
If you don't have much space inside, make your kitchen bigger by extending your bench top outside to create a pseudo dining table that can seat 4-8 people (half sit inside, half sit outside). We did this at Lana's Forever Home and then again at the River Shack. The wide opening also allows natural light to flood the space so even though our kitchen was black it still felt light and bright. PS - It's also super practical if you want to feed your kids (and friends) whilst they're playing outside (also keeps the muddy feet at bay ;-).
Want to get your hands on all the goodies we have picked for the kitchen? Shop the entire River Shack Reno by clicking the button below.