Open-plan kitchen vs closed: what's better for small spaces?

Our clever open kitchen design ideas will do the trick and make the most of your tiny space.

Updated May 31, 2019

Open-plan kitchen vs closed: what's better for small spaces?

Some people prefer an open plan kitchen vs closed, and others vice versa, but what’s the best choice when you have a small kitchen? Ideas for small kitchens can be as creative as you like! We’ve got some great tips for open plan living, including stylish small kitchen decorating ideas.

Build a dishwasher into your cabinets to hide it from view and give you a space to hold your dirty dishes between loads. If you prefer to hand wash, use a powerful dishwashing liquid like Sunlight and make sure you wash up each night to avoid unwanted mess.

Open plan kitchen vs closed

If you’re looking for a cosy, private space, a closed kitchen is an obvious choice. However, for those really stuck for space, it may not be the best option. Alternative kitchen ideas for small kitchens include having a small open plan kitchen that fits seamlessly into your living area. Not only can this create the illusion of more space, but it's also great for entertaining as you and your guests don't have to be in separate rooms while the food is being prepared.

Open plan kitchen ideas

On board with the open plan? Check out the following open plan kitchen ideas for small spaces.

Clear away clutter

The first of our tiny kitchen ideas is to clear away the clutter! Have a good sort out and only keep what you really need. Creating as much space as you can is vital in a small open plan kitchen, and worktops full of kitchen gadgets will not help you get an airy feel.

Get creative in corners

When you’ve got limited space, one of the best open plan kitchen ideas is to make use of your corners. Whilst clutter is certainly not good for an open kitchen, ideas such as using stackable containers and freestanding shelves in the corners certainly are.

Utilise empty spaces in cupboards

Going through your kitchen cupboards can often help you find room you didn’t know you had. Stylish open kitchen design ideas rely on maximising space, so creating extra storage space in your cabinets can free up even more room. Hooks on doors and clip-on hanging racks work really well in an open kitchen with little space!

Simplify the style

When you want a stylish kitchen design for a small space you need to think simple. Painting with light colours, white in particular, is one of those tried and tested small kitchen decorating ideas. It’ll create a sense of room and a light feeling, much more so than if you opt for a dark or multi-coloured scheme. If you want to make the distinction between kitchen and living area clear without a wall separating the two then simply choose a slightly different decorating style - such as carpet in the living area and hard floors in the 'kitchen'.

Wonderful walls

When it comes to small spaces, your walls are most certainly your friend. From funky shelving to hanging hooks for utensils, you can use the walls to free up counter and cabinet space. This also gives you the chance to add extra style to your tiny kitchen. Ideas like these are all about looking at your kitchen from top to bottom – if there’s somewhere that’s good for storage and won’t make your room feel cluttered, use it!

Once you’ve plumped for an open kitchen, ideas like these provide you with the perfect balance between functionality and style. Try our open kitchen design ideas and enjoy the flexibility that comes with open plan living.

  • Declutter your worktops to create space on surfaces.
  • Go through cupboards to free up as much room as possible - use racks and containers to hold items.
  • Utilise corners and unused areas with racks, shelves, and hooks.
  • Go with a simple, light-coloured theme.
  • Add a few final design touches to bring your personality to the room.
  • Originally published May 20, 2019