Posted by Rhian Burrell, on August 22, 2023.
The best kind of functionality is the kind that we don’t even realise we’re benefiting from — and this is especially true for kitchens. These spaces serve as the backdrop to our everyday lives, whether they’re a pre-work coffee pitstop, a place for enjoying family meals, or the venue for a vibrant weekend get-together, your kitchen is the dynamic hub of your home — and a little functionality goes a long way in this respect! Having a space that serves your home in this way requires a bit of consideration, so we’re sharing some essential ways that you can add functional, handy touches to your space, from small hacks to ideas for your next remodel.
As we’ve highlighted, the most beneficial forms of functionality are the everyday, less noticeable touches, and they play a key role in the way you enjoy your space for a variety of reasons.
A functional kitchen is best characterised by a lack of mess. As the old ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ saying goes, a clutter-free space will contribute to the bigger picture – instead of feeling chaotic, your space will boast a calm, organised ambience. Everyday clutter can amount over time, and it only serves to create unnecessary stress — whether you’ve got the kids emptying cupboards out to find their lunch bags five minutes before the school run, or if your favourite merlot glasses are MIA when you’re hosting on a Friday evening, not being able to find things in your kitchen can make you feel frustrated with the space.
When you choose to embrace functionality, you’ll enjoy the fact that there’s a specific place for everything. Rather than having busy spaces that are hard to navigate, you’ll be able to breeze through your kitchen effortlessly.
A functional kitchen makes use of practical features and a methodical layout. While you can enjoy the best of both of these features when you opt for a total remodel, there are certainly ways to utilise practical touches to enhance your existing space — and one of these includes prioritising smart storage. When you remodel your kitchen, you’ll be able to make specific pointers on the flow of your space, and you could even opt for an open-plan kitchen design.
So far, we’ve painted a picture of functionality that is minimalistic, but this doesn’t mean that your kitchen will be lacking – in fact, a functional space will include plenty of clever ways for you and your family to make use of the room. Our bespoke shaker kitchens are testament to this principle, as while everything has its place, there’s plenty of handy features that are concealed within each design that add extra touches of functionality. Our expert kitchen designer will be able to advise you on the features that’d best suit your space, with your individual requirements in mind.
We’ve rounded up a mixture of helpful hacks as well as inspiration for kitchen renovations projects, all intended to help you to enjoy more everyday functionality from your own kitchen.
When it comes to creating a functional kitchen, smart storage solutions are your best friends. You’ll be able to find plenty of pull-out drawers that offer up different storage styles, or you might want to consider adding shelves in your cabinets to maximise space — this could even be a weekend DIY job!
One of the easiest storage hacks for kitchens is hanging hooks on the inside of cabinet doors to store lids, measuring cups, and utensils, and you’ll be impressed by how much space this frees up! Of course, vertical dividers will never go amiss — add them to drawers and stow away baking sheets, cutting boards, and trays efficiently.
Here at Cherrywood Bespoke, our kitchen designer can also suggest ways to incorporate storage features into your bespoke design — from under kitchen sink storage ideas, to custom cabinets with hanging racks for lunch bags, and hidden wine racks, there’s plenty of ways that we’ll be able to add functionality to your stunning kitchen space.
Small kitchen appliances can quickly clutter your worktops, making the space feel cramped — the microwave is a key culprit here! Opt for built-in or pull-out appliance spaces to keep items like toasters, blenders, and coffee machines hidden when not in use. This creates a cleaner, more streamlined appearance while still allowing easy access to your favourite gadgets.
While cabinets may be your first port-of-call as a storage solution, you shouldn’t overlook other areas that could also help you to clear the contents of cluttered worktops. If you’ve got lots of free wall space, then you could start here by installing open shelves above windows or doorways for items you use less frequently, or you might want to hang a pegboard for pots, pans, and utensils — these clever kitchen storage hacks also double up as a quirky decorative feature!
To avoid corner cabinets amounting to wasted space, our designer will always suggest clever kitchen storage ideas that make specific use of these nooks. Bulkier appliances can be stored in corners where you’ve got plenty of space, and in smaller areas you could add rotating racks for dinner plates, bowls, and more.
The most important thing to remember as you create your own functional, stylish space is that no two kitchens are the same, and what works for one might not work for another. Consider your specific cooking habits and needs when it comes to choosing the features that you will benefit from the most – if you’re an avid baker, dedicate a section of your kitchen for baking supplies and tools, and consider some child-friendly accessible features to make sure everyone can get involved in the cleaning up process afterwards. If your space is the go-to dinner party venue, then you might want to ensure there’s ample space for every kind of glass imaginable – the days of cupboards full of champagne flutes, martini glasses, and mojito tumblers are gone! Customising your kitchen’s functionality to align with your lifestyle and family habits is key, so place this as the forefront of your plans.
Whether you’re adding some of these instant solutions to your space, or if the possibilities we’ve explored have inspired an entire kitchen redesign, we’re here to help you to create a space that will serve your home for years to come. Find out how you can get a free brochure online now, or contact us to find out more about our kitchen design process.
Creating Functional Kitchens: FAQs
How can I make a small kitchen more functional?
If you’re working with a small kitchen, then space-saving storage solutions will be your best bet. Pull-out shelves, hanging racks, and vertical drawer dividers will all help you make the most of your ‘cosier’ kitchen space. If you’ve got a breakfast bar within the space, then you could swap your existing seating for stools that can be stowed away beneath the worktop when they’re not in use. Similarly, you could opt for a folding kitchen table as a means of both maintaining practicality without also permanently using up space.
You could also consider your decor choices, as a darker palette on the walls could make the space feel smaller than it is. By opting for airy, bright, neutral hues, you can convey the illusion of a larger space, and the Scandi-inspired combination of woods and whites is a popular choice for those looking to exaggerate small spaces. You can also accentuate this further by being selective with your choice of lighting – smaller, fun lighting features will help to break the space up. Alternatively, a painted ceiling is another way that you can add depth and space to a smaller kitchen — a pop of deep forest green, dark grey, or rich navy blue are our go-to suggestions
How can I make a galley kitchen more functional?
While some galley kitchens will benefit from the same approach as we’ve outlined for small kitchens, the unique features of this style are worth highlighting when it comes to functionality.
Characterised by their long, narrow layout, a galley kitchen may feature workspaces on one or both sides of the room. If you’re remodelling your galley kitchen with functionality in mind, then the best place to begin is by building your design out with minimal cabinetry. Swamping a galley kitchen in cabinets can overwhelm the space, making it feel more enclosed than it is. The cabinets that you are including should all serve a clear purpose, so think about the areas that you’ll incorporate here for storage. Looking up, skylights can be a great way to aggrandise a galley kitchen, and they’ll create effortless, ambient light, adding an elegant appeal to the space – plus they’re a hallmark of any contemporary kitchen design.