Big questions for small country kitchens

We help you make the most of a compact space

What should I consider when designing a modern country kitchen that will
suit my small room?

Go for a design that mixes traditional Shaker-style panelled doors with a contemporary gloss finish to add a modern twist. Curved units open up a small kitchen, creating the illusion of space. They work well ergonomically by avoiding protruding corners for a more natural feel, reflecting the way we move around the space. Good storage is essential, so always tailor internal cupboard storage to maximise space. Wooden worktops add rustic charm and suit both modern and traditional schemes.Schüller C Casa kitchen in Sand Grey Silk Gloss, from £6,426, InHouse, 01661 842304.

How can I create a bespoke country look on a budget?
Painted cabinetry is key to creating an inviting country kitchen, and using contrasting colours for a tone-on-tone palette or highlighting a sink unit in a different hue injects individual style. Built-in features, such as pull-out trays and chopping boards, create a bespoke look in the most reasonably priced designs.
Salcombe Painted Ash kitchen, from £12,000, Burbidge, 024 7667 1600.

Any storage ideas to reduce kitchen clutter?
Bench seating with storage beneath is a practical choice for a family kitchen. This L-shaped bench can be placed against a wall, in a corner or used freestanding and has five slide-out baskets to hold items that are not needed every day. The oak seats and willow baskets ensure the piece blends seamlessly with a country kitchen.
Buckland bench seat with baskets, £2,046, Neptune, 01793 427427.

Are deep drawers an efficient use of space in small kitchens?
The advantage is that you can pull a drawer’s contents towards you, so you can see and reach whatever you need quickly. Drawers make the most of every inch of space, unlike the dark recesses of cupboards and inaccessible shelves. If you’re planning to store bottles and small items in a deep drawer, dividers will keep everything upright and in order.

Moderne fitted kitchen, from £25,000, Fired Earth, 0845 293 8798.

How can I make the most of a long, narrow kitchen?
Your layout may seem limited, but it can be the starting point to a great kitchen if the space is well thought through. Use as much of the space below the work surface as you can; undermount the sink and fit the hob with a flush finish. Keep units at different heights to prevent the room feeling closed in. Reflective materials, such as mirror and glass, enhance a sense of space, as do pale cabinetry, worktops and walls.
Bespoke Mandarin kitchen, from £40,000, Smallbone of Devizes, 020 7589 5998.

I’d like a freestanding piece for my country kitchen. Any ideas?
A trolley is a practical solution for small kitchens that are lacking work space and storage. For a classic country look choose solid wood with an antique cream finish and lockable wheels, so it can be moved in and out as needed. A natural hevea solid end-grain worktop provides an additional food prep area, while the deep drawer and slatted shelves keep kitchen essentials close to hand.

Pembroke trolley, £578, T&G Woodware, 01275 841841.

What is the best way to maximise cupboard space in my kitchen?
When planning kitchen storage, consider existing features such as chimney breasts, recesses or under-stair areas that can be used for cupboards. A good larder cupboard with drawers and pull-out baskets houses plenty of jars and bottles, ingredients and gadgets. In a bespoke kitchen, even shallow and irregularly shaped spaces can be utilised for extra storage or shelving to show off china and glass.
Hand-painted New Classic kitchen, from £35,000, Martin Moore, 0845 180 0015.

How can I incorporate a dining area into my kitchen?
This small circular breakfast bar perched on the corner of an island unit is a brilliant way to achieve a dedicated dining area without stealing precious prep space. The corner position is key as it allows you to chat with family and friends, but still get on with cooking.
Pilaster kitchens, from £40,000, Smallbone of Devizes, 020 8038 4033.

Looking for more great country kitchen ideas? Find them at Country Homes & Interiors


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