10 Of Our Favourite (Perfectly Styled) Small Kitchens

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10 Of Our Favourite (Perfectly Styled) Small Kitchens

10 Of Our Favourite (Perfectly Styled) Small Kitchens

Interiors

by Christina Karras

The Sydney home of Laura Butler, designer and maker at Mennt, and her partner Aman Braich. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod

The Melbourne home of interior designer and co-owner of Itself Studio Jaime Vella and her husband Dylan Vella. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Oak veneer joinery by Profile Furniture. Appliances by Asko. Leathered ghibli granite by Multiform. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Invest in wall-to-wall cabinetry 

When it comes to maximising space in a small kitchen, cabinetry is key. Investing in custom joinery means you’ll be making use of every square inch, including above and below benchtops.

The impeccable oak veneer joinery of interior designer Jamie Vella’s kitchen turns a whole wall into functional storage and cohesively conceals everything, including the appliances, to create an illusion of more room. Something like the wall-to-wall joinery in this Darlinghurst terrace also helps create a serene and organised atmosphere, setting the tone for the rest of the home’s Japanese-inspired interiors.

Home of Knot Studio interior designer Alex Johnson and Taylor Made’s Joel Taylor. Joinery custom designed and made by Taylor Made. Artedomus stone and tiles. Studio Henry Wilson hardware. Walls and ceiling painted Dulux Antique White U.S.A. Side table made by a friend. House of Orange glasses. Softedge Studio plates and bowls. Caroma tap. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Artedomus stone and tiles. Studio Henry Wilson hardware. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Home of Sasha Gattermayr and Zeb Nicholls. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Ikea kitchen cabinets with fronts from Ren Studio. Handles from Linear Standard. Alessi coffee pot. Ella Reweti vase. Tiles from National Tiles. Butter dish from Cibi. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Embrace light (in many forms)

If you have a small space, light is going to be your best friend. Having a nice sunny view from the window over the kitchen sink is ideal, but even simple updates like a cute table lamp (like this paper lantern on the benchtop of Sasha Gattermayr’s Melbourne apartment) can go a long way in making a space feel more inviting.

The renovated 1960s Avalon Beach apartment of Knot Studio interior designer Alex Johnson and Joel Taylor is full of inspiration, and their kitchen is especially clever — equipped with a mirrored splashback that reflects sunlight all around the room!

Home of Laura Schuijers. She designed, styled, and project-managed the whole renovation herself — with no previous experience! Photo – Amelia Stanwix

The former home of designer Leigh Ellwood located in Melbourne’s historic Beverley Hills. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Well-styled open shelves help turn an empty wall into a feature. Photo – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Home of Yolande Gray. Various paintings by Yolande Gray. Various vases from op-shops. Standard lamp shade repurposed as a wall sconce. Steel windows with eco glass by Blueshed Engineering. Photo – Alisha Gore for The Design Files. Styling – Tess Thyregod

Style open shelves to perfection

An open shelf is a convenient spot to keep your everyday items, but it’s also a place in your kitchen where you can inject some personality into the space.

We love the way designer Leigh Ellwood styled the shelves of her tiny galley-style kitchen (inside Melbourne’s famous Beverley Hills apartments!) with her favourite patterned tableware, or how artist Yolande Gray’s Bronte terrace features a nook in her kitchen to showcase little artworks and objects collected all over the world. Plywood is a great affordable material if you’re looking to create your own, just like this pint-sized Melbourne apartment renovated by the owner!

The compact, colourful kitchen in the Wilam Ngarrang apartment building, designed by Kennedy Nolan, and developed by Tripple. Custom cabinetry handles made from recycled venetian blinds by Studio Shields. Photo – Eve Wilson.

The compact, colourful kitchen in the Wilam Ngarrang apartment building, designed by Kennedy Nolan, and developed by Tripple. Photo – Eve Wilson

Home of Nina Siska. Multicolour Verde Terrazzo Slab benchtop from Ceradomus Tiles. Zellige Cammello Gloss tiles on splashback from Ceradomus Tiles. Mud Australia coffee cups. Artwork: ‘Inner Self Detector’ by Tai Snaith. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Sancal dining table from Kezu. Cozoni Nela stool. IKEA cabinets customised with dark sage fronts by Ren Studio. Artwork: ‘Antipodean Dream’ by Heidi Yardley. Photo – Amelia Stanwix

Use colour to make a statement

Some of our favourite small kitchens of all time are the ones that aren’t afraid to use colour in a big way. The once unliveable Melbourne apartment of Nina Siska has been transformed into a playful home packed with personality, and that’s mostly because of how boldly the kitchen mixes and matches different tones, textures and materials; the walls are painted in an eye-catching peach; stone benchtops feature green terrazzo; and even the IKEA cabinetry has been customised in a green shade.

In contrast, the kitchen of a sustainably retrofitted apartment (designed by architects Kennedy Nolan) uses a singular, rich red colour scheme to make a splash without becoming overwhelming in a ‘very limited floorplan’ of just 30 square metres.

Our very own office kitchen at The Design Files! Wall built using Surround by Laminex Batten 25 panelling painted in Dulux Clay Court, Moroccan Pink Zellige tiles from Tiles of Ezra, bench tops are Rojo Alicante marble from Daniels’ Marble House, ceiling paint is Dulux Piglet, kitchen cabinets in American Oak veneer built by Gordon Johnson, cabinetry handles by Linear Standard., kitchen tap is the Scala curved sink mixer by Sussex Taps in brushed gunmetal, available exclusively from Reece. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Moroccan Pink Zellige tiles from Tiles of Ezra, bench tops are Rojo Alicante marble from Daniels’ Marble House, kitchen cabinets in American Oak, cabinetry handles by Linear Standard. Chopping Board by TS Makers, kitchen tap is the Scala curved sink mixer by Sussex Taps in brushed gunmetal, available exclusively from Reece. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Custom detailing makes a difference

It will cost you, but working with a great cabinet maker to create custom joinery can be totally transformative. Someone who has experience designing and building kitchen cabinetry will unlock untapped potential in your kitchen, with solutions like double-layered drawers, hidden storage and bespoke design details.

These smart storage solutions have made a world of difference in the kitchen renovation of our very own TDF office! Focusing the functional storage on the bottom half of the kitchen maximised the bench space, while also leaving room for the beautiful pink tiles to line the walls as the hero feature.



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