Small kitchen spaces present challenges that those with more space don’t have to think about. There are some obvious aspects like the size of the benchtops and the dimensions of a sink that will work best with the limited space available.
But one of the factors that are easier to overlook is the overall ‘flow’ of the kitchen space. This article should help with understanding what kitchen flow is and how it can be maximised for a small kitchen.
Kitchen Flow Explained
Kitchen flow might sound a bit new age or overthinking things, but in actual fact, it is one of the most practical concerns that a kitchen renovator could have. Flow in a kitchen is about having certain key areas separated well so that more than one person can effectively use the space at a time.
Take this example. In many new high-rise apartment blocks, kitchens are laid out in a ‘pillar’ or “I” format. That is because it keeps the use of space to a minimum. But it is also a real mess when it comes to flow and functionality. For example, the sink is usually in a central spot. But if a person is standing at the sink, they are blocking access to everything on the other side of it. Similarly, if the fridge or oven is at the ‘front’ entry point of the kitchen space and being used, then it is impossible for another person to get in or out of the kitchen at all.
In contrast, a kitchen with a good flow is built around the idea of a kitchen work zones. This separates the sink, the stovetop and the bench space into clearly defined ‘points’ so that a person can be at one without blocking access to the other. The best part about the concept is that it fits perfectly into small spaces that are common in homes and renovators kitchens where a DIY solution is needed for a corner kitchen where real estate is at a premium.
Practical Ways to Get More Flow
Of course, there are some practical hacks and tricks that can be added to get additional flow into a kitchen, especially a small one. An overhang bench space is ideal. This does not require an extra ‘footprint’ on the ground for the cabinets but gives an outsize amount of counter space.
Rangehoods and extractor panels are often ‘floating’, but the addition of cabinets embedded on either side can create a more symmetrical space while also maximising storage space. The elevation of storage also improves flow by allowing people to go ‘high’ while others can work ‘low’.
Having a small but deeper sink can also improve kitchen flow, especially because small spaces as this allows more room to be given up to bench space and extra space between the sink and other major kitchen elements.
Kitchen Shack are kitchen flow specialists with showrooms conveniently located in Preston, Maribyrnong, and Kilsyth. We can help you plan your kitchen and figure out how to make it beautiful and functional all at the same time, and without breaking the budget.