How to design a simple kitchen with minimal clutter
The kitchen! It’s the beating heart of your home, and a space that brings you all together. Love the idea of a simple, clutter-free kitchen? Now is the perfect time to design a kitchen that breathes minimal living.
Read our luxury kitchen ideas and design your way to a tidier, clutter-free kitchen.
Making your current layout work for you
Got a “galley kitchen” that you’d rather extend? Before spending most of your budget on an extension, see if you can make the space work for your needs. A galley kitchen layout is increasingly common in smaller properties, inspired by chefs cooking at sea – where space was a premium. Kitchens on ships and boats have to be super space efficient and are often ingenious with storage ideas, so take a step back from your space and consider every nook and corner as potential cupboard or shelving space.
Declutter, declutter, declutter
Before you put your simple kitchen ideas into action it’s worth taking the opportunity to really assess what you need in your kitchen.
Decluttering has become a minor industry in its own right, with Japanese culture a particular inspiration. You might not want to go through a full Zen assessment of your cooking space, but you should certainly have a good sort through what lurks in your cupboards. If that never-used gadget is collecting dust, be ruthless and send it to the charity shop.
Clean lines for a clean environment
Nowhere creates more mess than a kitchen – dust, oil, splatters, crumbs. So your aim should be to have as few places where that stuff can hide. That means clean, hard surfaces that are simple to wipe down quickly.
As a first, you should probably ditch your curtains. Curtains in kitchens are the enemy of cleanliness. They provide a large surface area of absorbent material, and will need regular washing.
Windows with nothing on at all can make the kitchen feel cold come night time. Blinds are one option, but kitchen shutters are easily the cleanest way to manage your windows. They offer beautifully finished surfaces that just need a wipe to gleam. They’re secure, they’re easy to colour match to the rest of your room, and they offer control of lighting conditions that no other window cover or dressing can match.
Best of all, shutters sit flush to your windows and take up the least amount of space, where drawn curtains will rob you of the use of your window sills, and blinds can knock plants over when you drop them.
Store it away
The biggest battle in the war of kitchen cleanliness is the pursuit of storage space. It’s a simple equation: if you want a clutter-free kitchen you need to have more storage space than you have stuff. Unfortunately, life in the kitchen is rarely that simple, but there’s no harm in maximising the places you can put things out of sight.
Adding shelves is a simple storage solution that will give you easily accessible storage for your most-used appliances and ingredients, and you can make it an area for items you’d like on show. A mixture of stand-alone shelves and stacks of varying heights can help to break up the visual effect if you don’t want things to look too clinical or regimented.
Work your space
It’s not easy to add cabinets or drawers to a built kitchen, particularly if you’re working with a small space but you can make what you have work more efficiently for you.
Cupboard space is not typically divided in a very sophisticated way, so adding extra internal shelves can quickly double the potential of a cupboard. The same is true in drawers, for which you can buy layering and dividing devices to massively increase storage potential.
Could your walls also bring storage potential? Professional and floating kitchens make amazing use of their walls with magnets and hooks. Almost all kitchen equipment can be hung, and hooks are very easy to put up. Again, think of adding hooks or racks to the insides of cupboards to maximise the usable space – hello cupboard door spice rack!
No kitchen is an island
If you’re lucky enough to have a square or open kitchen, then you could look to the centre of it for extra storage. A kitchen island brings a huge amount of storage potential.
Islands can be cooking spaces, dining spaces, show spaces, workspaces and a lot more. You can also make a design statement with contrasting construction and finish. Use a mixture of shelves, drawers and cupboards to break up the look, and consider hooks or hanging lighting above for a dramatic effect.
Often enough you’ll find that simply by putting food items into their own storage jars can give your kitchen an instant declutter. A jar full of pasta looks a lot tidier than a packet of pasta. These quick-fix storage solutions are cost-effective, as well as adding a rustic cottage kitchen vibe.
As you fight the ongoing battle of stuff vs. space, the most important thing to consider on a daily basis is what you are buying and why. Do you really need it? If you do then is there a more clutter-conscious option you could buy? – like nesting bowls for example, or saucepans, hanging utensils, mini-appliances, folding furniture, the list goes on.
Decluttering is an ongoing commitment in your home, but with simple changes, you can build habits that mean your kitchen stays clutter free for the foreseeable.