Shrinking Rooms

Shrinking Rooms

With a new report highlighting that modern kitchens are becoming smaller, how can you adapt the space available in your home?

The study from Marsh & Parsons found that the size of kitchens fitted into conversion properties and new builds has significantly reduced over recent years. The estate agent?s report highlighted that this was a particular problem in London and has led to the kitchen no longer being the focal point of a property.

With a large proportion of properties in the capital bought by professionals, the style of their social lives does not always necessitate a large cooking area. More of them are choosing to eat out on a regular basis and so have no need for a full-size kitchen. Instead they often prefer to increase the size of living areas or bathrooms. The kitchen then either becomes a small space or is amalgamated into the living or dining room.

The results of the study show that there has been an increase in the number of properties where the kitchen accounts for only 7-8% of the internal space. In some flats this amounts to only 6.5sqm. The average size of kitchens in 1960s properties was 8.8sqm.

Even though this style of kitchen can work for some buyers, for others it?s a disadvantage. A 2013 Case for Space Report by RIBA found that many owners of new-build properties weren?t satisfied with the size of their kitchens. One third of them found that there wasn?t enough storage or work space to store essential appliances, such as toasters or kettles. They were also unable to accommodate dinner guests comfortably.

Increasing Space

For properties where the kitchen is too small for your needs, there are ways of adapting a home to make it more suitable. If the kitchen is in an apartment building or on one of the upper floors, installing a balcony on to the side could offer a number of benefits.

This would open up a smaller kitchen with the use of patio doors that lead out onto the balcony. More light would be drawn into the room and having the doors open would stop the area feeling as confined. To help brighten up the space on an evening, there is a wide choice of outdoor lighting available. These can either be freestanding or hanging lights could be attached to the balcony railings.

A balcony would increase the amount of useable space for entertaining. If the property is lacking a dining area, a balcony offers more space. This would create an excellent summer dining area, especially if it leads directly from the kitchen. However, with the use of patio heaters, the balcony could still be usable in the winter. The balcony railings can be used to attach decorative features or lighting to turn it into more of a room.

With a little bit of creative thinking, there are ways around having a small kitchen. If the property is right in other areas, this doesn?t have to be a negative factor.