If like us, you’re blessed with a tiny kitchen, Laurence Llewlyn-Bowen has a way to turn things around. The interiors authority and Changing Rooms host explains that when it comes to small kitchen ideas, open shelving is the answer.
Speaking to us ahead of the launch of his latest book, More More More (opens in new tab)– which, surprisingly, is all about maximalism – he revealed why replacing kitchen cabinetry with open shelves will dramatically enhance the sense of space, while giving you something that feels altogether more homely.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s small kitchen design secret
‘In the kitchen, forget trying to store, and start trying to display,’ says LLB. ‘Shelves in the kitchen rather than cupboards will definitely make the kitchen feel bigger, and much more homely.’
During our chat, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen draws upon kitchen designs of the past and how our spaces have evolved. For example, he points out that before the 20th century, kitchens were spaces where you had shelves rather than cupboards, because people wanted to see what they had.
‘They wanted to see their china, they wanted to see their glasses, and I love that,’ he enthuses. ‘They wanted to see their storage jars full of pasta or rice or sweets.’
And why not take inspiration from kitchens of years gone by and celebrate your stuff in the same way? Imaginative kitchen shelving ideas will not only make your small space feel more open and airy than overbearing cupboards, but they’ll also make it more welcoming for you and guests.
Admittedly, having your best saucepans, your favourite storage jars and your everyday crockery out on display will involve a lot more dusting than having them tucked away behind cupboards, but really, we think it’s worth it if it’s going to make a space you love coming home to.
If ripping out cupboards isn’t an option, you could still create a characterful display of items (kitchen-related or not) on empty worktops or on a blank wall. Table lamps, artwork, books or wallpaper will all create a more homely environment sure to get LLB’s seal of approval.
More More More by Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen is published by DK, 15th September 2022 £20