Michelle Ogundehin says you should remove this popular kitchen feature – to make your small kitchen feel bigger

The design guru has the secret to a more spacious kitchen, and it involves parting with a widely used furnishing

Small kitchen with open shelving and marble backsplash
(Image credit: Future / Anna Stathaki)

The question of how to accentuate size in a small kitchen is an enduring debate amongst designers, and Michelle Ogundehin has the answer. 

The internationally renowned interiors expert sat down with Livingetc to share her space-enhancing tips – but her advice involves parting with a popular feature that you may have in your home.

Revealing her modern kitchen ideas, Michelle urges you to remove your wall-hung cupboards in favor of alternate storage solutions that will make your space feel less crowded. 

Black tiled kitchen with open shelving

(Image credit: Future / Clare Cousins)

‘It’s something that many kitchens just default to – however, they crowd the space,’ Michelle explains. ‘You often don’t need them because they are housing things you don’t use too often – and things you have overbought. We have many of these things because we think we are supposed to have them, but you don’t.’ 

When it comes to small kitchen storage ideas, Michelle recommends looking towards a more minimalistic alternative – open shelving – that will act as a reminder to declutter and keep your scheme clean. 

‘Using a single shelf is beautiful. It keeps you mindful of what you have and stops you from getting things you don’t need,’ she says. 

Open shelving in a light kitchen with appliances

(Image credit: Future / Anna Stathaki)

In sharing her small kitchen ideas, Michelle similarly explored the rise of the invisible kitchen – the sci-fi style movement that blends appliances effortlessly. However, alongside its sleek aesthetic, she explains how invisible kitchens are another size-enhancing trick that ensures your small kitchen looks good and feels bigger. 

‘I suggest integrating your appliances: from your dishwasher to your freezer and your fridge. You put the door on the front to match the rest of your units. There is nothing that makes a kitchen look more seamless,’ she explains. 

Camouflage cupboards used in invisible kitchens trend

(Image credit: Lauren Nicholas)

For an unrivaled ‘invisible kitchen’ feel, Michelle suggests taking her tip one step further by experimenting with a feature she has in her own home: an integrated splashback. ‘The splashback is seamless and makes one large statement,’ she adds. 

Plus, as Michelle shared, the secret to space-saving in a small kitchen comes from ensuring your worktops and shelves remain decluttered. 

So, when looking for new appliances, she recommends turning the Ballerina collection, a select list of ten De’Longhi items that have her sought-after stamp of approval. More information is available via the De’Longhi website here.   

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.