Making the most of a small kitchen in Hong Kong

July 21Storage spaceKitchen
In the lively metropolis of Hong Kong, a young family set out to find a new home. When their third child, Andrea, was born, they needed more space and they wanted to transform their kitchen into a place that brought happiness instead of stress.

Challenges for Ruby and Ivan's new kitchen:

Small space

The average kitchen in large Chinese cities measures 3-5 square metres, which does not make planning easy: you need to get the most out of the available space.

Feng shui

The Chinese theory of harmony plays a key role when choosing an apartment and planning a kitchen, meaning that if you make a mistake, this can have a negative impact on the balance of family life, for example.

Storage space

Ruby and Ivan even had to use the oven and hob as storage, as there was no more space in the cabinets and they would sometimes no longer close properly.


It took Ruby ages to find anything in her kitchen because she couldn't sort her utensils and the kitchen layout was not divided into different zones.

Cooking together

There simply wasn't any space available because the worktop was also being used as storage space, meaning that cooking together with the kids was more stressful than enjoyable for Ruby.

"The kitchen in our old apartment particularly bothered me," states Ruby Ha. "Everything was crammed in. I barely had a worktop. Before I could start something new, I always had to tidy away what I just used first."

Five square metres for the new kitchen

Three months and ten apartment viewings later, they found their dream apartment: "We wanted to get the best out of our new 5-square-metre kitchen," explains 39-year-old marketing professional Ivan Yim. The family's kitchen designer overcame the spatial challenges by coming up with a U-shaped kitchen.

The feng shui master confirmed that the apartment was a good fit for our family, which meant that we could start the refurbishment with confidence.Ruby Ha

Fantastic solutions for a small kitchen

"The main problem with the old kitchen was the lack of storage space. This solution provides an adequate worktop as well as space for food and cooking utensils," explains Isaac To, who was responsible for planning the kitchen. He divided the kitchen into : in addition to the larder area, there is a zone for crockery, a sink area and a worktop that is as big as it possibly could be. There is also a cooking zone. "I like that the kitchen planner included so many pull-outs," says Ruby with a smile. AVENTOS lift systems in the wall cabinet give the family unrestricted access without the risk of hitting their head. They open upwards so there are no open doors to get in the way of cooking.

Ruby and Ivan's new U-shaped kitchen uses every centimetre of space and is divided into various zones to ensure a better overview: a larder area, crockery zone, sink area, worktop and cooking zone.

"Some drawers even open electrically," gushes the technology enthusiast Ivan while demonstrating SERVO-DRIVE in the waste bin pull-out. "It's particularly practical if your hands are full. I simply touch it with my foot or toes."

The SPACE TOWER larder unit with five individually opening drawers provides long sought-after storage space: "Despite having to contend with all of the items for our third child, the kitchen is not overflowing," explains Ruby delighted.

Ruby really enjoys cooking in her new kitchen with her daughters now that she has enough space.

Cooking becomes a family affair

"In the old kitchen, I'd only ever really cook on weekends or during holidays because it was so impractical," confides nurse Ruby. The 38-year-old adds: "And that's despite the fact that I like to cook and it's important to me that my kids eat healthily. Since we redesigned our small kitchen, there's even enough room for five-year-old Elaina and three-year-old Serena to help too." The girls really enjoy cooking with their mum. The entire family loves the new apartment and that's partly due to the new practical kitchen: "We are really happy in our new home," concludes Ruby.

The new kitchen has brought happiness instead of stress for the family of five, as cooking and eating together have now once more become the focus of family life.

All ideas for a small kitchen at a glance

  1. The U-shape of the kitchen creates storage space and provides plenty of worktop space. 

  2. Pull-outs in the base cabinet provide easy access and clear visibility.

  3. The SPACE TOWER larder unit replaces a pantry.

  4. Lift systems for wall cabinet doors ensure freedom of movement.

  5. Thanks to SERVO-DRIVE, pull-outs open electrically at a single touch.

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