A large kitchen with room galore would be wonderful, but sometimes you've got only a small space to work with. You can still end up with a gorgeous kitchen, but be sure whoever designs it aims to make it look bigger. If you've been trying to come up with some designs yourself, watch out for a few issues that can make the kitchen look smaller and more crowded.
Enhance Natural Light
Light, neat kitchens can look bigger, and enhancing the natural light in a kitchen can make up for the lack of square metres. Make the fixtures in the kitchen light-coloured—white appliances, a light tan tile floor, and blond wood cabinets, for example—to help make the kitchen look airy. If you want to place cabinets on either side of the window, be aware of how the depth of the cabinets can block or funnel light from the window. Maybe place the cabinets several centimetres from the window and have diagonal shelving running from the window edges to the cabinets instead.
Unblock Cabinet Doors
Got an old guest-house kitchen where someone placed a large oven so that it blocked a couple of cabinet doors? Now's your chance to unblock these. Sometimes, when replacing an old oven in a small kitchen, people will simply drop a large oven at the wall at the end, blocking corner base cabinets. This looks terrible, and if you're remodelling, don't let that type of placement stay. Any kitchen that looks crowded and that has inaccessible areas will look small and hard to use, even if it's a decent size. Remove and reposition cabinets and the sink so that the sink, stove, and refrigerator fronts run in line with cabinet fronts, rather than perpendicular to the cabinet fronts.
Separate the Refrigerator and Stove/Oven
A mind-numbing trend in smaller kitchens in the past several years has been to place the stove/oven and refrigerator right next to each other, with no counter space (or, really, no space at all) between the two. Don't do this. If you have a very small space, maybe look at slightly smaller appliances instead of cramming together two big ones that produce very different temperatures.
The stove and oven produce heat, even if the oven door is closed while the oven is on. The refrigerator and freezer need to keep things cold. You know how the fridge and freezer can struggle to maintain steady temperatures on a hot summer day, so why place them next to something that will radiate more intense heat? Plan to place at least a small counter/base cabinet combo between the two. This helps shield the fridge from the hot side of the oven while giving you a place to put items that you take out of the fridge or have been using while cooking. And by the way, forget about the idea that new appliances are better-insulated and can be right next to each other; appliance insulation (e.g., door gaskets) can wear down over time.
Of course, you can expand the kitchen space if possible. However, if your home is on the smaller side, or you don't want to remove walls or other rooms to create more kitchen space, then remodelling with good placement and appropriately sized appliances is what you have to do. A remodelling contractor can help you create a new custom kitchen.