Embrace your small kitchen! I have clients who come to me all the time wanting to re-design their small kitchens to “get more space”. This is sometimes possible but often what I see is small house/small kitchen. They go together, like peanut butter and chocolate and that’s just how it is. Yes, often times we can do things like gut it and move a wall or something but then it is no longer a small kitchen and that is another post.
If you have a small kitchen there are many small tricks that can make it more functional and even appear to be larger. When I refer to small, I am usually talking about about cabinet runs of 10 feet or less and usually only one or two of them at the most. In a true “small kitchen” we cannot get more space. It is what is is and never going to be larger BUT we can make that space more appealing and make it function better for the user, (you) creating an awesome small kitchen!
The first step is deciding how far you want to go. Are the cabinets in good shape or do they need to go? Usually in small spaces there are only a couple of places major appliances can go and it can be expensive to move plumbing, electric, gas lines, etc. If you are not replacing flooring, the footprint of your layout needs to remain pretty much the same. Do you have soffits over your upper cabinets? Can they come out? Window, yes or no? Start by really assessing what you have and how YOU currently use the space. What would make life easier? Remember, we don’t have MORE square footage, but we are going to make the most of whats here!
Here’s the best news of all! With that small kitchen also comes a smaller price tag. Less cabinets equals less dough. Yes, you can afford that quartz when you only need 1 slab unlike your friends with the 3 slab monster kitchen.
With the small kitchen all of those trick accessories that help to make the smaller kitchen so functional. Plan for roll-out trays in all of the cabinets you can put them in, especially the bottom shelves. Suddenly every square inch becomes accessible. There are also so many options for accessories that create extra levels of storage. Baskets that go on the inside of doors, inserts for drawers, double level storage in drawers and the list goes on. You CAN make this work.
Try using wall cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling where you can. Some open shelving is also nice for display items or item you use frequently. In small kitchen rows of cabinets climbing all the way to the ceiling on all of the cabinet runs can often create a “cabinet canyon” especially in galley kitchens, so some open shelving or even glass doors can give the eye a break while still providing excellent display or storage. Under cabinet lighting systems are so affordable and easy to install now and will light up that small kitchen, visually increasing your space.
Learn to celebrate your small kitchen and look at it as a blessing rather than a curse! Less dough, more show! Now lets get planning