But when you’ve got a small kitchen, cooking with the gang all gathered can be a real challenge. And that challenge becomes nearly impossible when the room and fixtures are outdated.
There are lots of ways to remodel a small kitchen, adding space and efficiency. With a little creativity, you can be in the mix of things in no time.
Opt for as many cabinets as possible.
Nothing makes a kitchen look more crowded than countertops laden with utensils, small appliances and other items. Use a pantry or movable industrial cart to store frequently used appliances like the coffee maker and toaster. This will help clear countertops and give you more working surface.
Don’t forget to make use of vertical space. Build taller cabinets for storage rather occupying every last inch of horizontal space. The cabinets can go as high as you like, but remember to keep a step stool nearby to ensure the space is actually useful. Very tall cupboards can look somewhat overwhelming, so you may transparent doors to open it up more.
Use reflective surfaces and lighting to your advantage.
Small kitchens can seem dark. As with any small room, using mirrors brings the illusion of space. With mirrors as wallhangings and glass cupboard doors, you’ll add light and reflection to the area.
Putting lights in small recesses, such as under your upper cabinets or above the sink can increase the feel of spaciousness, which you can add to with pendant lights in the eating area.
Your choice of paint can enhance those lights. Use reflective and light shades to add the illusion of space, perhaps defining an area with a bolder color as an accent or border.
Store appliances that aren’t used frequently.
The most important thing you can do to make your kitchen less cramped is to store any dishes, cookware and appliances that you rarely use. Box up yearly items and store them in the basement or garage; put things you use every month or so at the top of one of your high cupboards or at the back of the pantry.
If your fridge, stove and oven aren’t in the usability triangle, with just a couple of steps between them, see if you can reposition them. And if you’re getting new appliances at the same time, look into buying a slimmer refrigerator. With standard side-by-side refrigerators measuring as wide as 36 inches, you can save a full 12 inches with a slim-line frig that usually measures 24 inches across.
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Install a corner booth to replace the table and chairs.
Free up half your dining area with a corner booth or banquette. While the look is more casual than a table and chairs, they’re a efficient use of space and allows seating when room is tight. In fact, a modified booth, even if it’s barstools with a slim counter slab, can offer an eat-in option in a kitchen that’s otherwise too small.
Design work centers.
Work centers are the spaces in the kitchen between different major appliances that you can use to prepare a meal. If you already have a work triangle, this should be the spaces between your stove, fridge, and oven.
The prep zone is where you clean the food, cut or chop it, roll it out, and so on. You’ll spend most time here, with the least amount of actual activity in the cooking zone. The cleanup zone is probably the least popular space, but a fair amount of time is spent here because a clean kitchen looks bigger than a cluttered one, and is always much more inviting.