Making the Most Out of a Small Kitchen
The kitchen is typically considered the ‘heart of a home’. It’s also one of the most used rooms of your home, so it’s important for it to be functional and aesthetically pleasing. If you have an older home or a smaller home, your kitchen might be on the small side. And depending on your space (and your budget), it might not be possible to break down walls or build an extension.
If you’re stuck with a small kitchen, what options do you have? How can you make the most of your space? Here are a few ideas – from quick fixes you can do today to larger (but still achievable) remodeling concepts!
Use Every Space
Even the tiniest of kitchens usually has enough room for what you need, it’s just a matter of optimizing it. Install cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling, giving you extra storage space and one less place to collect dust. Fill awkward spaces (like those next to the refrigerator or other appliances) with uniquely shaped cabinets or sliding drawers. Replace swinging doors with sliding doors so they don’t cut into the room’s usable space. Put every nook and cranny to good use, like we did in this Sleek with Super Storage kitchen remodel.
Do you have a “blind corner”, as we call it in the kitchen design world, where you really have no way of seeing what is in that far back corner of the cabinet? There are endless possibilities for optimizing the space within your cabinets. Consider using a Lazy Susan or floating “cloud” slide out shelving in your corner cabinets (like shown in this white kitchen). Get creative with your spice racks. Purchase additional shelves to place inside your existing shelves to help you better arrange items of differing heights. There are so many options!
If you have lots of stuff sitting out on your countertops, the space will automatically feel smaller. Store anything you don’t use frequently and only keep a few items on the counter. (You do want at least a few items on display otherwise the kitchen can feel cold and sterile – not very inviting!)
Storage space is likely an issue too, so before cramming things into cabinets just to get them off the counters, you’ll want to review everything you have and see if you really need it. That old waffle maker you’ve never opened? Sell it! Those cupcake tins you never use? Donate them! Those cookbooks you rarely refer to? Store them on a bookshelf in another room! (If you need more ideas on what to keep and what to pitch, check out these tips.)
Once you’ve pared down your wares to the absolute essentials, it’ll be easier to organize what’s left. You’ll also be able to see what your needs are and what’s not important to you. Then you can design your new kitchen around that.
Lighten Up the Space
An easy fix to let more light in is to ease up on the window coverings, perhaps even going bare if your window has a nice trim. LED lighting is also popular – you can install additional lights in the ceiling and under your cabinets. If budget allows, you could even install a skylight.
In addition to letting more actual light in, you can create the illusion of more light by having a few glass-fronted cabinets to open up the space and using a light or neutral color palette so the room doesn’t feel as closed-in. See how we let the light in on our Let the Sun Shine in kitchen remodel.
Sit at the Bar
Your kitchen might not be large enough to accommodate an island but what about a peninsula? That gives you additional counter tops and seating space without requiring as much floor space around it. You can build a bar along the outer edge of the countertop; even a narrow ledge with just enough overhang for barstools to fit under it could do the trick. Check out the custom bar in our French Country Kitchen remodel.
No matter what size your kitchen, it can be updated to suit your tastes and meet your needs. Sometimes it can be hard to visualize exactly how to best use the space, which is when it can be helpful to work with a professional to help guide you through the remodeling process. Our team of experienced designers and contractors can help turn your little kitchen into a beautiful, usable space the whole family will love!