By Linda Merrill, Networx
If your kitchen is tiny, you know how difficult it can be to keep it organized and functional. As the prime workspace of any home, every inch of kitchen space is very valuable and needs to be taken advantage of. Here are some tips to make the most of your small kitchen workspace:
1. Make the most of your vertical space by adding shelving or cabinetry right up to the ceiling. Store infrequently used items above cabinets as space allows and invest in a good stepstool. Add pegboards and hooks to store utensils and small gadgets on a wall or door. Hang a pot rack from the ceiling for larger pots and pans that are easy to reach when needed, but out of the way when not.
2. Make the most of your horizontal workspace by using great space saver items like a double basin sink that features sliding cutting and drain boards. It may be tempting to install a small sink in order to maximize counter space, but a too small sink is completely inefficient. If you are installing an electric stove, consider using a glass top version which when not in use for cooking can add 2-3 square feet of surface space.
3. Portable furniture, such as utility carts on rollers and small islands with butcher-block tops, are excellent ways to increase the work surface when needed.
4. Don’t forget the light! The kitchen is always at its core a workspace and sufficient lighting is paramount for making the space feel bigger and be more functional. A good lighting plan that distributes light across all surfaces and can be modified through multiple switches and dimmers is very important. A space may be small, but if it’s poorly lit, the dark corners will not be used and the goal is to make good use of every available inch of space.
5. Consider installing smaller, European size appliances to make the most use of available space. It may require shopping more frequently, but the energy and space savings will be well worth it.
6. Double duty items are very important in any small space, including the kitchen. If you have room for a small table, consider building a banquette along a wall rather than a simple bench seat or individual chairs. The base of the banquette makes a great location for storage of infrequently used items such as large pans or rarely used appliances.
7. If you have wall space available, consider opening it up to create some recessed niche areas. Even a space that is only a few inches deep by 12-16” wide may be perfect for storing spices or glassware. Simply install glass or wire shelves between the studs and you will have found quite a lot of available space that doesn’t impede the size of the floorplan itself.
There are many creative ways to increase available working space in a small kitchen. It just takes some creative, out of the box thinking to make it all work.