Small kitchen guide

Let us help you make your small kitchen work for you. Image: L-ONE DESIGN LLC

Odds are, you’ve wished you had more kitchen space at some point. Those of us who have truly tiny kitchens know how difficult it can be to get these spaces to meet our needs. While it might be a little more difficult to design a small kitchen that’s equally functional and aesthetically pleasing, we’re here to tell you it’s far from impossible.

Continue below for tips from our ultimate small kitchen guide. Take these suggestions and adapt them to fit within your interiors. With a little planning and forethought, you can create the space that best suits your needs.

kitchen mobility

Keep only the essential items in your kitchen. Image: Myrica Bergqvist Interior Stylist/Decorator

Embrace (realistic) minimalism

Embracing minimalism is probably the most unpopular tip we have to offer, but it’s also incredibly important to mention. The reality is if you have a small kitchen, you won’t be able to store as much as someone who has more than enough space. One of the best things you can do to ensure your cooking area remains functional is to commit to storing only the essentials.

First, take stock of all the items in your kitchen. Sort each one into three categories: frequently used items, occasionally used items and rarely/unused items. Donate or recycle any rarely or unused items. Then, do your best to find an area outside the kitchen to store your occasionally used belongings. Make sure your prime kitchen space is reserved for supplies you need day to day.

Ideally, kitchen cleanouts like these should be added to your regular rotation of home maintenance tasks. All of us have a tendency to collect more belongings over time. Whenever you feel your cabinets getting overstuffed, it’s time to do another pass through.

usuable space

Use up every space. Image: Olivia van Dijk Architecture

Use every inch

When you’re working with less square footage, it almost goes without saying you have to make the most out of what’s available. Where small kitchens are concerned — and where the countless pots, dishware and spices need to find a home — it’s even more critical. For example, remember to think vertically as well as horizontally.

To do this, start by making a list of any empty areas in your kitchen — and we mean every area. These days, storage options are incredibly flexible. Back walls like the one in the picture above are often left blank, but you might be able to add additional storage here. Empty corners can take on shelves. With the aid of the right caddy, even the back of a pantry door can hold surplus dry goods.

Once you know which spaces you have at your disposal, do some research. Sites like Freshome and Pinterest are gold mines for creative storage solutions. Odds are, you can find an existing organizational system to meet your needs. If not, you can always consider a DIY creation.

multi-functional kitchen

Think about how each item can do double-duty. Image: Blue Eco Homes

Make it multi-functional

Whenever possible, small spaces benefit from the addition of pieces that can pull double-duty. Take, for example, the table in the picture above. While its primary purpose is for sitting down to meals, it could easily double as an added workspace.

Pieces that offer additional storage are a great fit for this. Think about adding a dining bench that allows for storage underneath or a kitchen cart or small island that can store extra pantry items in addition to being used for meal prep.

If you’re really short on room, don’t hesitate to get furniture from other rooms in on the action. As long as they’re easily movable — either by being modular or put on wheels — these pieces can be brought into the kitchen area as needed. For instance, a long work desk can be brought in for additional seating when you’re hosting guests.

open storage

Make storage part of your aesthetic. Image: Finch London

Blend storage and aesthetics

Many professional interior design photos have you believe that every item in your kitchen should be hidden behind closed doors. In reality, though, this is rarely the case. Particularly when you’re working with limited space, it’s important to embrace the idea that displaying your belongings can add an aesthetic flair.

Use this photo as a source of inspiration. You can clearly see the pots hanging above the stove and the knife block fixed to the backsplash. Yet, none of it looks out of place. Try to re-create a similar situation in your own interiors. Think about which items can be hung beneath shelving, situated above the appliances or left out on the countertop.

The caveat to this is that too much chaos can look messy and even get in the way of day-to-day cooking. We recommend adding these storage options one at a time. Each time yo
u do so, take a step back. Ask yourself whether or not the kitchen looks full enough, as is, and be honest with yourself about the answer.

small kitchen guide

With a little planning, you can make your small kitchen work for you. Image: Scandinavian Homes

Small kitchens are an issue for many of us, renters and homeowners alike. However, that doesn’t mean making them work is an insurmountable task. If you’re looking for ways to get the most out of your tiny cooking space, our small kitchen guide is for you. Use our tips to help build the space that best suits your needs.

What do you think of our small kitchen guide? Do you have any of your own tips to add? Tell us all about it in the comments.

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