5 Tips for Tiny Kitchens

5 Tips for Tiny Kitchens

Space isn’t the only way to make a kitchen work. In fact, a kitchen that needs to be squeezed into a not-so-big spot doesn’t have to lack good looks or convenience. Those who use the basement for extra living space, have open floor plans without a designated kitchen spot, or live in small city apartments can relate. These five tips will transform the smallest of spaces into a stylish and functional kitchen.

1. Go mini with appliances.

“Almost all kitchen appliances come in small versions,” says Cindy Tervola, owner of Tervola Designs in Maui, Hawaii. “You can get cooktops that are only 15-inches wide, under-counter refrigerators, and more.” Tervola’s favorite is Fisher & Paykel’s DishDrawer, which is a dishwasher the size of a single drawer that fits right under the counter.

2. Rethink your oven.

“Go with a microwave that doubles as a convection oven and you’ll save a lot of room,” Tervola says. “If that doesn’t sound good to you, look into steam ovens, which are much smaller than traditional ones.”

3. Skip the kitchen table.

“When you have a stand-alone kitchen table, you need room to pull out all of the chairs around it, which can take up a lot of floor space,” says Erin Davis, owner of Mosaik Design in Portland, Oregon. “Banquettes only take up about half the space, because the seating is fixed around the table. Plus you can use the benches for storage.”

4. Replace lower cabinets with drawers.

“Everyone always has storage issues, even with large kitchens, so I like to opt for drawers instead of lower cabinets,” says Davis. “You’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in them. And unlike cabinets, where things can get lost and jumbled, you can just pull drawers out to see what you have in there.”

5. Build in prep space.

“The general rule of thumb is that you need 36 inches of counter space to have enough room for chopping and mixing,” Davis says. “A little island or peninsula would work great because it can double as an eating space with counter-height stools. You can also switch out regular countertops for butcher block ones. It adds another nice texture and material to the kitchen but also doubles as a perfect prep area.”


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