Smarts of Small Kitchens
by C. Rosenberg
Tiny is the new grandiose. Cool people around the country are embracing minimalism by building tiny houses, and even tinier kitchens. They own just one wooden spoon and bowl for eating, and a pull-down table — or no table at all. So, if you’ve got a small kitchen, consider yourself trendy.
Here’s how to get the most out of your limited space.
The ceiling is your new friend.
Hang your pots and pans from a rack on the ceiling, and you’ve just saved yourself a whole bunch of drawers.
Worried it’ll look odd? Snazz it up by buying a matching set of pots so it looks tidy—red, blue, copper, cast iron, or whatever you prefer. Think of it this way: It’s another way to accessorize your kitchen and enjoy your beautiful cookware.
Walls are your friends too. Put up pegboards, hooks and nails, or small shelves, and make use of these empty spaces.
And if you want to get really clever, put wheels on your island so you can roll it to the side when your family is crowding you in the kitchen.
Yes, this part will be tough.
But no, we will not settle for having a toaster, mixer, fruit bowl, coffee maker and microwave cluttering your precious counter space. An appliance garage will solve this problem, but what about all the food?
We do need to eat – even in small kitchens.
Here’s the plan: Clever pantry storage.
There’s a ton of dead space in our food cabinets, because of bulky packaging, poor organization, and a bunch of half-full boxes of the same foods. Condense everything by using stackable storage containers that fit neatly into each other. Buy some pretty storage containers that you can display or hang on wall racks. Now’s when your food becomes an accessory too! Spices, with all their rich colors, also make for fun decor.
As for cleaning supplies, garbage bags and towels, turn the space under your sink into a treasure trove by buying an expandable organizer with levels and pullouts. This is a cheap way to create a set space for each item.
To make the space look larger, keep decor straight and simple. Now is when you want to say no to elaborate engraving and heavy colors. Go with light shades, knock down as much wall as you can, and turn a jutting countertop into a table so you don’t need to fit another piece of furniture into your space. See if you can buy translucent bar stools to go with it. This won’t clutter your kitchen with deep colors as it’ll more likely fade into the background.
Your floors can also be part of a magic solution. Use oversized diamond designs, chevron patterns, or dark and light thick stripes to enlarge the space. And go crazy on lighting. Put in pot lights, under-cabinet lights, or enlarge windows. Any kind of extra light you add can transform the feel of the tight space.
Now its time to invite your family and friends to show them your hip, minimalist design. Just make sure to invite them in shifts so that they can all fit inside your kitchen at once.