5 Small Kitchen Features That are a Must
Having a compact kitchen doesn’t mean you have to miss out on style and functionality. Use these tips and tricks to maximize your small kitchen layout.
1. Open Shelving
Does your kitchen feel cramped? Removing one or more of your upper cabinets just might be the solution. Not only will it open up the room’s visual space, it’ll also make the kitchen seem much bigger than it actually is.
In addition, by casting a shadow over the countertops, upper cabinets can sometimes make kitchen workspaces feel dark. By removing them, you can enhance lighting conditions, which also creates a more open feel. Visually heighten the room’s appearance by running tile on the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling.
If eliminating upper cabinets has you worried about losing out on storage space, other options include maximizing your lower cabinet area with specialty features, or if you have enough room, an industrious kitchen island.
Open shelves are another possibility. Just remember that the shelves should be at least 10 inches deep so that they can store important things like dinner plates. Also, open shelves require a bit more upkeep in order to look clean and orderly.
The perks of open shelves are many, however. For instance, with open shelves, you can swap out your decor for every season in a snap, providing a fun focal point that keeps your kitchen feeling fresh. In addition, by matching the color of your shelves to the walls, the shelves visually disappear, allowing your dishes and other decorative items to take center stage.
2. Hidden Hardware
This may seem insignificant, but having cabinet pulls and knobs sticking out can take up a serious amount of space — visually and physically. A better alternative for compact kitchen spaces is to go invisible, where cabinets are opened with a lip or touch latch. The result is a smooth, seamless look without any visual disturbances — important in smaller areas where an open feel is needed.
Nixing the knobs and pulls not only creates visual space, it also eases up much-needed physical space. Every inch counts in tiny kitchens and incorporating hidden hardware will allow you to move around the space — right up against the cabinetry — without bumping your hip or catching your clothing.
Using a bold pattern is a design statement that can help distract from how tiny the room is by giving the space a big personality. Just remember that a little bit goes a long way. That’s why using a dramatic pattern in a compact kitchen is often better than in a large one — the little bit of pattern needed can provide the perfect amount of style. In larger spaces, having to use too much pattern can overwhelm the room.
A perfect spot for a high-impact design feature is the floor. Although often overlooked as a style element, the floor is ideal for pattern and can be used to create the illusion of a larger space.
4. Corner Storage
As mentioned before, every inch counts in a compact kitchen, so any dead corners must be brought back to life.
When designing a corner space, a delicate balance must be struck between form and functionality, which can prove tricky. If using open shelving, the ultimate goal is to create an area where storage and display space are maximized while also preserving that all-important open feel.
Another option is to install a corner countertop cabinet. By simply taking the cabinet all the way to the ceiling, you’ll not only maximize storage, but also give the room a bigger feel by drawing the eye upwards.
What about a corner sink? In a word: yes. Sink work typically doesn’t require a lot of movement, so by placing the sink in a corner, you free up the rest of the kitchen for others to move around as needed. Just know that corner sinks are often smaller than standard sinks, so may not be the best choice for those who use a lot of large dishes and utensils.
5. Handsome Countertop Appliances
Every spot must have a purpose in tiny kitchens, including your counterspace. This means that if your cabinets don’t have room to house small appliances, some of the most used ones may need to sit out. Since they’ll be on display, make a point of finding ones you love and that look good. While this setup may seem less than ideal, you’ll actually find a lot of efficiency in having appliances at your fingertips.
When looking for appliances, try to find the best-performing model for your needs, but also go the extra mile to seek out the ones that fit in with the look of your space.