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Solutions for Small Kitchens

by Jennifer Weldon

Many homes have small kitchens. Due to budget or space constraints enlarging the kitchen may just not be possible. If you fall into this category, don’t despair over photographs of large expanses of counter space and cabinets. With the proper design and organization a small kitchen can be just as efficient and comfortable as a large one. Some simple solutions to open up your small kitchen:

Keep it Minimal

People often equate a plethora of décor as cozy and homey. And while it can be, if you have a small kitchen, a more minimal look will make it appear larger. Don’t over do the décor, wall hangings, flower arrangements, etc. In fact, remove everything and use only a few well placed items.

Counters too

Yes, that meant your counters too. Store any food items in the pantry or cabinets. Relocate small appliances to these areas as well. If your counters are free of clutter they will appear larger and open up the whole kitchen.

Tackle the drawers

Junk drawers are thus labeled because they usually harbor just that, junk. These items should be thrown away to free up valuable space in your kitchen. Go throw your drawers and eliminate anything that shouldn’t be there or you don’t use.

Remove Furniture

If you have stools, chairs, and tables crowded into an already small kitchen, it can be overwhelming. Remove furniture from the kitchen and place it in another room. You may need to invest in smaller, sleeker, backless bar stools that won’t take up a lot of room.

Food Storage

Use storage ideas in your cabinets to create more storage space for your food. A lazy susan or spinning spice rack can help you utilize the back of your cabinets.

Shelving

Your cabinets may be chock full, but take a look at your walls. By installing some shelving, you may be able to store glassware, plates, and more.

Think Up

Don’t be afraid to hang items from the ceilings. A pot rack can be a lifesaver for freeing up cabinets. Hanging wire baskets can hold fruit, herbs and other necessities, while keeping your counters clear.

Now, you’ve maximized the space in your kitchen with little or no added cost. You may be amazed at how much bigger it looks, and how much more comfortable it is to work in. If your budget allows for it, you may not move onto bigger renovations in your kitchen to further maximize space.

Add Counters

If there is room, a small kitchen island will provide additional counter space and storage area underneath. If your currently have a table in your kitchen, consider extending a bar top area and using stools. This will eliminate the need for the table and chairs.

Cabinet Upgrades

If you don’t have room to install additional cabinets, you can extend those that you do have up towards the ceiling. My providing an extra shelf, you can store seasonal items or appliances you don’t use often.

Work Area

The triangle refers to the main work area of a kitchen; the fridge, sink and stove. The closer these are, the more efficient you can be in a kitchen. While you may not be able to rearrange these items, you can improve upon them. A counter-top microwave can be exchanged for a built-in one, or installed over the stove. If you don’t have dishwasher, install one to free up your sink and counter space.

Colors

You may not realize it, but the colors in your kitchen can be boxing it in and making it feel more cramped than it is. Evaluate what you currently have.

Cabinetry should be a light stain or paint. Use glass doors for added brightness. Appliances in stainless steel reflect light. Lighter colored countertops can open up the whole kitchen.

You may be able to replace your flooring relatively inexpensively since it is a small area. Choose a high gloss light wood, a glazed light tile or vinyl floor.

Finally, look at your wall colors, décor colors, and window treatment colors. Keep things light and bright and you will create the illusion of a larger kitchen.

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