Kitchen Addition Tips: Making the Most Out of Limited Space
While the living room is often the home’s showcase – where one officially receives and formally entertains guests – there’s no doubt that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where meals are lovingly prepared, where family and friends prefer to “hang out” during more informal gatherings, and the area around which daily activities commonly take place.
If truth be told, the kitchen is the real centerpiece of a home. Having a large kitchen is often a big plus, because it’s easier to create a beautiful workspace and overall design for a large area, but it can be a bit more challenging when you have very little space to work with. Creating an awesome design with limited space requires creativity; and if you’ve got a kitchen remodeling project lined up, you’ll want not only to be able to make the room more aesthetically pleasing, but you’ll also want your project to add to the overall value of your home. Below are some kitchen design tips for small spaces to get you started and get your creative juices flowing.
Use every square inch
A beautiful kitchen is both functional and spic and span, with everything in its place. Limited space means that you’ll need to use every square inch without creating a cluttered appearance. Decide on which items you use most often – these will need dedicated space on your countertops – while less frequently used items can be stored in drawers and cabinets.
Once you’ve put away the stuff that can be stored out of sight, you’ll need to “find” little pockets of space for the kitchen gadgets you use on a more regular basis. You’ll be surprised at how much space a small kitchen really has, as long as you know where to look. For instance, that small space beside the fridge can be used to add a pullout cabinet where you can store canned and dry goods. Run your upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling, to create usable storage space, and avoid the dead space on top of the cabinets which tends to get cluttered with knick-knacks or themed decor. That false drawer in front of the kitchen sink can be converted into a tilt out drawer for sponges and other cleaning items.
Use light and reflection to your advantage
Sometimes the problem with a small kitchen is that it often occupies a cramped, enclosed area. Ask your contractor if it is possible to remove a wall to open it up. If not, you might be able to use mirrors, natural sunlight, or specially placed lights to make your kitchen seem larger than it really is.
Use contrasting colors
Contrasting colors make your kitchen seem more interesting. It will also make your guests focus on the design instead of on the limited space.
Make the corners more useful
Corners are normally wasted space. However, if you install corner cabinets with rotating or pull out shelves, you’ll be able to use that space gainfully, and reduce clutter.
Use benches instead of chairs whenever possible
Chairs take up a lot of space. Benches not only look great, but also provide more functionality. You can also use that space underneath the bench for additional storage.
Open shelving versus hanging cabinets
Hanging cabinets look great, but they take up a lot of space. They can make a small kitchen look even smaller. On the other hand, open shelves give the illusion of larger space. Just make sure not to overload the shelves so they won’t look too busy or cluttered, and won’t be a nightmare to wipe down and clean.
Creativity is key to creating breathtaking kitchen designs out of limited space. Walking around your kitchen to identify usable space is sure to bring out your creative side, but do consult with your designer or contractor to come up with designs that will best suit your needs. It’s amazing what a designer with the right training and knowledge of new cabinet technology can do with even the smallest galley kitchen.
About the Author
Gerry Roth is G. M. Roth’s owner and president. Aside from continuing to contribute his skills, experience, and knowledge to the company he founded almost 30 years ago, he finds the time to write. His articles and blog posts provide homeowners and clients with useful information on home remodeling to help them increase the value of their own homes.