Create a small-scale, smooth-functioning hub with savvy space planning and chic style.
Small Kitchens, Smart Design
- Start by measuring your existing cabinets’ linear feet. Decide if you need the same amount, more, or could get by with fewer.
- Consider if you can go with some open shelves; they cost a lot less, keep the kitchen looking bigger and more open, but you need to be a neatnik. Clutter makes kitchens seem smaller.
- Give away anything you don’t use regularly. Bid goodbye to yesteryear’s fondue pot or go smaller with a hand-held rather than stand mixer.
- Go vertical with cabinets — as high as you can — and install over extra windows if you have a spot for a skylight. Replace cabinet fronts with glass to make your space look bigger.
- Find storage in unexpected places: on a small shelf above a range, in cubby holes that replace a hood, under a sink, on the inside of cabinet doors, or in toe kick recesses.
- Save room at the end of a cabinet run for a tall cabinet since most small kitchens don’t have space for a walk-in pantry. Install adjustable shelves within for flexibility for tall cereal boxes or tiny jars.
- Design pullout shelves in base cabinets, but with adjustable shelves that have been cut back from the face 4″, so you can spot quickly what’s in the bottom, suggests Clendenon.
- Divide a few cabinets so you have room for long, thin, tall items such as cookie trays, muffin tins and extra cutting boards.
- Hide smaller appliances in cabinets, but avoid tambour doors that are awkward to flip up and access, Clendenon offers.
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