Maximizing the space in your kitchen isn’t just about how many cabinets you have. It’s also about the type of storage cabinets you choose and the layout of your kitchen. Do they both promote efficiency? You should think about built-in storage solutions, like utensil drawers and trash bin holders — but to make the most of a small kitchen remodel, you’ve got to prioritize size and placement.
What can you do to take advantage of a tight space? After all, the kitchen is one of the most-used rooms in the home. If you’re going to remodel it, you want it to be the best it can be, no matter how much square footage you’re working with. Here’s our advice:
If you get standard cabinets, they’re probably going to be three feet tall. But what if there’s a gap between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling? That’s wasted space that could actually go towards more storage.
For example, rather than leave that 6+ inches of space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, work with your kitchen designer to choose a cabinet height that takes them all the way to the ceiling. This gives you more storage space despite the size of the room. All you have to do is tell your kitchen designer the height of your ceilings, and he/she will determine the tallest cabinet size you can go with.
Don’t forget to take into consideration any crown molding you plan to use at the top of your wall cabinets, as this will affect the height of the cabinet the room can accomodate. For example, if you have an 8 foot ceiling and you’d like to use crown molding finished to the ceiling, you should go with 36 inch high wall cabinets.
Layout is so important when it comes to maximizing space in a small kitchen. You need enough space to move around while cooking and entertaining — like going from the sink to the stove to the refrigerator. It’s also helpful to consider when more than one person is in the kitchen — will you constantly bump elbows? Is there a way to make the layout more efficient to avoid that? An ideal layout ensures there’s a pathway to keep “traffic” flowing smoothly.
Another idea to consider is the space between the main appliances. Don’t put your stove and dishwasher too far away from the sink, because as you go from cleaning and prepping food to cooking it (then cleaning up), you won’t want to walk too far each time. Convenience is crucial for long-term satisfaction.
If you have enough space for a kitchen island, make sure you put it in the proper location, too. You don’t want it to be too close to your appliances or too far away from them. Work with your kitchen designer to determine the perfect distance for your needs and room size.
Maximizing space in a small kitchen has a lot to do with storage. This is another example of the benefits of going beyond standard cabinets to make the most of the space. For example, include a tall pantry cabinet if you don’t have room for a walk-in pantry. Pull-out shelves are another space-saver, since they take up the same amount of space as a standard cabinet, but they’re easier to access and hold more items in hard-to-reach areas. Other cabinet storage ideas include:
Is your small kitchen open concept or closed off to the rest of the house? If it’s the latter, consider removing a wall or two to open it up. While this won’t necessarily add square footage to the room, the added openness will give it the illusion of increased space. Keep in mind this may not be possible depending on your individual kitchen. Your contractor can help determine if the walls are load-bearing or not.
Even if you have a tight kitchen, there are things you can do to maximize the space during a remodel. Many of our clients have kitchens on the small side, but after some tweaks in layout and storage solutions, the end result is efficient and stunning.
Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and refacing solutions. Contact us for more information.