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How to Fit Everything into a Small Kitchen

Updated on April 21, 2016

This is hardly of interest to owners of spacious houses with proper kitchens who just don’t have to spare this problem a thought. Owners of tiny apartments, I am here for you! I know how cozy these small dwellings are, and I also have a pretty good idea as to the trouble the lack of space may cause. After some consideration, I decided to explore the issue thoroughly to help you fit all your devices into the small kitchen you proudly call yours!

Opt for All-Mighty Devices

Sorry for being Captain Obvious, but I just can’t ignore this option. If you are only planning to re-equip your kitchen, this is a possible solution, but if you have already bought everything you need and have no intention to cross your coffee machine with the blender, it’s only natural. That’s why you can skip this part and continue reading from the next section. Otherwise, here are some tips and ideas on how to save some space using all-in-one appliances:

  • There are kitchen machines that can do virtually everything you can expect from a pretty big set of appliances: cooking various meals, cutting, mixing, blending, steaming, heating… The list of their capabilities can go on and on. These devices are very time- and space-saving, but rather pricy. On the other hand, if you sum up the prices of all your kitchen appliances, you are likely to see that they have cost you quite a lot. So, if you are thinking of a radical change in your army of kitchen gadgets, all-mighty kitchen machines are a real value-for-money and a lifesaver for a small kitchen.
  • Less mighty but more practical are such things as a 2-in-1 electric kettle and coffee maker, or a microwave plus a convection oven. It does help to save some precious space and won’t cost you a fortune. Mixer and blender combos are also quite an obvious but rather underestimated solution. Instead of fitting two things on a counter, buy just one and forget about the problem!

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Revise Your Possessions

Look deep into your soul and be ready for the awful truth: do you really need all those things? I mean, okay, it is hard to imagine our life without a microwave, but what about all these steamers, cookers, and all sorts of sous vide gadgets? It is highly unlikely that you use them every day – unless you are some kind of obsessive trencher-person. Sure, I am not saying that you should get rid of them as soon as possible (if you happen to have them in your kitchen, there is a reason, isn’t there?), but what about keeping them somewhere in the pantry? As an interior designer, I know perfectly well that all these shiny kitchen gadgets are often supposed to act as a décor and style elements, but if you feel that this style is making you suffocated due to the lack of free space, think of putting the least used appliances out of sight (but not out of mind – they do not deserve to be neglected just because they are bigger than you’d like them to be!).

Let’s move on. All those knives, cups, monkey dishes – are they so essential that you are willing to get stuck in your own kitchen every time you enter it? Perhaps some of them are not that important? Okay, I know how hard it is to put them away into boxes… Be strong, my friends, we have other things to deal with!

Consider ceiling-height cabinets and shelves
Consider ceiling-height cabinets and shelves

Change Your Storing Habits

If you like everything to be within your reach, it may be a problem, but we can find a solution. I am not repeating myself, and I am not talking about keeping your rarely used items in another room. No, I am talking about making your kitchen more cavernous by using every cubic inch of space efficiently.

  • Use the “dead spots”. There are a lot of zones which should be used to the fullest, but they are not. Look under your sink: pretty spacious, isn’t it? Keeping cleaning products there is a good idea, but here is a better one: why not fit a fridge or a stove there? Sure, it won’t work for a big family whose fridge usually looks like a huge queen’s closet, but if you live alone or share your apartment with only one person, a neat, small fridge is what you need. It will fit perfectly into the space. Look at the picture to get inspiration.
  • Go higher. As every merchandizer knows, we are very conventional when it comes to arrangement and disposition. We prefer products to be at eye-level and we are often too lazy to stand on tiptoes or bend over to take something from a shelf. Unfortunately, if your kitchen doesn’t fall into the category of ballroom-sized lodgings, you’d probably better abandon this idleness. Ceiling-height cabinets are not what you call easy-to-access, but they are lifesavers for tiny kitchens. Decide which appliances are doomed to exile… and enjoy more free space!
  • Benefit from the kitchen island. They are all nice and stylish, these islands, but they eat up space in a wink. That’s why “a kitchen island in a tiny kitchen” may cause excessive eyebrow-raising and sarcastic grinning. Still, it is a viable solution (unless you want a Greenland-sized island). Just think of that vast amount of space on and under the island you could use!
  • Consider using more pullouts. They are stylish and highly practical – you will fall in love the moment you install at least one of them in your kitchen! The ways you can profit from them are virtually endless, from an additional storage place to a dining table. Toe-kick drawers at the very bottom of cabinets are also very practical and space-saving.

A nice pullout table is what your small kitchen needs
A nice pullout table is what your small kitchen needs

Style Solutions

When a room is small, every extra detail may be a space-killer. If your kitchen looks cluttered and cramped, it may be caused by too many things in plain view. Minimalist design can make your kitchen look less crowded and, therefore, more spacious. Give up on massive cabinet knobs and opt for invisible pulls and grooves that don’t stick out and make your clothes hitch on them every other minute.

Another thing that you can get rid of is the kitchen door. It is not always possible, but if you have the opportunity to create an open space, why not do it? If the door opens inward, it can be a real nuisance, so look at it and answer frankly: do you really need it there?

My last tip is for the most courageous and reckless who are ready to try something completely new – or, in this case, rather something completely old. Remember the old-styled kitchens you saw on TV – were they crowded with thousands of gadgets and devices? Think of making your kitchen look several decades old: the retro style will be a perfect excuse as to why you have so few things in the kitchen. Pretty inventive, isn’t it?

Let’s stop here and take a deep breath. Do you feel ready for change and improvement? Go to your kitchen and look around: can some of the tips you’ve just read be applied in it? Perhaps you have some more useful tricks to make a small room look more spacious – don’t hesitate to share them in the comments section. Have fun! As for me, I am going to make a cup of tea in my cozy kitchen!

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