They say that the kitchen is often the heart of the home. But what if your lovely home has a tiny heart, perhaps even a miniscule heart, as an offset of (cramped) city living? Well, there are still some clever tips to make your little kitchen look and feel all the more precious.
Here are 7 creative design layouts that are most suitable for small kitchens.
1. No-Island kitchen
Kitchen islands have become a style statement of sorts for the past few decades, with more people embracing open-concept layouts. Here, the island works as an aesthetic boundary of sorts, dividing the kitchen from the rest of the house. But consider if you really need this “boundary” in a smaller space? Possibly not!
Also, a kitchen island is only useful when you have 42 inches of space around it to allow for foot traffic. Else, your large island can soon get annoyingly crowded! For this reason, an increasing number of people are ditching the island in their kitchens. If you absolutely must have one for additional prep or counter space, consider using a slim floating table with wheels, so it can sit unobtrusively in a corner when unused. The upside is that choosing a kitchen layout like this can also double up as a homey breakfast nook and the perfect storage spot for all your cookbooks.
2. Floating wall galley
Galley kitchens are notorious for being dark and cramped. They can also isolate you from the rest of the house. But what if you open up the top half of one side? This will bring in more light while also creating the illusion of an open kitchen. In fact, when done right, it should be like a wall kitchen (also called an I-shaped kitchen) with a large counter space and lower shelving unit on the other side.
For this layout,
- Consider lining the half-wall with 2-3 rows of lower cabinets. This should address your storage needs while also giving you additional counter space.
- Let the full wall in the galley kitchen house your appliances, including the cooktop and refrigerator. With this, the sink gets pushed to the side with the half wall, thus creating a practical work-triangle. This will also reduce foot traffic within the galley part of your kitchen, so the cook is left to work in peace.
- If space permits, you can also add a few transparent-colored breakfast stools on the other side of the half-wall. Again, this gives it the illusion of being a kitchen island cum breakfast nook.
3. Farmhouse pot rack
A well designed kitchen is sure to have a seating area – at least a breakfast nook, if not a full-fledged dinner table. Consider hanging up a pot rack (with hooks), so you can use it to hang your collection of bulky pots and pans.
The pot rack needs to be installed reasonably high so as to be out of the way when you are eating, and yet accessible when you are standing. Finally, do remember to address any loss of lighting, which may have been replaced by the pot rack.
This layout is very common in farmhouse style kitchens, giving it a rustic yet aesthetically pleasing style. This will also help you free your storage cabinets from those bulky pans, so you can use it for smaller things (like cookbooks, spices, etc.)
4. Reworked peninsula
If you have a small G-shaped kitchen with a protruding peninsula, it is likely to feel even more cramped. Here, the idea is to free up foot traffic in the main kitchen area, so it is primarily occupied by the person doing the cooking.
One trick is to make the peninsula more versatile. For instance, you could cajole your designer to ditch the upper cabinetry housed within the peninsula, so it is open to the outside. This will also bring in much needed light into a small kitchen.
You could also break up the lower cabinets at about halfway across the counter, in order to create space for seating. Now just line up 2 small breakfast stools on the other side, and you would have reworked your peninsula into a usable breakfast nook! Finally, place a coffee maker on one corner of this nook and you have done your bit to reduce foot traffic within the main kitchen area.
5. Compact kitchen units
Do you know that there is a whole new world of compact kitchens, complete with its own set of smaller sized cabinets, appliances and countertops? With this, you can still design your kitchen as you wish, but use compact kitchen units instead of conventional units.
For instance, a conventional 4-burner cooktop can be replaced with a sleek 2-burner cooktop, saving you both space and money. A compact fridge looks more like a bar fridge, and is still enough to take care of the needs of a small family. Countertop sizes can always be customized. Fortunately, compact cabinets consider these, and hence rarely go beyond 48 inches in width. They also come with plenty of in-built space saving tricks so you do not have to plan for them on your own.
The only downside with compact kitchen units is that they often belong to less-known brands. However, they can still come with a reasonable warranty so don’t let this stop you from going compact.
6. Mirrored backsplash
A smart backsplash can change the very tone of your kitchen. For instance, many designers use to add a pop of color to an otherwise white kitchen. Some may even use dark subway tiles laid out in a herringbone to add an aura of class. You could use a mirrored backsplash to create the illusion of more space. This will also reflect off the opposite site adding enhanced interest to your small kitchen.
7. Neutral colors with big tiles
Many people think that big tiles are more suitable for larger spaces. And yet, small tiles only serve to make a small space look even smaller. Hence, use a big tile with a neutral color for your small kitchen.
Also, that dreamy “white-colored kitchen” is actually the perfect choice for small spaces. But if you are worried about staining it with sauce and other non-washable savories while cooking, consider a neutral palette. This will also create the illusion of making your kitchen look more light and bright.