Even the coolest, most drool-worthy urban apartments come with one fatal flaw: tiny kitchens. While preparing a sumptuous meal in a small apartment kitchen can pose a problem for even the most ambitious gourmets, a well-planned small kitchen can actually work more efficiently than a large one. You can make every precious inch of kitchen space do double duty by taking a creative approach to kitchen layout and storage, as well as investing in one or two key space-saving appliances.
Small Space Kitchen Layout
If you have a choice in the actual positioning of appliances and work surfaces in your kitchen, plan the layout strategically by allowing as much space as possible between the stovetop and the sink. This crucial section of the kitchen is where you’ll be spending the most time when preparing meals, and a minimum of 36 inches of room to prep food and move around will keep you from feeling like you’re cooking in a closet.
Try utilizing the empty space under your oven’s hood by adding simple hooks for hanging the larger utensils that you use most frequently. This keeps them within easy reach, but eliminates the need for a countertop storage container. If you’ve got a larger section of empty wall, installing simple wall shelves will not only add a layer of visual depth to the kitchen, but they can also be used to store everything from dishes to dry ingredients.
Space-Saving Appliances and Cooking Aids
Your tiny kitchen means that you’ll have to resign yourself to the fact that you can’t have every cool kitchen gadget under the sun, but there are a few larger appliances and cooking aids that can work to your advantage. Consider forgoing a full-sized refrigerator for a cute, compact fridge in a bright color or sleek design. Danby makes a 3-foot version in sleek stainless steel for under $250, or check out Nostalgia Electric’s vintage-style refrigerator in bold red.
To conserve valuable countertop space, opt for small appliances with two-in-one capabilities. A countertop convection oven, for example, can eliminate the need for a microwave and also bakes or roasts food as an oven would. Tabletop burners and griddles are also a compact, easy-to-store solution if you’re working with limited or non-existent stovetop space. A double burner can be easily purchased for as little as $50.
Creative Kitchen Storage Tips
When you’re faced with the dilemma of a tiny pantry and a few measly drawers to store all of your food, cookware and kitchen cleaning supplies, it’s time to get creative with storage solutions. One often-overlooked source of storage space is the inside of cabinet doors. A handy magnetic board attached to the inside of a cabinet door is a great place to store magnetic spice jars, and hooks for small items like measuring cups also fit nicely in this small space.
For neatly storing cutting boards, cookie sheets and smaller pans and skillets, place a desktop file organizer inside of cabinets and “file” them inside. Magazine racks also work beautifully for storing plastic wrap, foil and parchment paper containers, saving you valuable drawer space. Lastly, hang a small pegboard on a wall for an instant storage solution for anything with a hook attachment.
Article written by Freddie Richardson, who works for Domex UK – the leaders in appliance repair services.