Smart ideas for small kitchens

Remember when kitchens used to be large sunny rooms with a table and vast countertops and innumerable shelves? If you are feeling nostalgic at the thought, chances are you live in a compact little apartment or condo, where space management is almost a survival skill.

Nevertheless, small spaces are no reason for despair, but are challenges to be met head on. Today, tons of possibilities exist, that could turn your tiny kitchen into a cozy little domestic haven.

First things first. Maximize your shelf space. Depending upon the space available and your aesthetic preference, you can decide to choose open shelves or wood- or glass-covered options, but you need those shelves. Don’t be afraid to do ceiling-high cabinets. A smart librarian-style rolling ladder will help you reach those upper shelves where you will store items of infrequent use, and the ladder will add a touch of whimsy to your little kitchen.

Next, drawers below the countertop. Tiny ones for cutlery, bigger ones for cups and plates, and even a drawer for your trash. We loved a smart idea where a cutting board is fixed a few inches above an open trash bin, with a wide hole in the board to push waste into the bin. Don’t let the corners go waste! Clever corner drawers are a reality and you need them more than anyone else. If you are really obsessive about this, you can plan a slender drawer in the tiny space between the side of the fridge and wall, where you can stack your spice jars. If you can manage an island, that’s terrific. Maximize the storage possibilities under the island “ fill it with drawers and open shelves.

Another important rule- everything needs to stack. You can plan for seating for two if you have stools that can stack into grooves in the island. While on the theme, consider a fold-away table that props up from the wall or from the free ends of the counter top. To create a more airy and open kitchen, it is a good idea to have it opening caf-style into the living room. The ledge can then be stone topped, with smart bar stools on the other side.

While doing all this, don’t ignore the aesthetics. Paint your kitchen a bright, cheery color, or choose the right wallpaper or paneling to recreate a rustic or retro look, if that appeals to you. A tastefully appointed vase with fresh flowers goes a long way to bring cheer. See what works for you, and have fun doing up your tiny kitchen!

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Home and Garden