With small homes and apartments on the rise, kitchen space is something we can never seem to have enough of. Whether it’s our washing machine making it hard to squeeze through the door, or our cupboards overflowing with utensils, there is always an aspect we have to adapt to better utilise our space.
Fortunately, there are many ways to optimise our kitchen so that we’re not having to shove our drawers shut, or bump into things as we cook. Whether you’re thinking of renovating or are wondering where to start designing your small kitchen, here are some tips for making the best of your space.
MAPPING YOUR SPACE
Appliances are the building blocks of any kitchen - the essential components. They also tend to take up the most space, so you want to make sure to choose them carefully to best optimise your room. It’s important to consider the following:
- Need - Do you really need the appliance, and will you use it? Start with the basic appliances first (i.e., washing machine, fridge, microwave) and move on to the small appliances afterwards. Question whether you’ll really use that pasta maker, or whether it’ll just collect dust.
- Functionality - For your core appliances, you want to invest in something that is practical and appropriate to the space. Whilst a big, range cooker might be appealing for larger kitchens, you’re going to want to look for something that functions the same but in a more compact way.
- Efficiency - To optimise your space, you might want to look into efficient appliances, such as 2-in-1 combo appliances (e.g., washer dryers).
Combo appliances are a great way to save space as they generally roll two appliances into one. As mentioned, you may consider investing in core appliances that are more efficient in the long run, rather than having to sacrifice space elsewhere. Here are some combination options:
- Washer Dryers: A washing machine and tumble dryer in one. If you don’t have a utility room, you can optimise your kitchen by not having both of these appliances take up space.
There are also integrated appliances, which can be customly fitted to your kitchen, or built into your cabinets:
Once you're done choosing your core appliances, it’s time to decide on the smaller ones. You can make up for what you lack in counter space with some small, handy appliances that’ll do the manual jobs for you.
You might want to invest in a MultiTalent food processor, for example, which has up to 8 different features - including chopping, blending, and mixing. Mess tends to pile up in small kitchens, so if you can regulate these tasks to one place, you’re more likely to optimise counter space.
Coffee makers are also another good option. Small and convenient coffee pods can supplement the multiple steps that go into making your coffee. They are also more efficient, and some can even replace your kettle if all you use it for is making hot beverages.
However, as handy as these gadgets may be, it is important that you only choose the appliances relevant to you so that you’re not wasting space in the long run.
When packing a box, you’re usually advised to start with the big things and slot the smaller things in afterwards. Therefore, by choosing combo or integrated, core appliances it means that there is more space to ‘slot’ the smaller things into storage. For example, when floor space is optimised, you can perhaps have an island or free-standing pantry shelf to store spices, ingredients, or utensils.
Another option is overhead storage. One tip is to hang utensils on the walls or have magnetic racks to stick them to. Smaller appliances, like microwaves, can likewise be installed overhead to optimise counter space.
You can also optimise drawers with drawer dividers to keep your cutlery and utensils neat and organised. Cupboards can be arranged in the same way, with storage containers.
Once you’ve decided on the right appliances for you, and their layout, all that’s left to do is get started! Small kitchens may seem daunting at first, but when you take the time choosing the most efficient appliances and storage solutions; it becomes a lot easier to best make use of your space.