How to Make a Small Kitchen Space Efficient and Functional

Apartment living can be tricky if you’re living in a small space, particularly when it comes to the kitchen.  Are you stuck in your small kitchen…literally?  Why not work with the layout, instead of against it?  All you need are some clever storage ideas and space saving tips!  With proper planning you can have a small kitchen that functions as efficiently as a larger one.  Here are our top tips:

  • Think vertical
    • When in doubt, go narrow and tall. While you may not be able to physically alter the structure in a rental, you can purchase some additional shelving to squeeze in to a corner.  Added storage is key and making the most of your vertical space is everything.
    • Build up when you can’t build out. Vertical shelving can add a lot of storage space and free up room in drawers. Placing shelves above cabinets to store less frequently used items can help to maximize storage and exposed shelving can also make your space feel bigger and more open.
    • Look up above you and hang a pot rack from your ceiling. Not only is this a space saver ridding your cabinets of bulky pots and pans, but it also adds a culinary feel to your kitchen.  Be careful to get permission before you do so and you may want to have this professionally installed as finding a solid beam is key.  Pots and pans can get pretty heavy-safety first!

  • Redesign your walls in a functional way
    • Use pegboards, magnets and rods to hang pots and pans, knives and other utensils.
    • If you lack drawer and countertop space this is an efficient way to go. It also helps keep your most-used items easily accessible.
  • Think of multi-purpose uses for things
    • Maximize your cabinet space by adding shelves and slide out baskets inside of your cabinets. This provides a more efficient use of space with easier access to dishes, cups or other items.
    • An over-the-sink cutting board can become your very own efficient “kitchen island”. You can rinse and chop all in one space.

  • Invest in smaller appliances
    • Big appliances just take up space. Smaller appliances such as coffee pots and microwaves use less space and work just as well.  Why waste space when you don’t need to.
  • Decluttering
    • Purging is good for any room of the house including the kitchen. Kitchen clutter can make your space feel even smaller than it already is.  Get rid of unnecessary kitchen accessories, extra dishes, cups, silverware, etc.  Keep only what you need.
    • Box up items you use less rarely. Store them on upper shelves or in cabinets or elsewhere, such as in the garage or outside storage space.  If you find that you haven’t used it in a long time, maybe it’s time to get rid of it altogether. For tips on what to throw out when you’re moving click here.

  • Use a folding table
    • Folding tables are great items that can serve multiple purposes and can later be stowed away. They can serve as extra counter space for preparing foods, a work space or a table for dining, particularly in a place that lacks space for a dining or kitchen table.
    • When not in use, there are many of these types of table that simply fold down flush with the wall and doesn’t take up floor space.

  • Don’t leave any extra space unused
    • If you have a tiny space between your fridge and your wall, turn it into a slide out pantry.
    • If you have extra closet space or built in bookshelves outside the kitchen turn them into a pantry or dish storage area.
    • Corner shelving gives you a lot of extra space in an otherwise largely unused area.
  • Light, light, light
    • Choosing a light color of paint for cabinets and walls can make your small kitchen space feel much bigger and brighter. Darker colors tend to make it feel cramped and claustrophobic.  Ask your property manager or building owner if they’ll allow you to make upgrades, and once they say yes, a clean coat of white paint works wonders to make any space feel bigger, brighter and more modern.
    • Add nice overhead lighting to brighten up the space as well.

Functionality can be your friend.  Don’t be afraid to find multiple uses for items.  With this new perspective, soon you will be living large.  Looking to maximize space in other parts of the house? Click here for our other tips on small space living.

If your kitchen is too small, maybe it’s time to move. Click here to explore our latest listings.