Our clients often tell us that it was their dinky kitchen that prompted their decision to sell their condos to buy a house. While the kitchen may not be the “hub” of a home any longer, it is the room that most Americans spend the most time in, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
And, those with tiny kitchens end up spending even more time in them. From meal preparation to clean-up, everything is more challenging when there is minimal storage and work space.
We’ve scoured advice from home décor and design experts to come up with ways for you to ease that cramped feeling in your kitchen.
“If you’re the only one in your apartment and you wash everything by hand, you might not need to stock a few dozen glasses in your cabinets,” suggests Ayn-Monique Klahre, lifestyle editor at TheKitchn.com.
How often do you use a vase? Often enough to own a collection of them? Pare down these collections to two or three favorites and donate the rest to charity or have a garage sale.
When you rid yourself of the excess in your cupboards and on your counters, your small kitchen instantly feels less cramped.
Get tips on downsizing the clutter at apartmenttherapy.com.
Take a tip from your gardening friends – when life throws you a small yard, go vertical. Consider installing the following to the kitchen walls:
- Magnetic knife strips (out of the reach of little ones, of course)
- Hooks for everything from towels to small kitchen implements
- Hanging pot racks (think of the cupboard space you’ll free up)
- Shelves to hold anything from your dinnerware to vase collection
“You could free up whole cupboards by hooking everything and anything that has a handle,” suggests Laura Wheat at Houzz.com.
You can even go vertical within the kitchen’s cupboards, creating even more space, according to Regina Yunghans at TheKitchn.com.
She suggests storing common kitchen items, such as cupcake and other mold-type tins, baking sheets and racks “standing up instead of lying down.”
Check out the photos on the website for ideas.
A final thought on going vertical: If you can afford new cabinetry, ditch yours if they don’t go completely to the ceiling. That’s wasted space up there that could be put to better use.
Install “drawers” in deep cabinets
Even the tiniest of kitchens has an under-the-sink cabinet and it’s typically quite deep. Which means, the back of it holds rarely-used items. Consider installing slide-out drawers, like these from Home Depot.
You’ll find this same concept for use in your pots and pan cupboard at Amazon.com.
Of course you could go even thriftier by using bins or baskets instead. These can be slid out of the cupboard to find what you need. Amazon.com offers solutions in both wire and plastic. Get ideas on how to use these containers at GoodHousekeeping.com.
If you fancy yourself an ace DIYer, check out The Family Handyman’s walkthrough of how to build your own “kitchen sink storage trays.”
Invest in new lighting
Even if you have lots of natural light in your dinky kitchen, consider adding under-cabinet lighting.
“The light will fill in the shadows under the cabinet and reduce the contrast, giving the impression of a larger kitchen,” Dave Lincon, Director of product management and business development for Sears Home Services tells BobVilla.com’s Glenda Taylor.
Under-cabinet lighting solutions range from hard-wired to battery-operated to those you plug into an outlet. For the latter, check out these at Amazon.com. You’ll also find a large selection of all varieties at Lowes.com and HomeDepot.com.
It may be boring, but white is the best paint color for a small kitchen, according to Ann Wilson at bhg.com. “White walls, ceilings, and backsplashes reflect light and make the perimeter of a small kitchen recede, which causes the room to appear larger,” she suggests.
Regardless of how tiny your kitchen is, it doesn’t have to feel cramped. Find solutions to help you feel less claustrophobic so you can enjoy the time you spend in the kitchen.
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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS
Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.
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Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS). Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s
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