Small kitchen remodeling
I have talked about the basic principles of kitchen design and the factors that determine the final result – just to remind you: budget, space & time. However, when you have a small kitchen, remodeling is mainly space determined, which means you have to be clever with design.
Small kitchens are actually more time-consuming than big kitchens -not just on a conceptual level – but on a practical level too. Everything has to match, fit and work out spatially – whilst bigger layouts are more forgiving of mistakes and inaccuracies..
Designing small kitchens
Forget magazines, forget trends, forget ads. Your driving force must be practicality. Having said that, most people design a small kitchen with low and upper cabinets – in a U or L shape. I have a different approach - which creates an illusion of space as well providing plenty of storage and work surface.
1, First zone your kitchen and the way you use the kitchen. Then you translate this zoning into a spatial format i.e. cabinets and activity areas (juicing, cooking, washing, coffee-making and so on) Obviously the activity zones should have the appropriate kitchen appliance together with a cabinet for the required kitchenware.
2, Get a piece of paper and start drawing these cabinets and areas on top of each other. Most kitchen design companies show plan drawings to clients – which most people can’t visualise. It’s best to draw elevations (front views). Even better, use your kid’s lego (or jenga, or match-boxes or CD / DVD cases) and start building a 3D wall of cabinets according to your zones. Scale doesn’t matter at this point – just use your imagination and organise things around it. Then measure up your kitchen space and try to fit your arrangement into the scaled version (cut out scaled card-board pieces). You’ll have to compromise, you’ll probably have to move things around. But you’ll get there…
Small Kitchen layout
Instead of the usual L or U shapes try the corridor kitchen. If possible, try to create one streamlined wall of units – from floor to ceiling. To save space (or if you are short of space), build your streamlined wall of just upper cabinets. Most small kitchen appliances fit in these cabinets, as do plates, glasses and groceries. Deep cabinets are only needed for or next to appliances – such as refrigerators, dishwashers and ranges – so try to locate these on the opposite wall. However, if you can build a deep wall of cabinets – install some wall ovens, built-in refrigerators and other appliances. Consider having a couple of recesses or rolled-up units within this wall of cabinets – these can provide extra work-surface or/end have your toaster, coffeemaker, kettle, breadmaker, juicer etc plugged in and ready to use.
On the opposite wall you should not have any wall cabinets – only base units & under-counter appliances – the range (or cooker), dishwasher, cooktop (or hob) etc. Leave the wall alone – just have a range (cooker) hood and a few cooking tools to hang on a rail. Why? Because this will create the illusion of space. If you put upper cabinets there, the kitchen will seem small and cluttered. The other side, the "wall of units" should provide enough storage space. Make sure your worktop is clear of clutter - do not have any gadgets or jars on display – have these on the other side within their own zones.
Remodeling a small kitchen takes more time and effort. The next article will tell you have to use colors and materials to maximise space. In the meantime read about kitchen decor.