Remodeling a small kitchen has its own unique set of challenges. While spacious kitchens provide certain advantages like additional countertop space, room for more appliances, and the possibility of a kitchen island, compact kitchens bring their own benefits.
Apart from unique spaces like home theaters, the kitchen often tops the list as the most costly room to renovate based on cost per square foot. Naturally, the fewer square feet you revamp, the more you save on the overall cost of the remodel.
Moreover, compact kitchens tend to be more ergonomic. With a more concise kitchen triangle the path between the stove, sink, and refrigerator efficiency is heightened, minimizing unnecessary movements.
Discover the optimal designs and blueprints for refurbishing your small kitchen and turn it into a cozy nook you’ll cherish and enjoy.
Are You Sure You Have a Small Kitchen?
Many homeowners believe they’re working with limited kitchen space. Typically, a kitchen measuring 10′ x 10′ (around 100 square feet) is seen as the standard size.
While perceptions of size are influenced by individual preferences, housing types, and regional factors, the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA) classifies a kitchen as small if it’s less than 150 square feet.
Small Kitchen Advantages
When renovating a space with minimal functions like a living room, bedroom, or great room, the challenges are fewer, says Dave Roebel, Owner of Northeast Mechanical Services. These areas typically don’t require complex services such as plumbing or extensive electrical work, and the materials used, like drywall and trim, are relatively affordable.
In contrast, kitchens can be pricey to renovate on a per-square-foot basis. Think of the necessities like garbage disposal, added lighting, enhanced electrical provisions, plumbing, ventilation, and the list goes on. Furthermore, kitchens often call for high-end materials, be it granite, stainless steel, marble, or custom cabinetry. However, the upside of a smaller kitchen is clear: reduced space equates to reduced costs.
Taking Control of the Matter
A small kitchen often becomes the deciding factor in the DIY vs. professional hire debate. Given its compact nature, refurbishing a small kitchen can seem more feasible.
For instance, installing 80 square feet of ceramic tile in a small kitchen might just be a weekend endeavor; however, covering 375 square feet could become an overwhelming task, perhaps necessitating expert tile-setters.
So, is remodeling a small kitchen merely a scaled-down version of a larger kitchen renovation? To some extent, yes.
Find Easy Areas to Scale Down
Large double basins or farmhouse-style sinks can consume a significant chunk of your counter. Also, reconsider the need for expansive appliances, says Adrian Cruz, Owner of Columbus Concrete Co. While side-by-side refrigerators are attractive, preserving counter width is crucial. If you’re living solo or with a partner, consider opting for more compact dishwashers. Should you have extra space outside the kitchen, like a potential pantry spot, utilize it for less frequently used items, be it canned goods or specific appliances.
Determine Your Priorities
In addition to the aforementioned suggestions, decisive choices are essential. At times, these choices might be straightforward. Is ample storage your top concern? If so, you might prioritize kitchen cabinets over larger appliances. Fancy a breakfast bar? It’s achievable, but be prepared to possibly give up some cooking counter space to accommodate it.
Use Stock Cabinetry
One advantage of renovating smaller kitchens is the ability to utilize DIY-friendly cabinetry. Often, these kitchen cabinets are readily available at home improvement retailers or stores like Ikea. They’re typically straightforward to install on your own. Plus, when purchased in flat-pack form (as with Ikea offerings), they’re convenient to transport.
Maximize Cabinet Depth
Shlomo Cherniak, Owner of Cherniak Handyman Services suggested making the most of the unused space in the back of your cabinets by incorporating lazy susans and roll-out shelves. This will help optimize your storage capacity.
Use Large Floor Tiles and Light Colors
Contrary to intuition, opting for larger floor tiles can create an illusion of a larger kitchen in a small space. Additionally, by choosing brighter-colored wood species for your cabinetry and neutral tones for the counters and wall paint, you can enhance the light intensity in your kitchen. This is because the light in your kitchen is a combination of direct and reflected light.
Incorporate Open Shelving
Consider adding open shelves on one wall to display your kitchenware and create a more open and spacious feel. Open shelving not only adds a decorative element but also makes your most-used items easily accessible.
Upgrade Your Lighting
Improving your kitchen’s lighting can have a significant impact on its overall look and functionality. Install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and workspaces. Pendant lights above the kitchen island or dining area can also add a stylish touch while providing focused light for specific tasks.
Repurpose and Refurbish
Get creative with repurposing items or refurbishing old furniture to save on costs. For example, you can transform an old wooden table into a kitchen island or upcycle vintage cabinet hardware to give your kitchen a unique and personalized touch. This approach not only lowers expenses but also adds character to your space.
Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
When upgrading your kitchen appliances, opt for energy-efficient models. Not only will these appliances save you money in the long run, but they are also eco-friendly and can contribute to a greener kitchen remodel.