Small kitchens can be a challenge. Use these tips to set up a kitchen that will make your inner chef shine.
Many houses are equipped with kitchens that are not ideal. The lighting can be terrible, the equipment old, the floors dirty … and the counter? It's a nice idea.
Get the most out of the kitchen space you have with these tips.
You can create additional space, even if this seems impossible. Covers, cutting boards and screens help to enlarge your work area.
Burner covers for your stove and a large chopping board or tray can create extra space on the counter if you are entertaining and want to prepare snacks (provided you don't need to use your stove).
Folding tables (attached to the wall or standalone) offer additional space if required. If space is available, a butcher block or an island immediately creates space for the preparation or storage of food.
Another easy way to create space? Store your things – especially on the counters – and keep only the bare essentials.
A wall above the stove is perfect for a breadboard on which you can hang pots, pans and utensils. Magnetic knife and spice racks fit into small wall areas under cupboards or over sinks.
Refrigerators can serve as storage space for magnetic spice racks, towels, potholders, or dry-wipe boards or boards that are both useful and decorative. Hooks and towel racks located above the cupboard provide additional storage space quickly and easily.
Small bookshelves are a kitchen's best friend. They are perfectly narrow, available in many heights and offer countless storage options.
Not only can you tidy up cookbooks, you can also keep pots, pans, dishes, food, storage containers and baskets.
Add hooks on the side of your bookcase to store aprons or other light tools.
Add art and color
Art and color are quick ways to personalize a small kitchen. Color-coordinated kitchen accessories become art in themselves and a simple palette of colors makes the eye rest in a small space.
Don't forget to leave room for a few decorative elements with every inch of space. Hang up attractive tea towels with pins to achieve a practical splash of color. And fresh flowers on a shelf or table immediately light up the room and bring life.
If you have a windowsill, an herb garden is the perfect way to use the space and bring it to life. You might even consider installing a vertical garden.
Every older kitchen has at least one eyesore: an old microwave, a scratched fridge, or a hideous vinyl floor. If you are not ready to use the money for a renovation, cover it as much as possible.
Cover exposed flushing pipes with curtains on the bottom of the sink (bonus: additional storage space). Keep your old microwave or replace it with a newer, more attractive version.
With scratched or just ugly refrigerators and appliances, self-adhesive vinyl can create a new look in just a few minutes.
Cover unsightly floors with kitchen-friendly mats that make it easier for you to stand at the counter, and refresh old cupboards and drawers with simple or patterned drawer linings.
Illuminate the lighting
The lighting in every kitchen is difficult to get right. With many lights, the room feels dated, and upgrading lamps and cleaning light covers immediately makes a difference. Consider installing self-adhesive lighting under the cabinet to better illuminate your work area.
If you change your lighting, e.g. For example, to control the track lighting, make sure that it points to the kitchen triangle – the worn path from the stove to the sink to the refrigerator.
If ceiling lighting is scarce, you should use table lamps and even floor lamps. A floor lamp in a kitchen may seem strange at first, but place it at the end of a counter or tucked away behind a table and you will be grateful for the extra light.
Originally published June 6, 2016.