Archive for the 'Small Kitchen Designs' Category

Minimize the Kitchen Footprint with Single-Wall Design

3D rendering of modern kitchen in a loft.

Kitchens are most commonly laid out in one of three floor plans, L-shaped, U-shaped, and galley. A less popular, but still functional design is the single-wall kitchen. Single-wall kitchens are designed with the elements of the typical work triangle along one wall. Typically seen in apartments or other small homes where maximizing space and efficiency is at the forefront of design, this style of kitchen is gaining popularity in larger homes with open concept floor plans.

Kitchen interior sketches hand drawing front view. Contour vector illustration kitchen furniture and equipment. Cupboard shelves dishes table lamp clock crane dishwasher fridge microwave.

These kitchens work well because they keep all appliances and cooking tools within reach. This design often has the sink set in between the range and the refrigerator, offering easy clean up and usually has counter space on either side of the range.  With the kitchen viewed as a social hub within the home, the small kitchen footprint creates a feeling of openness and flows seamlessly with other rooms.

3d illustration of interior design loft style kitchen and livingroom. The concept of commercial interiors "My room" for gatherings with friends and Leisure. You can watch football and play computer games

A common challenge in single-wall kitchens is the lack of work space with the range, sink, and refrigerator taking up valuable counter space.  A solution to this in apartments or small homes is purchasing a counter height dining table that doubles as work space or a rollaway island.  In larger homes, a permanent kitchen island is a popular addition to provide supplementary storage and work space while maintaining the open floor plan.

Kitchen interior in modern flat with stove dining table picture on wall. Concept of cooking at home. 3d rendering. Mock up

Maximizing storage space is one of the most desirable features in any kitchen. With the compact design of the single wall kitchen, it becomes even more important. Tall upper cabinets, bridge cabinets, and creative use of built in shelving will help to maximize storage. Additionally, the use of an island (both permanent and rollaway) will help to increase the amount of available storage.

an image of Modern Kitchen drawers and Granite Countertop

No kitchen is too small for the talented designers at Kitchen Views. Visit one of the six Kitchen Views showrooms to meet with one of the designers and begin designing the perfect kitchen for your space.

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What We Can Learn From Tiny Homes

tiny-home_090216_09-800x533

Photo via Contemporist

Tiny homes have been growing in popularity lately for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons has been financial constraints as the cost of living has been rising in many areas. Another primary reason for tiny homes surging popularity is a growing desire to have more freedom to travel. There are many lifestyle changes that go with wanting a tiny home, and it’s not for everyone. But there are ways to incorporate the elegant solutions used in tiny home design into your home.

Tiny Homes Are Based on Thoughtful Design

What makes tiny homes work is that they must make the most use of every square inch. Any truly unnecessary elements are eliminated in their design. It’s boiled down to only essential elements. Of course, as you apply this to your own home, the space will be customized for the individual(s) living in it.

Many tiny homes are as small as 200 square feet. But because you keep only the bare essentials, you can make a lot out of the space. If you have ever been to IKEA, you may have seen the tiny home vignettes. From examples like this, you can see how all of the comforts you need in a home can fit in an extremely small space using quality cabinetry that will better stand the test of time.

Tiny Homes Can Be Elegant

When many people think of the word “elegant,” they think of it as meaning luxurious. But it means so much more. The definition of elegant is “pleasingly graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.” In this way, tiny homes offer elegant solutions that are pleasingly ingenious and simple.

One of the biggest benefits that a tiny house offers is reducing the stress that comes from what many have called the modern “rat race.” Tiny homes are a great way of reconnecting to a cleaner, simpler way of life that has become lost in our consumer culture. No matter how big or small your existing home may be, it’s always possible to streamline things.

Many homes today have become major hubs for entertainment. This is why large rooms are desired in many cases. Even if your rooms are larger, keeping simple design in mind will make the maintenance of that space easier. But in a smaller home that only has a few people living in it, you can make the space seem larger with proper planning for storage of your cherished items. Remember, less is more. Less clutter = more time to relax. Many of us talk about not having enough time to enjoy being with the people we love and/or participating in activities we enjoy. Taking a “tiny home” approach to design can teach you a lot about what is really necessary.

 

tiny-home_090216_12-800x1200

Photo via Contemporist

 

How Can We Learn From Tiny Home Design?

When you’re dealing with a smaller space, you may be asking yourself the question: “Where is all my stuff going to go?” It’s possible that insufficient space for things is a major problem in your own house right now. One thing we can take away from tiny home design is to prioritize needs and minimize wants. Even in a tiny space, though, there can be more than enough storage for what you need. Maximizing function is what it’s all about. If cabinetry can make your home more functional, an experienced designer can be an enormous help in planning and selecting the cabinetry that will work best for you, within your budget.

Small kitchens and bathrooms are a fact that cannot be changed in some homes. To make them work, choose to keep only what you actually need for everyday life. Have just enough cabinets for your cooking essentials and pantry necessities. Only get the size of appliances that you actually need on a day-to-day basis. Just because other people have huge appliances, doesn’t mean it’s right for your needs. It can be easy to want too much out of a single space. By using tiny home designs as a reference for re-designing rooms in your own home, you can save yourself lots of clutter and maintenance work in the long run. If a special event comes along that you cannot accommodate, find another place to have the event. Your everyday living space doesn’t need to be made to accommodate all the “what ifs” in life.

Good design leads to better living. Don’t shortchange yourself in the long run to save a little money now. Invest in your life, by investing in your home.

Visit our website and/or showrooms for inspiration, then make an appointment with a Kitchen Views designer to begin your design journey to a happier life.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

 

Making the Case For A Tiny Kitchen

With the growing popularity of “tiny houses” with their own television shows, many people are thinking about how downsizing can free them for enjoying activities other than cleaning a regular size home. Whether you have a small condo that needs better space planning to make the best use of every inch, or find that your regular size kitchen is in chaos, careful planning can improve your everyday life.

One of our favorite contributors to the Kitchen Views blog recently retired, but her wisdom regarding good kitchen design is timeless. So we are sharing again her perspective on making the most of limited space.

“Making the Case for a Tiny Kitchen” by Pam Kuliesis
Originally published on November 26, 2013

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

Tiny kitchen 2020 layout by Pam Kuliesis

After turning a corner in life, I find myself living with a teeny, tiny kitchen. It’s a U-shape space. The working triangle is about 9 feet total, no more than 3 feet between the sink and the range to the left and the sink and the refrigerator to the right and just about 3 feet between the range and refrigerator across from each other. I can stand in the center of the room and reach all three without moving my feet. I pretty much don’t even have to lean. Very tight.

At first I couldn’t imagine being able to create anything in this “Easy Bake” kitchen that would be worth serving. But, a girl’s gotta eat, and take-out gets old pretty quick.

Once I started putting stuff away I was amazed at just how much storage this little kitchen had. And then I started cooking. Everything I needed was within arm’s length. Prep time was so much faster, not having to schlep across the room for the pepper mill that, in my old kitchen, I would leave way over by the sink. Also, I’m much neater. I don’t have the luxury of moving around the kitchen leaving a messy trail behind me. I clean as I go, making the final clean up a breeze!

There are so many great kitchen storage options available from all of the quality cabinetry brands we sell. Stacked wall cabinets maximize every vertical inch. Carefully planned base cabinet configurations and storage accessories make the best use of every nook and cranny.

Kitchen Views designers have the knowledge and the tools to create great kitchens in any space, big and small. Our designers are pros and the views are yours

Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
(508) 339-8020
www.kitchenviews.com

Can you spot the errors? Educate yourself on “good” kitchen design.

In Paul McAlary’s post, Good Intentions, Bad Designs, he poses the question “What design errors do you see most often, either in the media or in your local market?” This is in follow up to his earlier article, Death by Kitchen Design, where he defines several examples of kitchen design gone wrong.

Some examples he describes include the range or cooktop being too close to cabinetry, a window or an entry doorway. Another hazard is having an island cooktop located too close to the edge of the island where pot and pan handles can overhang and have the potential to be knocked off the stove.

dangerous kitchen design with open space under wall cabinet

Building codes are in place to regulate safety hazards in building structures, but does that mean every design project is actually safe?

Another example he gives is about cabinetry that extends beyond the counter below or not having some other protective base beneath. In this photo of a modern kitchen you see wall storage above and drawer storage below. What’s wrong with this picture?

  • One potential hazard is the possibility of hitting one’s head on the underside of the wall cabinet after going into the lower drawers.

While this design may technically be “up to code,” the potential for danger is still there. Designing your kitchen can be exciting and scary, throughout the whole process. While working with a professional designer and professional contractors are of the utmost importance, so is your own education and vision for your new space.

As you look at different ideas, see if you are able to find instances that you think might be dangerous. Then see if any of these are designed for your new kitchen. If you find something that concerns you, don’t hesitate to tell the professionals you are working with. It’s better to address something that can be potentially harmful as soon as possible, instead of having to spend more money to fix something that may have been averted in earlier stages of the project.

Observe Your Holiday Cooking Habits This Independence Day

Happy Independence Day from Kitchen Views at National Lumber

There are certain times during the year when you spend more time in the kitchen making, and baking, things for a special occasion. This week, pay attention to your kitchen habits while you’re preparing that yummy dish to share at your Fourth of July cookout.

Do you find that you like to spread out all the ingredients, dishes and pots and pans you’ll need? Maybe you have limited counter space so spreading everything out is not an option for you. If a smaller kitchen is the case, you’ve probably mastered the skills to improvise and work methodically. Whichever the case may be, be observant of how you use your kitchen.

Knowing your preparation and cooking habits will clearly define your needs. If you’re thinking about remodeling your current kitchen, think of the essentials you absolutely must have in order for you to work fluently. Look around at the layout and think about how you flow as you’re preparing and cooking. Is everything in a place that makes sense to support your independent cooking habits? If not, write your ideas down as to what you think may make your life a little easier in the kitchen. That way, when the time comes for you to work with your own professional kitchen designer, you will be prepared.

You will be able to express what works for you in your kitchen and what doesn’t. From that, your designer can offer you suggestions and solutions for you to consider. An experienced designer is an integral part of your remodeling team because he or she may have the foresight to identify possible so called obstacles in the remodeling process, and the expertise on how to avert certain issues; thus saving you money in the long run.

Having your kitchen remodeled is a big undertaking, no doubt. However, once your project is complete, you will have the liberty to cook as you please and the freedom to tell everyone how much you love your new kitchen! Don’t forget to leave your online review about your experience. Read more about why your online review is important here.

From Kitchen Views at National Lumber, we wish you and your family a safe, healthy and wonderful Happy Independence Day!

Our locations will be honoring holiday hours on Thursday and Friday. Call your local showroom to find out their holiday schedule.

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Versatility to Accommodate Color Palette Changes

Big ideas for small spaces

The general rule is to avoid being outlandish with kitchen design choices, as you yourself may get sick of extreme color choices. But if you are a free-spirit who thrives on change, you may want to be bolder with your kitchen design choices. We recommend that you plan ahead so that you can enjoy making changes, but keep it affordable. An experienced kitchen designer can help you build the right bones into the kitchen, which will allow you to adapt — even annually if you desire — to the latest style trends.

Many kitchen remodels — even as recently as a few years ago — were aimed towards resale value. But now, if you are one of the many folks remodeling for their own personal comfort as they stay put longer, you can focus on the way you would like your kitchen to look. Some people make big changes to the ambiance of their kitchen with the time-honored use of paint on the walls and choices of colorful accessories, which can be changed fairly easily if you want to change up the atmosphere of the room. But we have an additional suggestion, which can be more affordable than you’d imagine.

Start by investing in the best cabinetry that you can afford — in a timeless style that suits the rest of the home. Then choose laminate for the countertops rather than stone. Laminate will provide you with a more economical way to make a big style change. It’s no longer your grandmother’s laminate – the number of color choices are staggering. Some even mimic stone. Laminate is a hardworking surface that now is also quite beautiful. This could be a very good choice for a young family. Laminate will provide a hardworking surface to withstand everyday spills, baking projects like holiday cookies and even constructing science projects like the ever popular volcano!

Custom edges from Wilsonart give your countertop the sculpted look of more expensive materials, like granite, at a fraction of the cost. It’s a beautiful look on a modest budget, a choice that feels as smart as it looks.

As time goes by, you might want to repaint the walls and change the accessories. These are manageable changes for a busy family, but that can make your kitchen feel like new.

Then, when the children have become teenagers, because laminate is so affordable you may decide to update the kitchen with a new laminate countertop to freshen up the kitchen. Laminate will continue to serve you well for everything from cooking lessons to pizza parties.

Good planning with an experienced designer will make your kitchen versatile for style changes as the years go by.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Color Schemes

We’ve previously discussed having natural lighting to illuminate and open up your small kitchen space. Color schemes in your kitchen are also very important. Bright colors, especially white, are even more at home in a small kitchen design. Having neutral or bright colored cabinetry and countertops can help significantly to make the kitchen feel more spacious and welcoming.

Too many existing small kitchens are like caves. If there isn’t sufficient natural lighting, even beautiful dark hardwood cabinetry can make the space can feel cramped and unwelcoming. Adding to the dark theme with dark countertops, and possibly dark flooring, will make it feel as if the walls are closing in on you. This isn’t to say you can’t have dark colors in your small kitchen. You just need to be mindful of selecting perhaps the flooring to be dark and the cabinetry to be white or light-colored. Then, depending on your taste, you could choose a dark countertop if you desire. Having plenty of natural light or brighter colors on the painted surfaces and/or accessories to contrast the darker aspects of your kitchen will provide balance.

There are plenty of galley type kitchens that can employ dark cabinetry as long as they have a much lighter colored countertop and perhaps lighter colored (perhaps silver) appliances to contrast the darkness and keep the kitchen more vibrant, because being all dark colored can be dull. It’s a matter of personal taste, but in general, it’s good to keep the colors varied, without being too starkly contrasting — and include plenty of natural and electric lighting. Ask your designer to help you decide what color schemes will work best for your space and your personal style.

Kitchen Views
www.kitchenviews.com


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