Posts Tagged 'kitchen ideas for small kitchens'

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.

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

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.

Remodeling Relationships

Every strong personal relationship requires patience and compromise. Remodeling your home requires the same positive attitude. The best relationships grow out of challenges that are faced as a team. The best remodeling results come from a team effort. Get your team prepared for the challenge of remodeling by seeking good advice and it will be a wonderful design journey.

Have you checked out HOUZZ? You’ll find lots of remodeling ideas and helpful information, like this:

Here’s a small excerpt:

Many of the survey’s respondents suggested divvying up responsibilities so each person has a say in the creative process. “I do most of the decorating decisions, but my husband picks the TV that will go on the wall, complete with speakers or a particular fireplace that he likes,” one respondent said. “He gets his say without feeling the need to get involved with my area.”

“We early on decided to assign departments to each other based on our strengths,” another said. “I am Negotiations, Logistics, Procurement, Paint and Design; he is Health & Safety, Food & Drink, Dirty Jobs and Heavy Lifting.”

When you’re ready, we hope you’ll check out to get the professional help to guide you through your design journey.

Kitchen Views – where the designers are pros, and the views are yours
Serving the New England region

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Matching Your Kitchen’s Style to the Rest of Your Home

Last time in this series, we began discussing how style and efficiency are paramount in any small kitchen design. Now that you have considered how to make your new kitchen efficient, you’re ready to work on the style aspects as you select materials and appliances. You want to make sure that color schemes, materials, and other design elements like mouldings and even the type of appliances fit in with the atmosphere of your home. Kitchen Views designers are very experienced and knowledgeable in this aspect of kitchen design. Our designers have worked wonders with many small kitchens over the years.

In determining what style will be best for your kitchen, consider the style of the entire home. Too many kitchen remodels from several decades ago did not take this into consideration, and this is why so many people look to remodel today.

Even if you plan to be in this home for many years, considering cohesive style from a re-sale perspective can be helpful. In the extreme, an ultra-modern kitchen will feel out of place in an antique Victorian house. So let’s stay away from such extreme differences of style. That said it’s absolutely possible to have all the modern conveniences integrated without compromising style. Whether your home is traditional or contemporary, one way to conceal appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers is to use cabinetry panels. An experienced designer knows all the options available and will see that you find the right elements to meet your practical and aesthetic needs.

Here is a beautiful example of a condo in Boston where the home had been brought up to date in every room but the kitchen. When it was time to remodel the kitchen, a skilled kitchen designer re-imagined the space, bringing in the style of the homeowners and transformed their home.

From the True Stories section on the Kitchen Views website, The Gift:


This otherwise stylish condo had a kitchen with old basic cabinets and white appliances in a narrow galley kitchen. A designer from Kitchen Views was able to transform this tiny closed kitchen into this:

With a wall opened into the living area, the newly formed island serves as a casual eating area on one side and kitchen work area on the other. Notice that the refrigerator is hidden behind cabinetry panels, all the more important since this is seen from the stylish living room. The mosaic backsplash makes a strong artistic statement, conveying the homeowners’ style with a functional element of the kitchen.

Here is a view from the kitchen into the living area showing how the shared style of the two spaces now work together beautifully.

On the Kitchen Views website, you can see a video of the homeowner discussing the transformation.

One of the major trends in kitchen design is incorporating green materials. As the kitchen is used every day, the materials need to stand the test of time. An experienced designer will show you choices in materials that are not only environmentally-friendly, but durable. The green cabinetry and countertop lines carried by Kitchen Views are proven to be durable and the cabinetry is manufactured in ways that are good for the planet. Omega and Irpinia are excellent examples of cabinetry brands that have an amazing selection of styles, colors, and materials all durable and good for the environment.

When it comes to countertops, there are plenty of durable options that will beautifully enhance the room’s style. Granite is often everyone’s dream choice, like the Polished Absolute Black Granite used in the kitchen shown above. But there are many brands made with recycled materials that require far less maintenance. Quartz countertops like Cambria actually have patterns that look nearly like granite, except without the sealing and maintenance necessary for granite.

Bearing all this in mind, look around your home and try to incorporate as many design elements as possible from other parts of your home into your kitchen. Remember, you don’t have to sacrifice style for efficiency, no matter what style you prefer. Just find the right designer to help you make your dreams a reality.

Since the kitchen is such an important part of the daily activities in your home, it’s important that its style be an extension of your own personal style. When your surroundings bring you happiness, and the space is well organized, your daily chores won’t seem like work.

Be sure to check back often as we continue our “Small Kitchen Designs That Work” series. As always, if you have any good ideas or design solutions that you know work, feel free to leave a comment and share them with us.

Kitchen Views

Previously in the series: Small Galley Kitchen, Small Kitchen Designs That Work, Style and Efficiency

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Style and Efficiency

Small kitchens work best when the space is streamlined down to the essentials for efficiency.

While you are in the planning stage, separate your existing kitchen items into four groups:

  1. Essential items used everyday – pots, pans, dishes, glassware, etc. You will want these within easy reach.
  2. Occasionally used items – party platters, punch bowl, etc. You can plan to store these in harder to reach cabinets, or even move them to a storage area somewhere else in the house.
  3. Items with sentimental value – your grandmother’s mixing bowl reminds you of times you cooked together, but you never use it now. Maybe a display cabinet can be included in the new design to showcase such items.
  4. Never used items – whatever these may be they are taking up valuable space. Let them go. If the item is in good condition and someone else could use it, donate it to a local thrift store. If it’s broken and you kept meaning to get it repaired, just throw it away. If it’s been broken and taking up space for a long time then you don’t really need it.

Make a list of new items that you believe you must have in the redesigned kitchen. Writing them down can help you to evaluate whether they are essential or wish items. Essential items will need an easily accessed place designed to hold them. Wish items may turn out to be only used occasionally. You will have to evaluate whether they need to be in the kitchen, or if possibly a work area just needs to be available for various tasks. For example, baking – you may want special baking equipment and a work area for this activity. But does this task happen often (weekly) or occasionally (for holidays)?

Figuring out how the kitchen design will work in real life is the most important part in any design, but especially with smaller spaces, the placement of everything is extremely vital. Below is a fine example of a small galley kitchen designed by Kitchen Views. But what you cannot see in the photo is how items are organized for use.

Small Galley Kitchen Designed by Kitchen Views

Small Galley Kitchen Designed by Kitchen Views

Once you’ve sorted your kitchen items, think about how you use the kitchen. Walk through a task such as preparing a meal and make note of your movements plus how many times you return to a particular appliance or the sink. What items do you use for the task, you want those items to be near your work area. That will help you to visualize the changes that will make things easier in the redesigned kitchen.

For example, perhaps you start at the refrigerator to get ingredients, then prepare them at the counter. Are knives and other prep tools handy? Do you frequently need to rinse vegetables in the sink? Maybe you reach for a pan next and put in the ingredients. Is there counter space near the stove? Are spices handy? Use this method for other tasks such as serving meals, doing dishes, and so on. Take note of how you perform these various tasks, and then you’ll have a good idea what you need in your kitchen remodel when you go to work with a designer.

Be sure to check back often as we continue our “Small Kitchen Design That Work” series. As always, if you have any good ideas or design solutions that you know work, feel free to leave a comment and share them with us.

Kitchen Views

Previously in the series: Small Galley Kitchen and Small Kitchen Designs That Work

Next in the series: Match the style to be an extension of the rest of your home.

Kitchen Ideas for Small Kitchens: Small Kitchen Designs that Work

No matter the size of your kitchen, if you’re looking to remodel, there’s plenty you can do even with a small space. Certainly, there are many times in which homeowners will completely knock down a wall to open up their kitchen space to the rest of the living area. There is quite a trend towards having the kitchen be the most central room of the home both socially and functionally. However, this is simply not the case in every living situation. Small kitchens, in fact, can prove to be most efficient and the limiting space can actually lead to a great deal of inspiration design-wise.

Furniture quality, plus all the conveniences.

Furniture quality, plus all the conveniences.

A perfect example is this small kitchen in a condominium. Because this kitchen is also seen from the adjoining living space, the owner wanted the cabinetry to look like furniture more than like kitchen cabinetry. The cabinet door in the foreground at right is actually concealing the refrigerator.

Corner drawers provide convenience and maximize the use of available space.

Corner drawers provide convenience and maximize the use of available space.

In order to get the most function storage space and usable counter space in this small kitchen, the designer used special corner drawers and a specially designed storage section for small appliances.

Custom designed folding doors reveal convenient placement of small appliances.

Custom designed folding doors reveal convenient placement of small appliances.

Everything is easily at hand for use, the counter space provides plenty of prep areas, and it all stores away behind beautiful cabinetry fronts.

We’ll be offering more small kitchen design ideas on our blog in the near future. If you have a small kitchen, and would like to offer your ideas for a redesign of your small kitchen space, please feel free to leave a comment and share them with us. We’d love to hear from you.

Next in the series: Small Galley Kitchen

Kitchen Views

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