Posts Tagged 'small kitchen designs'

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

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

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.

Small Kitchen Designs That Work: Small Galley Kitchen

There are many things you can do to make a small kitchen space feel more open. Previously, we’ve discussed knocking  a wall down to a suitable height for a countertop. However, this is not always a suitable option.

One alternative is to have a “window” into an adjacent room. This is particularly good for a galley kitchen design, as you can see from the picture below. You could also put storage cabinets both above and below the opening, which would maximize storage space.

Galley Kitchen Design with Open Wall "Window"

This opening keeps anyone in the kitchen from being isolated from the living area. Conversations can flow easily between the rooms during family time together, or when entertaining guests.

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.

First in the series: Small Kitchen Designs That Work

Kitchen Views

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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