The remodeling of kitchens
is one of the the most popular projects each year, as kitchens have become
the functional and social hubs for many families.
Almost every kitchen has a design flaw or something that can be changed
to make the space more workable. However, no challenge is quite as difficult
as reworking a small kitchen space.
If you are on a tight budget,
have building restrictions, or own a condominium where you must work with
the space allotted, you do have options to transform your kitchen.
New appliances can serve to update and unify a room. Built-in ovens, microwaves
and storage for small appliances will make your kitchen appear less cluttered.
All stainless steel appliances are becoming more popular, and not just
in contemporary homes. For homeowners who entertain regularly the kitchen
wine refrigerator has become very popular
Energy efficiency is a key
factor to keep in mind when purchasing home appliances, but the energy
efficiency of similar appliances can vary significantly. There are even
countertop fridges to keep just a few bottles at a time properly chilled.
It is usually more cost-effective to purchase household appliances with
high efficiencies. These appliances can accommodate from 12 to 300 wine
bottles depending on the model.
Granite, marble and stainless
steel are the most expensive options, with laminate on the lower end of
the spectrum and everything else falling somewhere in between.
Even large kitchens are difficult to work in if there isn't enough counter
space. For homeowners who use their kitchens frequently, different materials
will enable a better cooking environment. Plan to cover as much of the
area not occupied with appliances with countertops. If the difference
in floor space is a matter of a few square feet, plan your design with
For example, marble and granite
offer cool surfaces for handling dough while the butcher block allows
one to easily chop and prepare food. And, if you like both, you don't
have to choose. It's becoming more and more popular to combine counter
options to create a unique look and a more functional kitchen.
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Squeeze as many cabinets into
your design as possible. Think about the placement of cabinets in relation
to appliances, also. Deep cabinets that can hold plates should be located
near the dishwasher, and large cabinets with slide-out drawers should
be placed near the oven. The fewer unnecessary steps needed to complete
a task, the smoother the function of your kitchen will be.
Waist-high sliding shelves
that hold mixers and toasters can quickly get small appliances out of
sight, but keep them easily at hand. Built-in storage for foods like potatoes
and onions, and bread storage cabinets will also give the kitchen a cleaner
If there isn't enough room for a closet pantry, many cabinet manufacturers
now make roll-out pantries. These can be pulled out to view the items
you have, but rolled back into a space about 18 inches wide and 5-1/2
feet tall. If there isn't room for any type of pantry, consider converting
a closet outside of the kitchen to a storage area for fine china, large
pots and infrequently used items.
One easily overlooked design element is good lighting. Under-counter lighting
and clean halogen lights can make the space appear larger and more comfortable.
A small kitchen does not have to have a small sink. A large sink will
make it easier for you to clean large pots and pans, and is a great place
to stash the dirty pots before you have a chance to rinse them. If you
are in an apartment or a small house, a large sink in the kitchen can
serve double duty as a utility sink, too.
Some other ideas to increase
the efficiency of your kitchen:
Put a wire basket on the inside of the cabinet to hold trash bags and
other frequently used items. These store-bought products are affordable
and easy to install on the back of the cabinet door or under the sink.
Mount an instant hot water heater on the sink. This is something small
that makes a big difference. Installing such a device will usually replace
the sprayer or soap. This could be really useful if you indulge in a cup
of tea or instant coffee each day.
Install a tile back splash on all the walls above the counters, stove
and sink. This can quickly change the look of the kitchen and make it
easier to clean.
Change the cabinet and drawer knobs. This is a very simple and affordable
option that will give the kitchen an extra special touch. There are a
lot of unique designs out there, so be prepared to use your creative side.