Modern kitchens have evolved to become more than just a place to cook a hearty meal. Today’s kitchen is a place to unwind, socialize and entertain. Yet despite this increase in use, the kitchen continues to remain one of the smallest rooms in our homes.
Size can be an incredibly limiting factor with any small kitchen renovation, impacting everything from the size of your appliances to the small kitchen layouts that will help make your space efficient and usable without feeling cluttered.
If your pint-sized kitchen has you dreaming of more, but space has you shying away from some of your small kitchen design ideas, this guide is for you.
We’ll help you find ways to get more with less, optimizing the space you have and planning everything from layout to appliances so your next small kitchen renovation is a BIG success.
Small Kitchen, Big Ideas for Toronto Area Residents
- The Modern Breakfast Bar
Small kitchens don’t give you many options in the way of kitchen islands or kitchen tables. Even if you could squeeze one into the space, it would likely take up way too much room, making navigation around the room awkward and even potentially dangerous. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip an eating or food prep area altogether.
Modern breakfast bars offer a compact, efficient and enjoyable space to add a food prep and eating area without sacrificing valuable square footage to an island or table. Breakfast bars can be found in various styles and designs, from a free-standing cabinet with additional storage space, to a slide-out or swing up countertop extension.
- Think Vertically
You only have so much square footage on the ground to plan your small kitchen renovation, but one aspect homeowners often fail to optimize, is the vertical space available.
Here are a few tips:
- Install your cabinets to the ceiling: oftentimes, homeowners install their cabinets a few inches from the ceiling, leaving a space that is good for little but collecting dust. Consider speaking with your contractor and having your cabinets raised up level with the ceiling itself, freeing up additional space below, or enabling you to order larger cabinets for additional storage space.
- Utilize your Windows: If your kitchen has windows, consider adding shelving all around it. The top, bottom and sides are all perfect places to install shelving or ledges that can be used for storage and/or display.
- Overhead Storage: Depending on the height and layout of your kitchen, you may want to explore overhead storage solutions. Sometimes incorporated with hanging lights, a multitude of styles, sizes and designs are available, and make for a convenient and interesting way to display and access pots, pans, glassware and more.
- Work with a Kitchen Designer
Working with a kitchen designer, or a contractor who offers design and advice on layouts can help you see the bigger picture for your small space. Two heads are better than one, and these professionals can often help you come up with innovative, outside the box solutions you may have never thought of. They can also ensure that your small kitchen renovation won’t run into any unexpected bottlenecks or code issues, such as dealing with a load-bearing wall or having to move pipes.
- Rethink Your Sink
Consider an undermount sink. This type of sink is sunken just below the surface of the countertop. Why is this important? It enables you to place a flat piece of counter or specially fitted cutting board OVER the sink itself, fitting in place like a puzzle piece and instantly providing you with additional counter space to work with.
- Bigger Isn’t Always Better
When it comes to small kitchen layouts, dream big, but think small. Small kitchen cabinets custom designed to work with small kitchens are engineered to help you get more with less. From layout and size, to innovative storage solutions, small kitchen cabinets won’t only look ‘size appropriate’ for the space, they’ll ensure there is room for everything else to fit as well.
Similarly, HGTV highlights the emergence of sleek, space-saving appliances created to work with small spaces. Unlike ‘apartment appliances’ of the past, these space-saving units are packed to the brim with the same features we know and love in the full-sized units.
- Off Kitchen Storage
When limited on space, it’s good to be realistic, as well as to prioritize your needs and what is important. In many cases, storage of excess food items, rarely used appliances (such as that bread maker you got for Christmas 3 years ago), and more is often best stored NOT in the kitchen. When working with your contractor, consider the installation of a pantry or other off-kitchen space where these items can be stored, yet still accessible.
Small Kitchen Design Ideas with Big Results
Just because your space is small, doesn’t mean your renovation ideas need to be. With the right planning and a little ‘outside the box’ thinking, Toronto homeowners like yourself can have the kitchen of their dreams, no matter the square footage.