When faced with a small kitchen remodel, many homeowners feel the kitchen design options are limited. This is so not true. As with any kitchen remodel, the design will contain three parts:
- The spatial design which is how the cabinets, plumbing fixtures and appliances are laid out.
- The surface design, which is what finishes you use in your kitchen- are the cabinets painted or wood, are the appliances stainless or retro blue, what colors do you use for the hardware and faucet?
- The third element, the interior cabinet design, is most important in small kitchen designs and unfortunately is often an afterthought. Cabinet manufacturers offer different storage choices and you also have the option of doing storage retrofits. Let’s look at each small kitchen design option in detail
The first decision that has to be made is the shape of your kitchen. Do you want it to stay the same or can it be changed? The basic shapes common to small kitchens are 1. The one wall, 2. The L shape, 3. The parallel wall, and finally 4. The U shape.
All of these shapes work in small kitchen designs but my favorite is the L shape. This is because you can often sneak in extra space with a narrow island (less than the 25” depth of the usual island) that can be used for storage, prep or even as a focal point.
Avoid putting wall cabinets in every space possible. This practice creates a sense of claustrophobia in an enclosed space. Even 12 inches free of cabinets gives the eye a sense of space and makes your small kitchen look larger.
My favorite part of any kitchen design is picking out the surface design…should the cabinets be a royal or navy blue or maybe wouldn’t it look great to add an accent backsplash around the stove in my favorite green color to add pop to my white farm kitchen.
- A small kitchen color scheme must be cohesive. If you want to add in that pop of color, make sure the kitchen is open to the adjacent room and that color pop is included. If your kitchen is small and enclosed, your eye will focus on the color pop and make the kitchen seem smaller. Colors and even wood textures should remain in the same family. If the kitchen is open to another room you can expand your choices to colors and textures in that room as well.
- My clients are loving color right now but are often afraid to use it in a small kitchen. Do not be! As long as suggestion 1 is followed, use any color you want. My personal favorite is a lime green … so much FUN.
By this I mean the interior of the cabinets, rather than the interior of the entire house. This is what small kitchens are all about, how can you fit as much stuff in a small space as possible without your kitchen looking like a sofa with too with too many pillows or too much stuff on the countertops.
- Be careful to avoid to over-organizing the interior of your cabinets. Not every cabinet needs to have an organizational system. First, this leaves very little room for changes in your lifestyle. For example, I once had a client who was forced to remodel their kitchen because they had a baby and there was no place to store the bottles. They had designed their kitchen for exactly what they had, including water glasses, and there was no place to store the baby bottles except on the counter, it drove her to spend thousands on a remodel she did not really need. A second reason not to do this is that many storage options take up room themselves. Interior shelves need to be attached to the cabinet and that takes up space. So, the more interior storage options you have the less actual space you get in your cabinets.
- Always include a garbage cabinet or at least a roll out garbage can under the sink. I know this can take away valuable storage space, but there is nothing worse than looking at a garbage can to destroy the overall look of your kitchen.
One last suggestion. In a small kitchen, especially one closed off, it is easier to design to a theme. If you love the ocean, design an ocean kitchen with soft blues and grays or try my limeade kitchen just for the enjoyment of it.
Call Teknika For Philadelphia Small Kitchen Design
Since Teknika Design Group is in Philadelphia we do many small kitchen designs so please see our kitchen inspirations page for more ideas. I am partial to the colorful cabin, which happens to be mine and is a single wall kitchen in which I took down the wall to add an island. The entire cabin is in that vibrant yellow. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!