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How To Make a Small Kitchen More Functional

By Edited Jan 10, 2016 0 0

Small spaces can be hard to deal with and make you feel closed in upon. Small kitchens are often a whole lot worse. With little counter space and limited storage it is often hard to feel like your kitchen is somewhere that you can work. However, there are a few things that you can do to make your small kitchen feel a little better and even function a little better.

Brighten.
There is no doubt about it. Color has a huge thing to do with how big or small a space feels. With a small kitchen it is a good idea to choose a light color. White or a shade of white is certainly not out of the question. However, if you want a little more color then that then you should choose a pastel color such as a cheery yellow, blue, or green. Pastels can give you color you want while still helping your space look and feel larger.

Lighten.
Light is very important for small spaces. If you have any windows in the kitchen consider leaving them bare with a simple valance as your curtain of choice. (For your valance pick a light solid color rather then a print. If you have to have a print choose one that is larger rather then smaller and don't get bright or dark with it.) A valance will give you a little decoration, but leave the window open to let in as much light as possible. If you need more privacy then get a lacy shear rather then a solid curtain. This will let light come in, but will block a lot of the view from people looking in.

You also need to provide as much artificial light as possible. Get a good over head light to provide as much light to the whole room as possible. It is also a good idea to add lighting to all your nooks and crannies. If you can't make permanent changes to your kitchen due to costs or renting then get some of the touch lights and put those in your tight spaces (such as under the sink or near the stove).

Decorations.
Decorating a kitchen that lacks space is often a difficult task. Your best option is to use things that you need as decorations. Hang coffee mugs on a mug rack or from the bottom of the cupboard using cup hooks. This is a great way to give them a home and it also provides a neat look. You can get a rack for your oven mitts and pot holders as well (or use cup hooks to hang them on the wall too). Pick out fun pot holders and pretty colors to use as decorations and for when you need them. You can also hang accessories such as spoons, spatulas, and ladles on the wall. They too look neat and this gives you one less thing to find storage for. It also makes them very convenient since you just pull them off and use them as needed. Finally there is a spice rack. Spices look neat and a rack designed to be beautiful and functional can add a lot to your space. Consider light colored woods rather then dark ones, or light colored metals. Make sure you spice rack is one that can hang up on the wall so it doesn't take up valuable counter space.

Get Organized.
While often easier said then done, the next thing you need to do is get organized. You have to figure out what will work best for you and spending a little money can often help. Here are some tips:

  1. Take everything out. Remove everything from all the cupboards, the drawer under the oven (if you have one), the pantry, the drawers, and any other place you store kitchen items, food, or dishes.
  2. Get rid of what you don't use. Most of us have at least a few items in our kitchen collection that we don't use at all. If you don't use it, can't remember using it, or know that it has been a really long time since you used it last then get rid of it. You can toss it or put it in a box to donate to your favorite charity.
  3. Store what you don't use often. There are also items in our kitchens that we only use every blue moon. You can consider packing these up and storing them in a closet or the garage. If you don't want to put them somewhere else or don't have a somewhere else to put them then consider putting them in the odd cupboards that are harder to use such as the ones above the refrigerator, the ones in odd corners, or above the stove.
  4. Consider getting some organization tools. There are a wide range of organization tools on the market and if you have a small kitchen then the investment can be a huge one that is returned ten fold. You should look into drawer organizers and slide out racks that will help you store your other items more effectively. Also consider baskets for your pantry.
  5. Carefully put each item back. Consider each placement that you make. Not only will you need to remember where this item goes now you will also want to consider how and when you will use it so it can go near that location. You will also want to consider where it will take up the least amount of space, be accessible when needed, and where it will work with the other items that need to go in the space.

Clear Off Your Counter Space.
In a small kitchen the counter space is often very valuable. Having a lot of items on the counter tops can make it feel cluttered and make the space feel tighter. It also is less functional when you are trying to cook. Traditionally we have a lot of items that go on the counter tops. Things such as coffee pots, microwaves, and toasters are often items that people leave out on their counters. You need to find a place for all of these items that isn't on your counter top. You may want to consider a small microwave cart in a light color. You can put your microwave on top and other items that would normally sit on the counter under neath the microwave.

Dealing with a small kitchen isn't always easy, but with some care, careful planning, and a little time you can make your small space feel larger and much more functional. This often makes it more likely that you will cook and more likely that you will enjoy working in there. You don't have to hate your kitchen forever!
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