While large kitchens are often the stuff of dreams, small kitchens are the more down-to-earth practical cousins, with much to teach us about making the most out of everyday cooking spaces. Take these tips and a healthy dose of inspiration from ten tiny kitchens that demonstrate myriad ways to maximize your opportunities.
Embrace Awkward: Many kitchens, especially in older buildings, come with architectural quirks. This tiny Paris kitchen used the sloping space under the stairwell, and is able to wedge in a sink and countertop into what was a previously unusable spot.
Ditch The Accessories: This Russian-designed kitchen gets its extra special something from the colorful floral wallpaper and tile floor, and keeps just necessities out in the open. There no need for anything else decorative.
Accept Substitutes: If you have a micro kitchen like this one from Mesh Studio (also lead photo), you don't have tons of counter, cabinet and drawer space. If you don’t have room for a food processor, buy a smaller immersion blender instead. Or, if you don't have the counter space for a coffee maker, keep a french press on your stove burner.
Go Custom: Open up new opportunities using specially designed elements, like this 3-foot deep stainless counter, which allowed a wee carriage house kitchen to tuck into a tight nook while eking out every inch of prep space.
Get Creative: This innovative, modular kitchen has a flip top, with storage living inside the lid. When open it's a functional cooking space, then can be a totally different surface when closed.
Shop Small: Instead of purchasing full-size items, research and carefully choose small-scale products and solutions that make your small kitchen more functional. Things like smaller drying racks, mini fridges, and single drawer dishwashers are out there and you just have to find them. The oven and sink in this kitchen from Civico Quattro are certainly on the small side, yet totally work for the space.
Keep Counters Clean: Give yourself a fighting chance by reserving your kitchen surfaces for kitchen-only items. Find other spots for keys, bills, and knick knacks.
Clean as You Go: Jodi's kitchen has taught her to return things to their storage places right when she is done using them. Clean as you cook, and put the ingredients back on their shelf as soon as you've taken what you've needed from the package.
Don't Overly Divide: Instead of a space-reducing full wall between the kitchen and the rest of the living space, leave it open. This apartment uses a low countertop to delineate space, and use the black accent wall as a decorative form of room divider.
Keep It Simple: There's enough going on in these well-used spots without over complicating matters. Keeping things white is calm and clean. Similarly, our storage can't handle tons ingredients you only use once a year, and you can't bulk shop in the freezer section of the grocery store. Cook fresh, simple meals that are do-able and make sense for everyday, and don't worry about being Julia Child.