Small kitchens are not unusual in older homes especially, before families began eating and entertaining in the space. However, even when you're planning a full kitchen remodel, you can't always just tear down a wall to open up the space and maximize storage ideas. This might limit your plans for your kitchen remodel, but note a few design ideas that can help. These can make the kitchen look and feel bigger and brighter and help you fully utilize that small space as well.
Fold down or tuck away
In a small kitchen, it's good to think of how you can fold down, fold up, or tuck away surfaces when they're not in use. For example, you might want a countertop for the children to eat breakfast even in a small kitchen. Have your contractor build an extension of your kitchen island or other surface that is hinged so it can be folded down when not in use. This opens up the kitchen floor space once breakfast is over. Cutting boards that slide under the kitchen benchtop can do the same; they expand your food prep surface area when needed, and you can tuck them away when you're finished with them.
To maximize storage in a small kitchen, rather than barstools at the counter, use cubes for seating with a cushion on top. The cubes can store linens and other such items. Do the same if you're creating a built-in banquette; use bench seating with storage under the bench, rather than individual chairs. If your remodeling plans include a kitchen island, opt for a cupboard or cabinet variety rather than one with an open shelf at the bottom. Use the cabinet for larger pots and pans or small kitchen appliances.
One common challenge in a small kitchen is that you have dead walls, meaning a wall space that isn't deep enough for an actual cupboard. Your contractor can install shelves along this wall and you can use it to stack your most attractive dishes, glassware, cookbooks, or decorative platters. You might also have him or her install a pegboard with large hooks. These can be used to hang utensils, smaller pots and pans, and coffee mugs. If your kitchen doubles as a family communication center and the refrigerator is overrun with homework assignments, lists, calendars, and the like, have your contractor paint that dead wall with chalkboard paint. You can then use it to make lists and calendars or use magnets on it to hang homework and other papers, clearing off the refrigerator and helping you stay organized.