It seems that no matter what size or shape the kitchen, space is always at an absolute premium. Every time I’ve moved into a new house, I’ve always looked expectantly at the empty counters, marveling at the copious room available and fantasized about how easy cooking will be. Inevitably, within five minutes of starting to unpack, there are about seven square inches of counter space left, nestled somewhere between the coffee maker and the slow cooker. Singles or young couples starting out frequently make do with cramped kitchen spaces, which only exacerbates the problem. So, how can you get the most out of the kitchen space that you have? Here are a few tips that might come in handy:
Off the Wall
The wall is your friend when it comes to storing kitchen items. A few strategically placed magnet or hook bars are the perfect way to store your cookware sets, knives, utensils, mugs neatly and in an orderly fashion. This approach will free up scarce cupboard and counter space, while keeping everything within easy arms’ reach, adding efficiency and speed to your cooking. Best of all, it will create a delightful, rustic feel in your space.
Pull Out the Stops
Most kitchens have a nook or cranny somewhere that is not being utilized. In many cases that place is between the fridge and the edge of the cavity or wall. Why not use this dead space productively with a pull-out pantry? This ingenious idea will save you a ton of room and will provide the perfect place to store canned foods, herbs, and spices, bottles or canisters. These little marvels are surprisingly uncomplicated to build yourself with items that you can get at any hardware store.
That Sinking Feeling
One of the biggest frustrations in the kitchen is running out of counter space on which to do your prep work. My husband and I frequently cook together, and with two of us busily working away, space can be at a high premium. An answer to this problem is to get yourself an over-the-sink cutting board. It almost seems too simple to be true, but this easy fix will provide you with a handy, temporary space to do your thing that can then be cleaned and stored away. Being close to the sink allows for quick and easy rinsing or feeding of peels down the trash disposal.
Table the Discussion
Many people with small kitchens face a common conundrum regarding whether to include a kitchen table in their décor. On the one hand, it is a practical inclusion. On the other, it takes up space that is already at a premium. A fabulous way to get the best of both worlds is to set yourself up with a wall-mounted fold-up table. Drop it down at meal times, or when you need additional counter space, and simply fold up and stow when not in use. For extra credit, while in the stowed position, get creative and utilize the underside of the table as a decorative feature, pin board, or even affix a white board or weekly planner.
Cheap and simple items such as wall hooks and tension bars can really help to eliminate clutter. Use hooks or Velcro strips to attached storage items to the inside of your cabinets to maximise your use of these spaces and ensure that everything has a home. Another option is to attach magnets to storage caddies or racks and affix these to the side of your fridge for another innovative solution.
With a bit of imagination and ingenuity, you can do a great deal with even the smallest kitchen space.