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Small Kitchen Remodeling Tips

Older homes often have outdated features like tiny kitchens. Homes built before the 1990s often have small kitchens meant for one occupant; and to make matters worse, they’re often closed off from other rooms. But today’s homebuyers don’t want to feel isolated. With their busy schedules, they want the family to be together as much as possible, including making dinner as a family affair. 

To keep a kitchen remodel from being overwhelming, narrow down the list of things you want to do to improve the space.  Most small kitchens can benefit from more counterspace, more accessible storage, brighter lighting, more seating, better traffic flow and open access to the family room. 

Look carefully at where you can borrow space. To achieve more counterspace, look at the appliances that are taking up needed workspace. Coffee makers, microwaves and ovens can all be built into walls. 

If the family is causing too many traffic jams trying to get to the refrigerator, you can add a refrigerator and freezer drawer for drinks and snacks. Locate them where they’re easy to access from the family room side of the kitchen.   

Can you push the kitchen out into another room like the breakfast room or the den? Perhaps you can bridge the two spaces with a seating area. A banquette is an excellent use of space as you can have compact and charming seating and storage underneath the seats. 

What about storage? A nearby closet can be turned into a pantry. A new look for cabinets is to bring the cabinets all the way down to the countertop. Keep clutter to a minimum by installing an appliance garage.  You can also go up to the ceiling to store your holiday or formal dining dishes.  

Islands can relieve traffic flow and make a kitchen seem more open. Make the island taller so you can add more drawer space. Extend the countertop beyond the cabinetry about 12 to 16 inches to accommodate barstools if you have room. 

Can you push the kitchen out into another room like the den? Perhaps you can bridge the two spaces with a seating area. A banquette is an excellent use of space as you can have storage in a bench, table or seatback.  

If you can, hire a kitchen design professional or take advantage of free or low-cost design services wherever you buy cabinets and appliances. Kitchen designers are specialists in space management to help you solve the most challenging kitchen problems. They can recommend contractors and oversee all installations to make sure they are done correctly. 

There is always something you can do to improve the function and appeal of a smaller kitchen but be realistic about the compromises you can make. No home is perfect and there will always be something you wish were different. But if you can make a few improvements within the confines of the space available to you, you’ll make it work.