Renovating a Small Kitchen?

As the manager of the kitchen department in IKEA’s Paramus, NJ, location, Carol Smith is used to helping customers create their dream kitchen — even when space is limited. Here, she shares 10 things to consider before planning your own renovation.

How many people use the kitchen?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

The needs of a family will inevitably be different from those of an empty nester. A family might want food storage lower or the microwave more accessible, so older children can help themselves to an after-school snack. A couple, meanwhile, might opt for an island with a cooktop and bar sink.

 

How often do you cook or entertain?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

A serious entertainer may want wall ovens, under-counter beverage refrigerators or additional room for appliances, so a layout will need to accommodate these extras while maintaining clean, uncluttered counter space.

 

Will you need space for dining?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

If you will, consider space-saving options, such as folding bar stools or designs that tuck under a counter or work island. If even modest space exists, a kitchen island may be a worthy consideration.

 

What are your must-haves?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Homeowners should have an idea of their “must-have” features as well as secondary, or “nice-to-have,” features. Your budget will ultimately determine which items will make it into the final plan.

 

Where will your work triangle fit in?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Even in a small space, try to achieve the “work triangle,” that optimal configuration between the stove, refrigerator and sink. Rolling carts offer storage and workspace, and their mobility frees up built-in space to accommodate the triangle.

 

How can you maximize storage?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Cabinets up to the ceiling line are great for occasional storage like holiday bakeware and turkey platters. They also offer a great opportunity to use handy step stools!

 

Are you using every bit of space?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Pull-out interiors and rotating carousels can make accessing tough corners much easier. Even drawer organizers can make a big difference. Better organization translates into more space, and in a small kitchen that’s a plus.

 

What will be on display?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

In a small kitchen, an uncluttered look is essential. Many people like the decorative effect of glass doors on cabinets, but always ask yourself, “What’s going behind the glass?” Stemware can look beautiful; canned goods not as much.

 

Is there anything you can part with?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Clearing out your cabinets before demolition provides the perfect chance to take stock of what you have. Purge those broken springform pans and old electric juicers! Keep what you really use and get rid of the rest.

 

Which colors or surfaces will visually expand the space?

Source: IKEA

Source: IKEA

Lighter colors and reflective surfaces like stainless steel, chrome and high-gloss fronts tend to open up a small space. But never underestimate the magic of lighting! Under-cabinet lighting and other options can make small, gloomy spaces appear more inviting.

This article was originally published by Marie Proeller Hueston of Bobvila.com on Zillow Blog. See the original article here.

Bob Vila is the home improvement expert widely known as host of TV’s This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila. Today, Bob continues his mission to help people upgrade their homes and improve their lives with advice online at BobVila.com. His video-rich site offers a full range of fresh, authoritative content – practical tips, inspirational ideas, and more than 1,000 videos from Bob Vila television.

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