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If you work in a small kitchen for part of your waking hours, then you know how frustrating it can be to work in a tiny space. A small kitchen can cramp your style and make cooking and entertaining more challenging. Yet it doesn’t have to be a limiting space. All kitchens will need some extra organization and planning to function properly, whether they’re big or small, so let’s look at some ideas for making a small kitchen easier to work and cook in.
Using Space-saving solutions
If your kitchen is cramped, you may need to look for space-saving solutions. You can get more counter space by investing in a portable island. Even small ones come in handy when you have limited choices for a workspace. Many of these units come with drawers that work for storing utensils and dishware. You can also place the pots and pans on the unit’s shelves, so they don’t take up valuable workspace on the countertops. You can even use a portable island as a table in a pinch.
Buy Multifunctional items
Another way to get the most out of your kitchen is to invest in appliances and utensils that do double or triple duty. For instance, if you have a small blender, give it more than one assignment. Don’t just use it to make blended drinks. You can also use it to make sauces and soups. Another great multi-tasker are ice cream maker machines, which can make both frozen desserts and sorbet. Only invest in items that can perform more than one function if you have limited space and you’ll get more done with less.
Add Visual Size with Mirrors and Bright Colors
How about adding the illusion of more space? Wake up a small kitchen and give it more visual presence by adding mirrors and extra lighting. Smaller kitchens tend to be dark and the darkness diminishes their size even more. The simplest way to do this is to add brighter bulbs. Switch those 60-watt bulbs for 100-watt ones and watch your kitchen come to life.
Another trick is to add lighting underneath the cabinets. Fluorescent light bars are one option, but you can also use LED light bars. Mirrors add the illusion of more space too. Add a mirror to the backsplash for more visual space while keeping your kitchen looking open.
Cook More One-Pot Meals
You can also make your kitchen work more efficiently for you by cooking more one-pot meals. You can make casseroles, stews, or even fish in a baking dish that just needs to be put into the oven. There’s no need to have the stove going all the time if you can do everything in one pot. If you’re worried about the cleanup part, get some good non-stick cookware so that food will come off easily and won’t stick or burn into your pans.
Consider a Dutch oven too. You can move it from stove to oven and use it for everything you want to bake. A crockpot will also come in handy as an alternative to the stove. That way, you can prepare a meal in one pot and eat it later. With a Dutch oven, you can bake bread and other items, prepare soups and stews, braise, meat, and more. The results will be delicious, and you will save time and energy by cooking in one pot rather than on the stovetop or in your oven.
Also, use smaller pots and pans for easy storage. If you’re buying new ones, make sure they are small enough to fit into your cabinets or drawers without taking up too much space.
Create More Kitchen Space in Unexpected Ways
If your kitchen is small and space is at a premium, you can create more space without moving walls or rearranging things. One way is to place shelving above the counters to store things. It’s all about making better use of your limited space so that you can find the best practical use for it.
How about adding a shelf to the under-stair space for more room to store kitchen items? Another option; invest in a rolling cart you can wheel in and use as an island or a tired trolley with three shelves you can move around as needed. Kitchen space is something you can maximize, but if you want to make your small kitchen feel more spacious, you’ll have to work at it.
The Bottom Line
There’s no way of getting around it, a small kitchen is harder to work in. But as long as you are creative with your solutions and do everything you can to make it more functional, you can make the most of your small space. One advantage of having a small kitchen it forces you to think about everything you buy. Do you really need it and do you have room for it? In the long run, it can be a money saver because it will save you from extraneous purchases. Your credit card will thank you! Plus, most people buy things they don’t need on impulse. You’re less likely to do that if your kitchen is tiny.