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How To Make The Most Out Of A Small Kitchen During A Remodel

by April Carlson

If your kitchen has always felt a little small, when the time to remodel comes around, you'll want to do all that you can to maximize on the space you do have. Here are four tips for remodeling a small kitchen in a way that feels less cramped and more efficient.

Go Floor-to-Ceiling

When you are short on horizontal space, you need to make the most of your vertical space. Opt for floor-to-ceiling cabinets wherever possible. Yes, reaching those highest cabinets will be difficult, but you can use them to store items like your holiday dishes and special serving bowls that you only use on occasion. This way, there will be more space left in your lower cupboards for items you do need to access regularly.

Also consider the idea of drop-down shelves for your higher cabinets. These shelves pull out and swing down on a system of hinged levers, so you don't have to stand on a chair to reach those high-up items.

Consider Smaller Appliances

Stoves and refrigerators seem to get bigger and bigger each time a new model is released. But ask yourself if you really need all of that space. Unless you're cooking for a family of 8 every night, you probably don't need a stove with 6 burners or a 4-foot wide fridge. Even high-end appliance manufacturers make space-saving models, and this is where you should focus your attention when shopping.

Refrigerators come in several styles. There are models where the freezer is a drawer on the bottom, where it's a separate "cupboard" on top, and where the fridge and freezer stand side by side. In a kitchen with limited space, a side-by-side model is often the best choice because you don't have to allow so much room for door clearance. (Since there are two doors, they are narrower, and you can place other furniture near them while still allowing room for them to open.)

When it comes to stoves and ovens, having a separate oven and counter-top range is popular these days. However, in a small kitchen, you're probably better off sticking to the traditional, stove-oven combination since it essentially gives you both appliances in one space.

Take Advantage of Wall-Mounted Storage

Use some of that wall space that would otherwise be blank or decorated with trinkets to hold items like pans, knives, and cooking utensils. Large hooks to hang pans and utensils are actually quite popular in modern kitchens. You can also mount large magnetic strips to the wall, which can hold onto metal utensils. Use S-hooks to hold hand towels, pot holders and the like. Hanging items on the wall utilizes space that would otherwise be wasted while freeing up more space in your cabinets.

Consider a Pull-Out Pantry

In a small kitchen, there's not usually space for a full pantry, but neglecting to put in a pantry at all will just mean your food items end up cluttering your cabinets and taking up valuable counter space. A pull-out pantry is an excellent solution. This is a system of shelves that is nestled in a tall, narrow space such as next to your refrigerator or at the edge of a system of floor-to-ceiling cabinets. When you pull on the front, the entire shelf system comes out from the wall so that you can easily access everything on the shelves from the side. If there's not enough space for a full-height pull-out pantry, at least try to work a half-height one into the cabinet system below your counters. You'll be glad there's a designated space to store your food.

Designing a small kitchen for maximum efficiency is no easy task. Follow the tips above, and make sure you work with a contractor from a company like Century Roofing Company Inc that has experience designing and building compact kitchens.