Part 1: Small Spaces and You

Planning a new kitchen can be both a blessing and a curse. Designing a new kitchen in a space that is less than half you had hoped for can be even more stressful, but this does not mean it can’t be what you want it to be.

Whether your little birds have left the nest, and it’s time to move into a smaller space, or you are the little bird, moving into your first home, compromising space does not mean you have to compromise design, style and efficiency when creating your new compact kitchen.

There are many things to consider when designing your compact kitchen. Items such as kitchen islands, kitchen cabinets, appliances, floors, lighting and finishes; all these things play a part in your quest to maximize space.

Compact Kitchens
Keywords: compact kitchen, kitchen islands, kitchen cabinets, maximize space, appliances

Part 2: Making a Big Deal Out Of A Small Space

When it comes to maximizing space for your kitchen, there are a few things you must consider before making stylistic choices. First you must think about yourself: are you someone who loves to cook and are always in the kitchen? Do you love to entertain and hope to host many dinner parties? Are you a take-out guru who fills your fridge with many leftovers? Do you already own a lot of cookware, cutlery, glassware, etc.?

By answering these questions, you have taken the first steps to figuring out the perfect compact kitchen for your space.

Once you decide the function of your kitchen, you must take into consideration the floor-plan of your space. Mark down where your windows and doors are, and see where the plumbing and pipes for your appliances will fit into your design. Just because your kitchen will be compact, does not mean that you have to cram it into a dark corner of your home. Spaces with large amounts of natural light will not only create the appearance of a larger space, but natural light is ideal for cooking and entertaining.

If the ideal space for your compact kitchen does not have plenty of natural light, the proper selection of both ambient and artificial lighting can work well to maximize space, amplify style and support efficiency.

If your plan is to design your compact kitchen in an open-floor space or within a smaller room, you may opt for the galley style kitchen. This compact kitchen will include two wall units running parallel to one another, with your fridge, oven and sink fully incorporated within the units. In an open-plan space, kitchen islands can be placed adjacent to your wall unit, for multi-functional purposes such as work space, and entertainment. With the addition of kitchen island chairs, your counter-space can be quickly converted into a breakfast bar.

When you are working with an area that has many walls, you may opt for the U-Shaped compact kitchen. Here you will have the ability to incorporate many kitchen cabinets, counter space and appliances and still be able to maximize your space. The beauty of the U-Shaped kitchen, is that you can utilize every feature and every end. For example, by incorporating a pull-out feature at one end, your counter space that can at times be used for food prep, will quickly become a breakfast bar with the addition of a pull-out chair, or stools. You can also add hanging racks and hooks to the other end, for storing towels, aprons, or pots and pans.

An L-Shaped kitchen is a standard design for putting compact kitchens in small corners of a room. A good hint for this compact kitchen is to keep your oven adjacent to your stove, so that your workspace is not limited and you have more room for efficiency and style. As you are unable to build your kitchen horizontally, a good way to maximize your space, is to build your kitchen vertically, expanding the room upwards. Tall kitchen cabinets with glass doors, or open-concept shelving will make the space appear larger. You may also choose to use glass jars for storing your grains and everyday use products, to eliminate the need for more storage, and open up the space further.

Regardless of the style of compact kitchen you choose, it is important to think about the big picture when designing with the intent to maximize space. You may choose to have your compact kitchen fit seamlessly into the rest of your home. Monochromatic, light colour schemes, flat front and handless kitchen cabinets, less clutter, and clean lines, will create the perfect, modern look for your compact kitchen. Or you may choose to design a kitchen island with a built-in bench on one side, which will act as seating for the dining table you place adjacent to it.

If you want your compact kitchen to remain a dominant space and a feature in your home, bold coloured kitchen cabinets and stylish appliances, along with high gloss finishes, or a backsplash that catches your attention from across the room, will turn your compact kitchen into a place to entertain your guests both visually and efficiently.

Whether you have chosen a modern, sleek approach for your compact kitchen, or you wish to go bold and retro, the benefits of choosing a compact kitchen remain the same. You have chosen to give yourself a tighter and more convenient workspace, and have allowed for more floor-space to design the remainder of your home. Maximizing a smaller space is also a less expensive option for kitchens, because you will require a lower quantity of materials. Saving on the cost of materials, means that you will have the opportunity to purchase higher-end small appliances.

Part 3: Compact Appliances: Big Things Come In Small Packages

Smaller living spaces and compact kitchens have become such a popular choice, that many companies leading the world of appliances have designed their own line of compact appliances with homeowners of compact kitchens in mind. Choosing the right type of appliances and the right brands, will help you to further design a stylish and efficient compact kitchen.

 Choosing Appliances:

Bearing the need for compact kitchens in mind, Porter&Charles has developed its very own, single unit Kompakt Kitchen. Perfect for the cottage, the man cave, or the studio apartment, this Kompakt Kitchen features all of the essentials you will need for a functioning compact kitchen.

Each unit provides us with: a built-in, 19” LED TV, perfect for catching the morning news, weather or following along with recipes on the Food Network. You will also have an integrated insert range hood to remove excess heat and humidity, a 24” Liebherr fridge/freezer with ample storage and freshness, a modern FRANKE sink and faucet, a Porter&Charles energy saving, two burner induction cooktop, a speed oven all-in-one microwave, convention and grill, a Porter&Charles dishwasher with near-silent and energy/water saving technology, as well as shelf and storage space.

You will also consider which small appliances are essential for your kitchen lifestyle. A list of recommended appliances may include:

  • A food processor
  • A blender – choosing between countertop or immersion all depends on how often you will use this appliance
  • An electric mixer – stand mixers are recommended for the everyday baker, whereas occasional bakers will get along well with a hand mixer that can easily be tucked away to maximize counter space
  • A pressure cooker – or perhaps you may want to test out the new fad of the InstantPot?
  • An electric kettle – yes, boiling water the traditional way is always an option, but you will be surprised at how efficient and energy saving an electric kettle can be—especially for the avid coffee and tea drinkers.

Though some of these small appliances may appear as more luxuries than necessities, it is important to remember that you have chosen to design a compact kitchen that not only suits your lifestyle, but will also remain efficient and stylish for many years. With your appliances you may hope for the same.

European brands such as SMEG, have created a line of small, luxurious appliances that will add both a functional and stylistic element to your compact kitchen. Their retro designs and pastel colours work effortlessly in both modern and traditional kitchens, and they are the luxury you have afforded yourself by saving money on a smaller kitchen.

Their line of small appliances includes: 2 or 4 slice toasters, coffee machines, citrus juicers, hand or stand blenders, stand mixers, and kettles. All items are available in their standard pastel colour options, and will add flourish, efficiency and style to your compact kitchen, with the added benefits of space-saving and easy-to-tuck away sizes.