Small Kitchen Design Makes The Most Of Limited Space

Small Kitchen Design | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
A small kitchen in a Midwestern Victorian home defies many of the top designer’s guidelines – but it works! The concept of small is relative – there’s small and there’s tiny!

When it comes to small kitchen design it’s not about how much space you have, it’s about what you do with it. The goal is to work within the existing footprint of your Madison WI kitchen. Striving to extend efficiency and pleasure without expanding the space. With the right remodeling plan you can have a gourmet kitchen feel.

The first step in the design process is to define your kitchen as “space-challenged” not small. The appeal of the vast, expansive kitchens so popular in the media isn’t necessarily a plus for every family home. Big isn’t always better.

A well-designed small kitchen has its advantages. Topping the list is the fact it is a manageable space. You want a kitchen that serves you, not one you have to work harder to keep clean, right?

Do you need a kitchen to multi-task as a study hall, home office and meeting hall? Not every lifestyle benefits from wide open spaces.

Take Advantage of Small Kitchen Design

Do you like the traditional layout of individual rooms? Or is your older home built in such a way you cannot knock out walls to open the space? Whether limited by architecture, budget or style, a small kitchen plan has benefits you can take advantage of. Including:

  • Efficient use of space – the kitchens featured in the media are often far too large for a family’s needs. Wide open spaces are not always efficient or welcoming. Expanding a kitchen floorplan often takes space away from other vital living areas.
  • Smooth workflow – small kitchens are more ergonomic (they work better for natural movement and workflow). The concept of the “kitchen triangle” is practically built-in, making movements efficient. That’s the idea that a cook should be able to move smoothly from sink to stove to refrigerator for meal prep.
  • Budget-conscious – redoing a kitchen is the most expensive basic remodeling project in any house. Keeping the existing footprint reduces demand for costly materials and labor. It also puts high-end materials within reach because you don’t need as much of them.

Homeowners are discovering the merits of smaller kitchens which fit a national trend toward smaller houses. It also blends well with the local craftsman-style homes and cottage design.

Creative Design Options

Small Kitchen Design | Madison WI | Sims Exteriors & Remodeling
Making the most of natural light and sightlines creates an open space from a small kitchen.

Interior designers offer suggestions for working in small kitchens. First, they suggest replacing the thought of a small space to think of it as compact. Small is limiting. Compact is efficient. Additional design tricks include:

  • Dramatic backsplash – there isn’t a lot of space to decorate, so make the most of the backsplash area. It will enliven the kitchen and make a statement. Consider glass mosaic, antique tin of dramatic colored tiles. Again, smaller spaces make it possible to use the best of the best without breaking the bank.
  • Visual illusions – tiny floor tiles make the space appear “busy” and cramped. Larger tiles give an impression of open, airier space. Why? Larger tiles have fewer grout lines so there’s less visual distraction. Designers recommend nothing smaller than 12-inch=by-12-inch floor tiles in a compact space.
  • Creative cabinetry – makes the most of every available inch. Push cabinets all the way to the ceiling so you have storage not dead space. Consider glass-front cabinets to offset the full, crowded walls. Lighting beneath the cabinets – and inside – helps open up the space visually, too.
  • No dark colors – dark colors in a small space make it feel even more restrictive. Use light, neutral colors. Make your color statement on the backsplash!
  • Let there be light – move away from pendant lights suspended from above, they make the space appear even more confined. Go with inset cannon lights or well-spaced track lighting. Under cabinet lighting is more important in a small kitchen than ever. You hate working in shadows, right?

Small Kitchen Design – Go For Comfort

A football-sized kitchen, family room complex provides plenty of elbow room. But, does it make you feel at home? Sure you can see the big-screen while you cook, but can you have a conversation in a normal voice? It is becoming clear to more and more homeowners and designers that smaller, cozier rooms are more inviting. Following this line of thought, designers looking to renovate compact kitchen spaces offer one big reminder:

  • Kitchen islands are space hogs! The coveted kitchen island doesn’t always deliver as promised. It isn’t always as useful as it appears in pictures. If your small kitchen doesn’t already have one, it’s probably for good reason. If it doesn’t, think long and hard before making the space even smaller by adding one. You’re looking for an efficient answer to your kitchen needs, not just a trendy one, right?

Not every architectural style lends itself to a vast, open floor plan. Nor does every family lifestyle embrace one. If you appreciate the character of your older home and want to make the most of a small kitchen space, give us a call at 608-825-4500, or email us to discuss all your options. Sims Exteriors & Remodeling excels at making the most of limited kitchen space. With years of experience, we’re ready to create a productive, well thought out small kitchen design for your Madison WI home.

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