I like a small kitchen, I REALLY do. Why? So many reasons. I have experience both living in and designing both large and small kitchens
, and I am every bit as comfortable, and in control, in a small kitchen as a big one, in some ways more so.
One might think that small kitchens must pack in as much storage as possible. Of course, the amount of storage "needed" is subjective and varies depending upon the owner of the kitchen.
If there is one piece of advice I give my clients for the design of any size kitchen, it is to elevate, in importance, the aesthetic of the space up toward the attention to function (which is usually high in priorities at the start of the planning process). What this concept translates to, visually, can be experienced in a few of the images in this Ideabook. What does this mean, specifically? It means that even a small kitchen can sacrifice storage for the appreciation of beauty within the design. Should an aesthetic vision (the desire to have a more open look) always trump storage? No, but it is an unexpected design option which merits consideration!
In terms of designing a small kitchen, sometimes you need to choose between countertop space and storage. Positioning the sink on an angle often creates a better use of countertop space. A mixture of shallow base cabinetry and normal depth or deeper cabinetry can manipulate floor space, allowing for more floor space if a tall shallow storage piece is used in place of normal depth storage as one example. Think not only in terms of 24" deep base cabinets and 13" deep wall cabinets but in alternatively sized pieces to see what works in unique ways. The issue of clutter is a significant one. The more clutter, the smaller the kitchen appears, end of story! Regarding style, the smoother and cleaner the lines and fewer, larger color blocks, the larger the space will appear.
In some of these images, a pair of chairs, a few open shelves or a wall near a cooktop simply adorned with an expanse of tile communicates the aesthetic of the space as being the player, the driving force, or "a" driving force of the design. So, no, this Ideabook is not about how to design in as much storage as humanly possible.
All that said, there are many of us who do wish to maximize storage. There are ways to do that.
Bring cabinetry up to the ceiling for more storage space
Consider smaller size appliances which will maximize storage
If possible, bring a cabinet down to the countertop
Add a shelf or two across a window
Create banquette seating with drawers underneath
Design in very shallow tall cabinetry where possible in the kitchen
Use extra depth custom cabinets with extra depth roll out shelves
Use extra depth countertops to store items in the backsplash area
Use double sliding over/under utensil drawer inserts
Store knives on a magnetic bar mounted on a side wall or panel
Store cooking utensils in pottery crocks on the countertop, freeing up drawer space
Add a shallow shelf below wall cabinets
These are some useful tips to find extra storage in a small kitchen. It is wise to carefully consider the size of appliances truly needed (refrigerator drawers anyone?), the true amount of storage required, and the aesthetic that one would like to express. Putting extra thought into these issues will soon reveal the design solutions that are most relevant to your needs AND desires.