Small Kitchen Designs: Your Guide to the Challenge

If you are fortunate enough to be remodeling your kitchen or building one from scratch in your newly built house, this is a decision that will shape your future enjoyment.  Designing and building a kitchen can be an extremely costly and time-consuming process and if you make a wrong decision you could end up living with your mistakes for a very long time to come.

Since the kitchen area is where most people will congregate, regardless of size, it is important to take every advantage of functional ways to enhance the space.  Some of these decisions will be based upon cost, others on splurges that really enhance the way you live or entertain.  If you are careful with your budget, you can save bundles on cabinetry and use that to get gorgeous granite countertops or a few high end kitchen appliances.

For these reasons, take the following points into account before making your ultimate decisions:

  • How much space do you have available? Small kitchen designs, for example, have to be compact, taking into account your needs for storage space, an adequate food preparation area, and enough place for all of your kitchen appliances. In larger kitchens, you can spread yourself a lot more and also allow yourself luxuries such as a kitchen island, something that would be out of the question in a smaller area.
  • How much of a budget do you have available? As alluded to, it is better to know where you can splurge and where you need to use more budget-friendly solutions to design challenges.  For example, you can get some great bang for your buck with unique kitchen tile ideas that accent or highlight a backsplash or create a ‘rug’ appearance on the floor.  Smaller spaces can actually lend themselves to highly efficient kitchens with all of your workspace within arm’s reach.
  • When you hire contractors, be wary. There are many shady contractors among the highly professional ones.  Always ask for references and portfolios if you want to see the work they’ve done.  This is especially important if you have some unique design concepts that you’re looking to have built. Also, know how and what you’re paying for.  You don’t want, for example, to pay upfront for work that either doesn’t get done or isn’t completed properly. Signing an enforceable contract is paramount.
  • Similarly, when purchasing expensive items, always read kitchen product reviews very thoroughly. Pay close attention to what other consumers say – this is where shopping online can be a great advantage. You really should do your best to avoid wasting your money on substandard products.  That saying, “no one ever regretted buying the best” is so true here.  Of course, this doesn’t mean most expensive.  It means purchasing the highest quality for what your budget allows.
  • Think carefully about kitchen storage ideas that are compatible with the space you have, as well as the number of items that you possess. For example, in small kitchens with high ceilings, you may find that the direction is up, with tall cupboards and high shelves. In this situation, many details have to be taken into account exactly so that everything has its own specific space, such as a shelf for a microwave, a stovetop set into the counter rather than stand alone, and so forth. Of course, a larger area allows for more kitchen units and countertops to cater to your needs.
  • Have you thought about kitchen accessories? These are dependent on the available space that you have, as well as the general look that you have chosen. Custom range hoods, pot hangers, dining sets and other kitchen items must be part of your design plans.  A minimalist design will have few frills or extra trimmings, while a Victorian or country style will include pictures, pretty china arrangements, decorative plates and other wall decor in the kitchen.
  • What about lighting? Kitchen lighting is very important as it serves a dual purpose – of making food preparation easier on the one hand and on the other hand creating the atmosphere of the room. As these can be two different things, consider dimmer switches, or several kinds of lighting – an overhead light and then small ones over the counters.  This type of combination of flood lighting and spot or task lighting is one of the more important components of kitchen design.  There are also under cabinet lighting and a variety of chandeliers or candle lighting options.

As you can tell, there is a lot to consider. No matter if you have a large or small space, the proper planning and design inspiration can give you much more functional and usable space. As you’ve read, small kitchen designs can be both unique and quite functional, providing you with all the amenities of a larger kitchen in a tighter package.

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