Small kitchens are challenging to design; and given the whirl of activity around the clock in the kitchen, it takes finesse to balance functionality and style in the limited space.
Masterchef has, if nothing else, tickled our imagination, encouraged us to try new cuisines and find comfort beyond dal-chawal. It has turned the modest kitchens into labs, while kids have raised the bar for moms to cook up delicacies that are not only satiating to the taste buds but also a visual delight. As a side effect, the storage demands have also grown manifold to accommodate ingredients and appliances.
The kitchens of today are stocked with more than pulses, rice, and millets as the shelves are brimming with a whole range of pasta and spices. Fancy appliances are the little helpers that often come to my rescue. In the gourmet kitchen, the simple peeler our mothers used to peel potatoes and cucumbers has given way to julienne peelers and spiralizer to make that crunchy Thai salad. A food processor, chopper, juicer, oven, cake molds, or waffle pans are commonplace in many kitchens now.
The big question: how do you plan a small kitchen that is not only easy to use but a stunner in looks. In this post, there are simple design hacks to make effective use of your limited kitchen space, like this kitchen, for example.
Every tip below is followed by a “get the look” option that will guide you in choosing the product in the picture. The idea is you can recreate the look and style of the kitchens above into an Indian kitchen design by curating a shopping list of the products; shortlisting the products is 50% work accomplished.
1. Think vertical: when space is at a premium, utilize the space vertically creatively. The space above the sink is often found to go waste. This one brilliantly extends the sink behind to drain and stack plates, line up pots and pans, and hang cutlery freeing up the counter.
Get the look:
Opt for a combination of open and closed storage in the top cabinets like this one from Blum.
2. Say no to drainboard: go for a double sink to maximize washing space and cleaning vegetables instead of a sink with a drainboard. Also, plan for an under the cabinet water purifier with its spout coming next to the sink. This will keep the bulky unit hidden from plain sight. For instance, you can look at the Foshan double sink below or choose from several other kitchen sink options.
3. Group appliances: Stow away all appliances together behind a roller or in one corner of the counter with an accessible power point behind. This way it is easy to use right from where they are stored.
4. Accessorize; divide and rule: investing in the right accessories protects your cookware and makes it easy to access when cooking. The tandem boxes ranging from 2 feet to 4 feet is one of the most preferred accessories in kitchens. But, are you using it right? Space goes to waste if the boxes are stashed with utensils. Invest in internal dividers to partition based on the size of your cookware; it will no longer be a treasure hunt to find what you were looking for.
Get the look: No more piling up spoons, forks, and knives. Use a cutlery tray from Hafele instead.
For provisions, use an internal divider such as this one from Blum.
Not just the cutlery, organize under the sink cleaning supplies with this drawer from Inox.
5. Floor to ceiling shelves: the traditional approach is to run the counter the entire length and breadth of the kitchen which is often not required. This breaks the space into three: lower cabinets, countertop, and top cabinets. Since a counter space of 6 – 7 feet is good enough, use the remainder from the floor to ceiling for shelving or use as a pantry.
Get the look: this is a pull-out unit from Ebco with shelves.
There are similar pullout units available from other manufacturers based on your spatial needs such as lower cabinets or corners.
Note that for each product you shortlist, you can find suppliers in your city from where you can purchase.