Thursday, May 28, 2015

Three Simple Tips for a Small Kitchen Design

A big kitchen space is the envy of most homeowners. Who wouldn't want a space that can easily accommodate meal prep and entertainment. At MKBD, we've remodeled both large kitchens and small kitchens that "borrowed" space from adjoining rooms (as in the "open floor" plan below).

An"open floor" plan that combines the kitchen and dining area--like in this Bucks County MKBD project-- can add space to an otherwise cramped kitchen.

Unfortunately, many small kitchens cannot reasonably borrow space from adjoining rooms. Because of issues with exhaust, many older homes were long ago designed with smaller kitchens that were meant to be separated from the rest of the home. For this reason, for most of American history, the kitchen did not enjoy abundant space. As we noted before in our article on kitchen entertaining:

"In America, the kitchen as the "center of the house" is a relatively recent development, inspired by the evolving dynamics of dining and gender roles. For centuries, the kitchen served a function quite distinct from dining: cooking and cleaning. Dining was reserved for the dining room, or later, in front of the TV, in the family room."

The Wikipedia page on kitchens has some fascinating information about the evolution of the space, including the fact that in the 1980s the perfection of the extraction hood "allowed an open kitchen again, integrated more or less with the living room without causing the whole apartment or house to smell. Before that, only a few earlier experiments, typically in newly built upper-middle-class family homes, had open kitchens."

If you live in a newer house, then, you're probably lucky enough to enjoy ample kitchen space.

But what about homeowners with smaller kitchen spaces? We're here to tell the small kitchen owners: Do no fret! With a quality design that emphasizes efficiency, you too can enjoy the benefits of a kitchen remodeling project.

In this University City MKBD project, the old, cramped kitchen, which originally featured poor lighting and a terrible layout, was transformed to a modern, efficient space. 

It's All About Design

We've been remodeling homes in the Philadelphia area for over thirty years, yet we continue to feel confounded by poorly-designed kitchens. Like it or not, many spaces have not been designed by even reasonably talented architects. And unfortunately, many kitchens seem to have received the worst treatment.

The key to small kitchen design is minimizing clutter and maximizing efficiency. Remember, no matter the size, "A Beautiful Kitchen is a Clutter-Free Kitchen."And yet, for a smaller kitchen efficiency is everything. So streamline your design. Do away with unnecessary frills. Keep it simple! Try to leave the design as "open" as possible.

As we noted before:

"In the past, designers have included extra space, like additional counter tops or cabinets, to make kitchen designs that can easily house additional supplies and appliances. Yet we've learned from experience that additional space is not really the solution. It is not necessary for every square inch of your kitchen to offer a space for supplies and appliances. In fact, a fundamental truth of professional kitchen often applies to home kitchens: the less available counter and cabinet space the better!"

Another view of our University City-are remodeling project.

Make Your Cabinets Count 

In the University City project above, MKBD's experienced crew members rearranged the appliances and created storage space with new maple cabinetry accessorized with drawer interiors so the homeowners could make use of all the nooks and crannies.

Efficient cabinets and drawers should increase accessibility and convenience. One good option is sliding cabinets like those often found under the sink for trash and recycling.

Keep the Color Palette Simple

Like the design itself, simplified color can harmonize a small space that might otherwise suffer from a busy palette. In the University City project above, new maple cabinetry was lightly stained, complementing the neutral floors and granite countertops. The look is  simple and cheerful.

In the Center City project below, the clients requested a neutral palette with a clean backsplash. Both emphasize the kitchen's best feature: simplicity.

Natural light emphasizes the simplicity of the Center City MKBD project.

A simple palette with a clean backsplash.

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk the kitchen backsplash and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

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