How to Design a Small Kitchen - Part 2

In part one of this two-part series, we explained the importance of setting a realistic budget for a small kitchen renovation.  In this blog, we’ll focus on the unique choices made in our two tiniest Mayflower kitchen remodels that make them stars of our portfolio.  The design tricks we employed in these renovations can be applied to any project as every kitchen renovation should be focused on investing in good quality materials and making the most of your available space.  We’ve organized it into six tips along with more pictures from these fantastic small kitchen renovations.

1. Get a Second Row of Wall CabinetsOne of the best tips for maximizing space in a small kitchen is to use every bit of available wall space for storage.  If you’ve got a tall ceiling, a second row of wall cabinets is an excellent addition.  The small cabinets are perfect for storing all the little items you don’t use every day.  Fill them with birthday candles, holiday tableware, dinner party china and other items you only pull out once or twice a year.  This leaves all of your primary cabinets available for your regularly used items.

2. Organize Everything: When designing a small kitchen, it’s important to think not just about the overall layout, but where you are going to store all your items. There are tons of specialized inserts for your base and wall cabinets to fulfill all your storage needs.  From spice racks to cutlery dividers, dedicating certain cabinets to specific items will get you off to a clutter free start! 

3. Choose a Unique Backsplash: In a small kitchen, the perfect place to show off your personality is your backsplash. Your designer will push you towards simplicity on the main areas to keep the room feeling open, but your backsplash takes up just a small enough space for an intricate patterned tile or a fun color to not feel overwhelming.  Don’t be afraid to get creative in this area!       

4. Plan Efficient Use of Appliances: Small kitchen renovations are all about maximizing cabinetry storage and countertop space by minimizing appliances to only what you really need to use every day.  While a double oven is nice for dinner parties and holiday cooking, you gain a massive amount of cabinet space by choosing a range/cooktop combination.  Similarly, an over the range microwave with a built-in fan is a much more efficient use of space for busy families who need a quick place to heat up food on the go!    

5. Keep countertops, cabinetry and hardware simple: While heavily ornamented cabinets and countertops with dramatic veining are stunning, they will make a small kitchen feel like it’s closing in on you. A solid color or marble like quartz with minimal scattered veining will elongate your counter area.  A clean white or light gray shaker will open up your kitchen more than the popular black, blue, green and brown tones.  You want your small kitchen to feel light and refreshing every time you walk inside!

6. Utilize every available area for storage: In a small kitchen, not a single inch of space should be considered unusable. If you’ve got 3” fillers in between any of your cabinets, make sure you invest in a cabinetry line that offers these convenient mini pullout spice racks.  Turn your cutlery drawers into two levels of storage with a two-tiered cutlery insert custom sized to your cabinet.  If you have wall space where a cabinet would look out of place, consider floating shelves to store your more decorative items.   

If you’re looking at your own kitchen and feeling like it has more potential than you thought, maybe it’s time to renovate!  As you can see, the ideas in these pictures took careful planning.  It starts with understanding the functionality you’re lacking in your current space, the style you want to achieve and finding the right professional to help you put your ideas into a well thought out design.  Our Mayflower design and field team is standing by to create your dream kitchen regardless of its size!

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