My Small Awkward Kitchen

CurbedEnthusiasmNovember 20, 2011

Hello all! I'm new to the forum and would love your advice on how to make my small, awkward kitchen more functional. Currently, the kitchen is in a single line layout, except for a small corner cabinet and a fridge on an adjacent wall (so, basically a cross between a single line and an L-shape). The kitchen is immediately parallel to my front door/entry way, and there is a dividing wall between the two spaces with a small pass-through to let in a little more light. The current layout suffers from apartment-sized appliances, cabinetry that does not maximize the height of the room, and just feels very dark and closed-in.

Here are a variety of issues that I am pondering:

1) I could take down most of the diving wall between the entry and the kitchen and really open up the space, but I like defined spaces, and don't think it would feel right to walk right into a kitchen. However, that's the only way to really add more space.

2) There is enough width to have a regular sized dishwasher and stove, but that means losing all bottom cabinetry (except for a lazy susan on the corner). I've never had a kitchen where I didn't have drawers. If I added more upper cabinetry to make up for the lost space, do you think that would make up for losing the drawers, or would that be awkward to get cutlery from an upper cabinet - and would it turn off future buyers?

3) One final idea is to turn the kitchen into a u-shaped design by putting in a corner cabinet where the stove is, and then installing the stove on the perpendicular wall. However, that would only leave a 5'x4' space in the middle of the u-shape - is that going to be enough room, or will it feel cramped?

If anyone has any input, or other ideas, I would love to hear them. I'm feeling overwhelmed, and the difficult design is killing my love of cooking, so any and all ideas are welcomed. Thanks in advance.

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    Bookmark   November 20, 2011 at 9:18PM
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I am far from an expert or even experienced in this, but I like to look at pretty pictures on the internet and dream of renovating my kitchen someday. I wonder if taking down the upper cabinets and replacing with open shelving would open the space up. The cabinets do seem to be overtaking the room.

My kitchen is tiny too and because of storage issues, it has really cramped my cooking style. That said, chef/author/blogger David Lebovitz has a super tiny French kitchen and he still manages to be inspired and inspiring in it. So, I'm learning to love what I've got - which is taking some time indeed.

I hope you've figured out what to do with your kitchen!

    Bookmark   January 13, 2012 at 6:33AM
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Did you do your kitchen yet? If you still need help with your design/layout you should post on the discussion pages of the kitchen forum. There are lots of very knowledgable and helpful people there. They don't seem to look at the galley section much. There is a link for the discussion page right above all the listed messages.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2012 at 9:05AM
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Curbed, finally someone with a kitchen smaller than mine but you still have more cabs! I have asked for layout help many times and received a lot of helpful advice but have yet to finalize my plans . . oh the decisions. So while I can't really help with your specific layout, I can make some suggestions which you might find helpful: I am looking myself into a tall slim fridge myself that is only 24 inches wide but really tall. My goal is to get everything into the L while adding a DW which I don't have now. I too have the problem of not coming up with an adequate drawer base since I am really wanting a 24 in DW although there are some 18 in DW that hold quite a bit but are also very pricey. I too think of resale although no DW is worse than an 18 in DW IMHO. Also someone suggested to me a dish drawer on top and then a drawer on the bottom to add storage. I don't think you could get silverware from the top cabinet maybe unless you are really super tall? My parents had a knife block that hung under the cabinet so that might free up some drawer space for you and you could get a pretty divided basket that sits on the counter to hold your silverware but I have pets with fur so I like everything behind a door. I would think a 30 in stove and 18 in DW would be a better choice in your kitchen than all full size appliances and might get you the space for a drawer base. Have you looked into a corner sink at all? Good luck with your project.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 7:32PM
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