Tiny Kitchen Tiny Budget Ideas

frmrsdghtrOctober 27, 2013

We just purchased this house and it has lots of great qualities but the kitchen is definitely lacking. We are hoping to take everything out and put in new appliances, cabinets, counters, backsplash, sink, floor, etc. A dishwasher will go to the right of the sink. We can't do anything too major (like adding square footage or taking out a wall) but I'm wondering if there is any way we can change the layout of the appliances. I don't think there is? There is a railing across from the run of cabinets, and the kitchen is only 9 feet wide (so no galley), there is a pantry just past and same side of the railing (but it's small only 3 feet by 3 feet), barely any dining area, and a built in cabinet that will be great for storage. Probably going with ikea cabs or something along those $ lines. I can post a detailed layout with measurements once I get them - just looking for general feedback and ideas at this point. Thanks so much!!

Dining/Slider to back deck

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Why can't you do a galley? You would have almost a 5ft aisle width.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:24PM
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I'm guessing the 9 feet includes the stairway. But you could turn that railing into a half wall and put shallow cabinets (even 9" bookshelves if that's all the room you have) against it. Do you need it open behind the railing? Is there any way to access those stairs except from outside?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 4:51PM
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The 9 feet does not include the stairway - turning the railing into a wall is an idea - BUT it seems like the kitchen would feel incredibly cramped that way. That stairway is the only access to the basement.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:20PM
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If you have 9 feet clear, you definitely can do a galley. I don't think it would feel cramped, especially if you only have lower cabinets and leave it open above. My question was, how do you get to the stairs? That looks like an exterior door.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:29PM
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There's a gate on the fridge half wall.

I'd make it a galley too. Either you want it open and breezy with little storage , or you want more storage. The room kinda limits you from having both.

The Demi tall cabinets on the stairwell are a good idea for a compromise.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:37PM
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Yup, there's a gate to the kitchen from the stairway and a door to the garage from the stairway. Is it okay to have a fridge and stove right next to each other?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:48PM
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This kitchen is nine feet and open to a hall and stairwell on one side. The uppers on that side are glass front and back.

a href="http://photobucket.com/"; target="_blank">

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 5:51PM
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hmmm... now that might be an idea. Although I am having a hard time imagining an open stairway on the other side of that run of cabs - do things get knocked off the counter and down the stairs on a regular basis:)? I like this idea more than a solid wall there - especially aesthetically - thanks for this!!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:13PM
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It's OK from a safety and strictly functional standpoint to have a fridge and stove next to each other, but I wouldn't do it unless you have no other choice. I have a pot of soup on the stove at the moment and the pot handle (just a shorty) extends to less than an inch of where the stove ends. I had to move the pot from a front burner to a back burner. Had I not had counter next to the stove, I couldn't have picked up the pot with the handles to the sides. Lifting with the handles faced back and front increases the risk of a steam burn at the very least. Hopefully someone will come up with a better way to do this in the space you have available.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 6:26PM
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It's mostly hall and the stairs are just one small part, but no, things didn't really get knocked off the back of the counter. Plus you could put a short pony wall back there. Even 4" would prevent things from falling off.

If you did a galley and recessed the fridge partly into the pantry space the layout would be almost identical. It's not ideal to have the range next to an entry to the kitchen but at least it is offset somewhat.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:45PM
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What shape are the cabinets in? I.E. could you just paint them? Also, how much space do you have for the fridge as is? About 34"?
Here's a DIY budget makeover (more pictures and instructions below). Love how they hung their cabinets higher and added shelf. Do you know what's under your soffit?

Here is a link that might be useful: DIY kitchen makeover

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 9:36AM
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I agree with nosoccermom about seeing if the soffits can be removed. If you're planning to get new cabinets, going to the ceiling with them would really increase your storage space. And it would look good. :)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:00AM
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My hubby thinks they are deadspace so once we confirm they are, they are definitely coming out and the cabs are going to the ceiling. Thanks for the link - love the look of that kitchen!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 10:37AM
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Just to clarify: In the kitchen above, they reused the old cabinets and just hung them higher and then added shelves underneath.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 12:30PM
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Elraes Miller

I like the pic you posted soccermom. When raising cabinets like that is it difficult to get to their contents? I'm short and have to use a stool as it is to reach the top shelf. Although still could, so this wouldn't change anything. My cabinets bug me because half have 8" of space above. The 'ole being creative with different heights. Moving up to ceiling would be so much more cohesive in a smaller kitchen. And adding shelves would give it a more custom look, along with eliminating issues with dirt/grime in the little areas. Yes, I know some use paper on top to help the dilemma

And here I go again, interrupting the original post.

The house next door had their basement stairs in the same place as yours. They just closed it off adding a wall across the opening and an L to capture added cabinets. Kept the entry in same spot. Cupboards across from the entry wall area had to be removed to give more room for going around a corner.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2013 at 2:26PM
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frmsdghtr, I know you said you have a tiny budget. I agree that a galley kitchen is the way to go. You would have so much extra storage space and prep space.

This kitchen space looks very similar to many homes I saw growing up, although the wall to the basement stairs was always enclosed.

I would sincerely encourage you enclose the wall space by the basement stairs. Having it dry walled would allow you to have wall cabinets. I think it would be dangerous to have an opening to the basement stairs in the area above cabinets on the bottom (not just for items falling over the edge, but your kids, their playmates, your friends' kids...you know how they never go on the counters when you're not looking). You could also explore putting your fridge on that wall. A counter depth fridge would give it a more built in look. We did that in our kitchen in order to make placing the fridge in a different space work. They are a bit more pricey and have less storage space. We have our old fridge in the garage for overflow that doesn't fit in the kitchen and it's worked out fine. And if you don't have an extra fridge, there are plenty on Craigs List.

Please let us know what you end up doing.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 8:16PM
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