The kitchen itself is a large room, but one half of the room is meant for a table and chairs. There are large windows on all the walls. Consequently there isn’t a lot of wall space. The cupboards are at the other end of the room. There aren’t many of them and there is very little counter space.
Tip#1: Create additional storage space with stand alone furniture. I’ve done this with 3 large pieces of furniture. Not long after we moved in, we bought a storage bench that sits just inside our door. It provides additional seating, as well as storage for those things that I need to have on hand but don’t use very often.
This kitchen cupboard came with us when we moved here from our rental cottage. There was even less space in that kitchen, but there was a bit of available wall space between the cupboards and the refrigerator. We found this cupboard which has proved invaluable in both kitchens. It holds a lot of china, including my entire set of good dishes. There is no space for them in the kitchen cupboards. Behind the doors are dog brushes and combs, cleaners, swiffers, dusters, window cleaner, lint brushes…if you don’t have enough cupboard space, find a piece that has cupboards built in.
And the third piece is the kitchen island. I’ve written about it in past posts. I was desperately in need of more storage space and more counter space. I purposely looked for an old sideboard that would fit in our space. Once I found it, a little paint transformed it into a kitchen island.
This is a life saver for us. Not only does it provide additional counter space but look at those cupboards and drawers! I store pots and pans in the cupboards, as well as my Kitchen-Aid mixer and blender. The top drawer holds linens and dish towels, the bottom holds all sorts of baking pans. I didn’t have room for these before the kitchen island came into being.
Under the island? Big containers of dog food. They would look very unattractive if they were out in the open. Since they are stored under the island, that isn’t a problem.
Tip #2: Look at pieces of furniture in a fresh way. Think about how you can repurpose them for your small kitchen. I cannot tell you how vital this old sideboard turned kitchen island has become to our daily kitchen life. I use it all the time. Don uses it all the time. If we had to rely on counter space, we’d be in trouble. If you look at the photo above, you’ll see the large black microwave that came with this house. I’m too cheap to get rid of a perfectly good microwave (though I look forward to the day I can get a smaller one) and it takes up a lot of counter space. The island gives that space back to me, and more.
Tip #3: You can have a pantry in a small kitchen. And it doesn’t have to be a walk-in pantry. I can’t take credit for ours. It was here when we moved in. But, oh my gosh, it holds so much! It’s about 3 ft wide, only 12 inches deep, but when you open it:
Not only are there the shelves you see here, the inside of each door has shelves as well. They aren’t deep but they hold a lot. (I’m trying to talk Brenda into building something like this in her kitchen.) I’m showing you this because it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Perhaps you can find a bit of available wall space or a corner where you could build something like this.
Tip #4: Sometimes the strangest thing can be repurposed for storage. Not long after we moved in here, we went to a small local auction. Because we love old signs and graphics, we bid on this old chain display piece – simply because we liked the fonts and the colors. We had no idea what we were going to do with it. The next day, I had a moment of inspiration, cut some dowels and came up with this:
Our paper towel holder. It may not be for everyone, but we love it. It’s a great conversation piece that looks like a piece of folk art and it keeps plenty of paper towels on hand. I like the idea that this piece which used to live in a hardware store now lives and functions very nicely in our kitchen.
Tip #5: Pottery, baskets and boxes make for great storage in a small kitchen. I use my pottery to hold all sorts of things.
This pitcher holds my collection of bakelite-handled flatware.
This old wooden box holds bottles of distilled water for the dogs.
Back to this photo: there’s a piece of McCoy pottery on the window sill that I use to hold utensils, even paint brushes; there’s an old jar that holds dog biscuits, I store a large Fiesta serving piece on top of the microwave, that vintage red canister holds cookie cutters, and a large white crock holds utensils that we use constantly when cooking.
Use vases to hold utensils, wooden boxes to hold plates or placemats, baskets to hold spices or napkins – the possibilities are endless.
Storage problems can be solved. How I wish I had a photo of our kitchen in the rental we lived in before we moved to the cottage. It was teeny-tiny. Both my current kitchen and Brenda’s look huge compared to that space. I had an old butcher block that I used for a kitchen island. It was about 2 feet by 2 feet. (We just sold it recently through Craigs List. I feel sort of sad.) I managed to fit in the kitchen cupboard. I hung pots and pans from a metal rack hung on the wall. Somehow we managed to make it work and make it work efficiently.
You can, too.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Be sure to visit Brenda for her tips.
Next week: Christmas decorating in a small house. We’re going to have a linky party, as well! So get ready to share your decorating ideas for a small space with us. The links will be at the bottom of my post. Next Tuesday, December 13th!