How to Maximize Space in a Small Kitchen
The kitchen is one of the most popular targets for renovation, but small kitchen remodel ideas can be hard to come by. Here’s how to plan a well-thought-out, space-saving kitchen design.
The average New York City apartment hasn’t shrunk as fast as in other cities, but 866 square feet isn’t exactly spacious. However, that doesn’t stop our clients from choosing to renovate, either to improve the space’s function, create their own aesthetic vision, save energy, accommodate special needs, increase the property’s value, or any other number of reasons.
Yet, limited space and 90-degree angles can create unique obstacles and inefficiencies when renovating a NYC apartment, so planning a well-thought-out, space-saving kitchen design plan is essential to any successful renovation.
PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL KITCHEN RENOVATION PLAN
With limited space in most New York City kitchens, the key to a strong renovation plan is being equally strategic and creative. Apply both principles with these eight ways to maximize space in a small kitchen:
1. PLAN AROUND CORNERS
Placing rarely-used appliances into a ground-level corner cabinet means the chances of them ever resurfacing are slim to none. Instead of losing kitchenware to cabinet abyss, accessorize kitchen corners with a Lazy Susan or install a blind cabinet to keep them top of mind. These solutions also ensure corners don’t become an inefficient waste of space.
For this Manhattan kitchen renovation, we used open shelving to maximize storage without making the small space feel cramped. We customized the storage space, accessorizing the kitchen with a pull-out spice rack, a Super Susan, and sliding cabinet shelves. The cabinets were fully customized and built to the exact dimensions of the kitchen.
2. WALL REMOVAL
While walls may be leveraged in many small kitchen design plans, others are hindered by the enclosed frame. If the budget allows for more of a full gut renovation, consider knocking down a wall or two, which expands the space immediately and allows for an open floor plan when combined with adjacent rooms.
3. SPLURGE ON CUSTOM CABINETS
Yes, custom cabinets are more expensive than semi-custom or stock options. But utilizing every inch in your small kitchen is essential, and custom cabinetry is designed according to a kitchen’s specific measurements. It’s worth the expense to avoid using fillers or bumping out walls to accommodate pre-made cabinets. View the custom shelving we created for a Brooklyn chef’s loft kitchen via our renovation before and after.
4. LEVERAGE CEILING SPACE
Pots and pans taking up too much space in the cabinets? Put hooks on the ceiling to hang them instead, adding organic design appeal and effective use of every inch in the kitchen.
5. OPEN SHELVING OPTIONS
Open shelving is an excellent and eye-appealing way to maximize space in a small kitchen layout. Blend with custom cabinetry and turn limited space into a design advantage.
6. CONSIDER FUNCTIONAL DECORATIONS
Use big, bold kitchen utensils as functional decorations by displaying them on open walls. Cutting board wall, anyone?
7. BLEND SPACES FOR OPEN FLOOR PLAN
If the kitchen being renovated is next to a dining room, there’s an opportunity to create an open floor plan to maximize square footage. Larger renovations may require removing divider walls to achieve the blended space, while simple design updates like furniture arrangements and ceiling accents can achieve similar results with less effort.
8. SMART HOME FOR ENERGY SAVINGS
If a renovation goal is conserving energy, save both space and electricity with smart lighting options, such as pendant light fixtures or LED lighting integrated into cabinets or drawers.
SMALL KITCHEN RENOVATION EXAMPLES
Below are kitchen renovations we’ve completed throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, providing various examples of how we make the most of small spaces.
MANHATTAN TOWNHOUSE RENOVATION
The kitchen in this Manhattan townhouse renovation is a narrow galley-style space attached to the dining area. We wanted to connect the two in a more cohesive manner, so we built custom banquette seating benches in the dining room, with a table in the center acting as both a connector and divider. See the full NYC townhouse renovation before and after.
MANHATTAN APARTMENT RENOVATION
For this apartment renovation in Manhattan, we completely tore down the walls enclosing the small kitchen and created a roomier, more free-flowing space. We then added an island with a waterfall quartz countertop bar to transition from the living area to the kitchen.
All additional space is maximized by the introduction of various levels of custom cabinetry and recessed lighting to ensure no ceiling height was lost. See the full NYC apartment renovation before and after.
WESTSIDE MANHATTAN APARTMENT COMBINATION
This NYC apartment renovation project in Columbus Circle involved the horizontal combination of an existing one bedroom apartment with a newly purchased one bedroom unit next door.
The kitchen square footage was minimal, but with the expanded floor plan, we were able to open up the space by installing a wrap-around countertop seating area, with a blend of custom-sized cabinets and open shelving. We then put the transitional dining area across the doorway, stretching out the perceived kitchen space and tying both spaces together with a mid-century Scandinavian design theme. See the full NYC apartment combination before and after.
WHY GALLERY KBNY IS IDEAL FOR KITCHEN RENOVATIONS IN NEW YORK CITY
Considering a full home renovation in New York City that includes a small kitchen remodel? As a full-service design-build firm in New York City, Gallery handles home and kitchen renovations from start to finish, driving every aspects of the renovation from interior design and architectural planning to building board management and construction. Ready to renovate? Contact us for a consultation