In 2013, the director or the United Nation’s Human Settlement Program announced 3.5 billion people across the globe live in cities. Even more fascinating, this number will grow 2.5 to 3 billion by 2050. So when we talk about maximizing small kitchens we synonymously are speaking of survival skills for many of you folks, here’s what we’ve found:

Color: Lighter hues will brighten up your kitchen space and make it feel larger than it really is. Studio apartments in New York City for example can be a five step walk from your bed to bathroom, with a slight pivot to then exit the studio.  You may even be able to reach from your bed to your kitchenette but if you are color conscious this space can appear much larger. Think of whites, creams, lilac or mauve–you don’t have to get entirely feminine and shabby chic but light colors on the walls and floor do wonders for a small space.  To create unity, use different shades of the same color for your wall, rug, art, and even kitchen accessories.

Counter Space: Declutter, repeat three times, it’s that important! Your counter top space needs to be for the essentials only: coffee maker, utensil jar, juicer, toaster, whatever you use the most. This requires that you make optimal use of cabinet space. If you have drawers that do not open you may consider a quick DIY day that calls for a drill, pencil and level.  Click here for a how to guide, you’ll be able to fit sponges, brushes, and soap here. It’s not much but it’s all in the detail!  If you have the money to spend on a multiple-shelf unit is a smart move for standard, front access cabinets.  This way you have layers of organized shelving that conveniently pulls out, after all you can only stack so many things.  For the cabinet space under your sink, you may be limited due to plumbing parts but door racks that house cleaning supplies, two rows worth, are a savvy invention.  Hanging hooks for tea/coffee cups can also save you valuable cabinet space. You may consider the same for measuring cups on the inside drawers of upper shelving! The Family Handyman has a great DIY tutorial here.  As Houzz says quite elegantly, you need to learn how to ‘work the walls’.  A coat of chalk board paint inside your cabinet door can help you keep track of your market list, recipes, or your calendar. Invest in a pot rack, this is huge for space saving. Last, forgo the old-fashioned knife block and check out our in drawer recommendation here. This will only take up half of your drawer space so you’ll still have room for silverware.

Multi Purpose Items: An ottoman to prop up your feet after a long day, that serves as extra sitting space when company is over but also opens up to store blankets, books, magazines and more? Genius. If you’re interested in a 8-10 hour DIY experiment here’s your link otherwise you can buy them online at Target, Bed Bath & Beyond Pottery Barn and more. A coffee table is yet another savvy place for hidden storage or as a space that transitions into a desk.

Leave Kitchen Windows Uncovered: This will give the room both natural lighting and depth.  If your concern is privacy, consider blinds instead of curtains because of the cleaner lines they create.

Look Up: If you are fortunate enough to have high ceilings to work with pick a timeless wallpaper for the ceiling or shelving or cookbooks that demands your eyes to look up. This will truly maximize your space:

Temporary: An over the sink cutting board is a great pop up shop for chopping.  You may also consider a rolling cart for your kitchen.  Often these have racks below for storage and they really make a difference when you’re cooking and have run out of counter space.

Gadgets + Gizmos: Sometimes small kitchens mean no dishwasher and a sink that’s not deep making it hard to wash pots and pans and overall more difficult to do the dishes without spewing water and soap in every direction.  But if you replace your faucet, installing something that is articulated and more industrial you have the ability of accommodating your small sink and its an easy fix. Consider mounting the faucet on the wall so that once again, you are not using your precious counter space!

Call Moya Living today to discuss design ideas for your kitchen. Our powder coated kitchen cabinets are designed to provide you with optimal storage and best yet they are customized to your needs.

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