Great things come in small packages. So, you should consider a small kitchen a blessing, especially since few people eat in the kitchen these days. If you grew up in the kind of household which had a massive, sprawling kitchen where the entire family congregated to eat lunch and dinner on the floor; then just be nostalgic, and let it go. Ask your mother and aunts how difficult it was to keep such a place spick and span, or hygienic. In today’s world where everyone is rushed for time, and there is a mad scramble in the mornings as various people run off to school, college, or workplace; small is easier to handle.
When Everything Is Within Easy Reach
The biggest advantage of a small kitchen is that all pots, pans, ladles, serving dishes, cutlery, and crockery are within easy reach. Unless you intend to squeeze breakfast area into it, the kitchen layout should make for ease of movement. Hanging shelves over the stove area just beside the chimney can keep your pots, pans, woks, griddles, and ladles reachable always. If your kitchen sink, drain board, and stove are on the same side of the kitchen along a common wall; turn it to your advantage. Get a dual sink where all the washed utensils and dishes are stacked to drain off. Then place them in their correct shelves, or under the sink cupboard, and hang the basket on the wall where nobody will bang his or her head.
Make Your Kitchen Counter Perform Double Duty
Your drain board or kitchen counter can double as an area to dress vegetables, and prepare culinary delights. The other option would be to give it a marble or granite surface. When wiped clean, you can use your countertop to roll dough for rotis etc., whip eggs, beat dough for fries, dress salads, or reserve ingredients of a complicated recipe. Further, you can take the whole and powdered spices you need regularly from their wrappings, and place them in decorative jars on the countertop. Remember, the better use you make of the countertop, the tidier your kitchen will look. You can hang your knives, choppers, peelers, and graters from a fancy hook or row of angles on the wall above the countertop to keep them within easy reach, or from under the upper cabinets.
You must keep your kitchen clutter free to avoid feeling cramped. Also, don’t forget to utilize the nooks and crannies, such as angled shelves to hold things like lighters, molds, baking mittens, and trays.
Design a Cool Breakfast Area to Make Your Neighbours Envious
Of course, you can create a breakfast area along one wall where the seats are aligned to the wall. A better idea would be to have an enclosed cupboard set into one wall for the crockery and cutlery. The plank to cover it can double as a table when opened. Make the stands of the table foldable, and cross them across the cupboard’s cover to make it look like part of the kitchen décor. Of course, both sides of the plank would require a mica, or matte finish in color which either matches, or contrasts appropriately with the wall tiles. Fancy folding chairs can be stacked in the corner to be used as and when necessary, even if it is to savor a cup of tea or coffee after getting through some chores.
Make Smart Use of Under Sink and Stove Area
One of the most neglected areas in the kitchen is under the sink which is often used to stack the trash can. Instead, have an under the sink cupboard to store your cereals, pulses, various flours like besan, maida, sooji, and anything else you need to stock in larger quantities. You could partition the under the stove cabinet to keep your spare or empty gas cylinder in one section, and have shelves in the second section. The larger utensils which are used rarely can be stocked there. Even kitchen appliances like microwave, cookers, mixers, and grinders can be put away there after use. Since a small kitchen has very little floor space; the greater use you make of vertical space, the bigger your kitchen will look.
Use Savvy Lighting and Colors to Create a Sense of Space
Proper highlights, light colors, and use of natural light can create a sense of space. Sheer blinds allow the sunlight in without blocking it. Choose your tiles well. Alternatively, you can choose delightful wall paper which depicts the great outdoors. The advantage of wall paper is that it can be changed every few years when you tire of a theme. To enhance the sense of space, you could try setting a small window in the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. Cooked food, especially hot rotis, parathas, and puris, can be passed through it at meal times; while a visitor, or family members can chat with you through it when you are busy at work. It makes one’s chores seem less tedious, unless you are the kind who needs to work in absolute silence.
Ditch the grays and blacks:
The lighter colors like peach, yellows, creams, beige, even pink create a sense of space. Avoid black in your kitchen to ensure that you don’t feel cramped. Bright, billowy drapery adds visual space. Match the color scheme of the countertop and of the cabinets to make it the kind of pleasant place where you would love to work.