April 21, 2009

Small Spaces: Kitchens

It seems as if the kitchen is the one area of the home that is the perpetual 'catch all' for every home. (If not, there must be something wrong with me and everyone I know.) This is a particular problem if you have very little space to utilize. The key in a small kitchen (or space) is to use every inch. Generally speaking most organizational items are reasonably inexpensive and really pay off in the end. Here are some items to help with essential and non-essential organization and storage.

This knife rack from Tiny Living {www.tinyliving.com} is perfect for compact storage. It can sit on a counter top or be wall mounted. What I like about this opposed to the popular magnetic kitchen strips is that the blades are visible but not exposed, seems like a much safer alternative. $89.99 Container Store {www.containerstore.com} Gravity-Feed Can Rack $14.99 Ikea Asker Container (5.99) Ikea Asker Dish Drainer (suspension rail or wall mount, folds up when not in use) (29.99) Ikea RATIONELL VARIERA Spice rack with 6 jars gray (Wall or cabinet mount) $12.99
Container Store Clear Corner Pantry Shelf On sale $12.49 Ikea RATIONELL VARIERA Shelf insert silver color $3.99 Ikea cabinet 'guts' rolling shelves with compartment dividers, lid racks, spice racks, etc. Great for using every space.A popular solution for additional small kitchen storage is to install a peg board like this one shown from Design Sponge. I have varied feelings about this idea personally, as I don't like to see a lot of 'clutter' and I think one would need to be very careful about the size and items used on a peg board.
Here is an organization hutch from Country Living {www.countryliving.com} that I think is absolutely adorable and very practical. I don't necessarily think that you'd have to have a large cabinet like this one to make an organization cabinet, an old buffet, desk, drawer, or any piece with good storage options could be re purposed to be dually used.

For permanent small space dwellers perhaps something like the YesterTec {www.yestertec.com} Complete Kitchen in an Armoire would be worth the investment. The armoires are actually concealing a COMPLETE kitchen - with appliances! They are customizable to fit any space or need, and then they fold up without a trace. For people who hate seeing appliances, dirty dishes, or kitchen clutter this could be the ticket. They do come with an investment price tag, $10k +/-, but for those in a small home, condo, or apartment, it may be worth the money.

Lastly here are some tips about things to get rid of while downsizing your living space from an MSN article that happened to be on the homepage today. {http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=18941056}

Always take it with you:

  • Anything that has storage in it.
  • Pairs of lamps; they add balance.
  • Ottomans; create cozy spaces.
  • Armless sofas, or ones with lower arms, to make the room feel more spacious. ("Here's a handy rhyme to help you remember: 'Keep a sofa with chairs, or love seats in pairs,' " says Ward.)
  • Bookcases; they're visually interesting; they hold lots of stuff, and they can make great room dividers.
  • Mirrors; they make a places appear brighter and bigger; lean it on a wall opposite good light and a view, and a mirror will reflect both and make a place feel larger.
  • Furniture on wheels or casters; it adds flexibility.
  • Nesting tables or furniture that stacks.

Sometimes take it with you:

  • Love seats.
  • Small desks or writing tables; they can often be used in a kitchen or a guest room.
  • Modular seating; it can be reconfigured, or even broken up and used in different rooms.
  • Throw pillows; if they're in good condition and work well with the color scheme, they can add comfort and a visual interest.
  • Ceiling fans, so long as they hug the ceiling close.

Never take these with you:

  • Unloved books.
  • Extraneous bric-a-brac.
  • Artwork that's not beloved.
  • Small, never-used appliances.
  • Doubles of anything.
  • Square or rectangular glass coffee tables; they're too bulky, says Ward.
  • Sofas more than 96 inches in length.
  • Big plants and potted trees.
  • Unused pianos or other instruments.
  • Worn rugs, except expensive Orientals.
  • Tired stuff: old audio gear, incomplete dishes, old magazines, worn-out bedding, tax records and receipts more than seven years old.

1 comment:

  1. I really think we should take Jon's apartment as a real life example of organization options and how to cram two people (at some point) into a small apartment!