Author Topic: How to get more from a small kitchen?  (Read 998 times)

How to get more from a small kitchen?
« on: 07 April, 2021, 10:20:07 pm »
We're in a new house, it's great IMHO with a through living and dining room. Other side of the dining room is the kitchen. One idea is to knock through and block off original kitchen door. This will lose one wall but gain the corner and opposite wall except where the kitchen door outside is opposite to where the current inner door into the kitchen is.

It's a small kitchen which is just about workable. The fitted fridge is too small. We've got one in the garage but prefer a bigger one in the kitchen.

How can you get more storage and bigger fridge into a small kitchen? How would you suggest to proceed? Are there any experts to consult? Architects or kitchen designers? I really have no clue what can be done. It seems to me that without extending any solution is just swapping some current units with the same space elsewhere. Basically nothing that will add to the room or make things better.

Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #1 on: 07 April, 2021, 10:42:31 pm »
Open plan is good but walls also provide a surface to hang storage units on. Issues will include load/non load bearing walls, floor screed levels, ceiling heights, power points, H and C water feeds, waste pipes, drainage outlets, building regulations and appropriate design layout. Think also about cooking smells. A good kitchen installer will provide you with plan options to maximise available space together with estimated costs but may charge you for a design. Be prepared to take a breath at potential costs which may or may not include builders work.
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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #2 on: 07 April, 2021, 10:44:30 pm »
A. Have you got a floor plan?
B. What is wrong with the kitchen exactly? Lack of storage (for food or equipment) or lack of people space?
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hellymedic

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #3 on: 08 April, 2021, 01:43:23 am »
I'm happy with my medium-sized kitchen, though partner HATES it and thinks it's too small. It's useful for me to have everything within grasping reach. EVERYTHING is or was built-in, which gives the most effective use of space but 'integrated' ie built-in appliances are often smaller than their free-standing cousins, so my Miele washing machine projects about 10cm forward of neighbouring kitchen units.
It was all hygena/MFI,
A sliding internal door increases circulating area.
There's a cupboard above the eye-level gas grill, which sits above the fitted oven and has a storage cupboard below.
To its left is the corner gas hob, at 45 degrees to its neighbouring units. There's an illuminated extractor hood above and a big cupboard below, which previously housed the gas boiler (until the old boiler died and plumbers became too big to service boilers in the space). Cupboard now contains cat food and cleaning stuffs like dustpan, brush & bucket.
Left of this is the main working area, with fitted cupboards and washing machine below, work top, over-counter lighting and wall-mounted fitted cupboards above. Left of this is a floor to ceiling fridge-freezer.
At a right-angle is the rear door to the garden, on the other side of which is the kitchen sink and window. Cupboard under sink contains usual noxious stuffs. Round next corner is another work top, with (defunct) dishwasher below and wall-mounted food storage cupboards above. there's another storage cupboard left of the dishwasher, but that's partly under the dining top, which is where I'm sitting on a bar stool. Dining top projects about 35cm into cavity of kitchen. D's seat is to my left.

Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #4 on: 08 April, 2021, 11:06:19 am »
We have what I think is a small kitchen - it's around 2m wide and 3m long, galley style with the back door and window at the far end.  We were fortunate that when we had it refitted there was a local company who would get custom cupboards made and fitted at a price less by some way than the B&Q quote. We were also able to specify any combination of finishes and handles that we wanyed, and in the positions we wanted.

This enabled us to have a unit built that houses a fridge/freezer, but also has a cupboard over it.  Also, the end wall one end is that of the original 2 up-2 down cottage, so is mosly door and (original) window.  So we have a 1.5m long cupboard 300x300 made that is mounted above the window with a lift-up door.  It helps we have quite low ceilings although my wife uses a small stool as necessary.

We also had the wall units made so they were relatively lower to the worktop than standard, and were of a height that went to withing 50mm of the ceiling with a closing piece in the gap.  And finally the side that holds the sink, I have the worktop made around 90mm deeper than normal, allowing space behind the units for waste pipes etc. and not getting the grotty bit behind the taps.

We have a full size (is there any other?) washing machine, and a half width dishwasher, plus a slide-in cooker.  The microwave is built in to the lower half of one of the wall units.  We have only the kettle as an appliance, no toasters, coffee machines, juicers etc.  The food procesor lives in a cupboard.

The arrangement gives me a working area of 1200 to the left of the cooker, then cooker, then 600mm unit the other side.  Opposite there's the fridge/freezer on the extreme right, single sink and drainer (small cupboard under), and about 1400 worktop where the kettle lives with cake tins, tea caddies etc. appliances under. It's also a bit of an odd shape as the boxed in soil pipe is in the corner, so that under worktop cupboard at the extreme left is non-standard width and depth!
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valkyrie

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #5 on: 08 April, 2021, 12:41:01 pm »
If you take a sketch plan of your current kitchen into any kitchen showroom they’ll have designers that will create alternative layouts and produce nice 3D renders of what the end result would look like. That’s all done before a sale is agreed so you can get a design done without committing to any supplier. It’s worth trying two or three and seeing what ideas you get, some designers are better than others.
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ian

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #6 on: 08 April, 2021, 12:50:45 pm »
Yes, any kitchen place will do the 3D renderings so you can pick and choose fittings and appliances and see how they fit together in the space you have. When we got ours done, they came around and measured up, put everything into the computer.

It's a truism that no matter how big your kitchen, you'll still have no cupboard space and steady encroachment across your countertops. Ours is big enough for an island in the middle, which is a godsend. I'm in a state of semi-regret over the oak worktops though, because we have cats and they have claws and little discipline when it comes to jumping onto the counters to see what's happening.
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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #7 on: 08 April, 2021, 12:54:52 pm »
A. Have you got a floor plan?
B. What is wrong with the kitchen exactly? Lack of storage (for food or equipment) or lack of people space?

Answers to these questions would be helpful so that we can help you, TPMB12, rather than just tell you what we did - which I am about to do!

To increase our worktop area and cupboard space we planned in a little bar counter extension which included two outward opening doors which hold the crockery for the dining room table.



I cannot envisage how your kitchen looks so it is tough to know what to suggest and how to incorporate a larger fridge.

If that were here there'd be two Labradors lying across the space to walk through.
But they never got to Carcassonne.

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #8 on: 08 April, 2021, 04:21:33 pm »
Yes, any kitchen place will do the 3D renderings so you can pick and choose fittings and appliances and see how they fit together in the space you have. When we got ours done, they came around and measured up, put everything into the computer.

I first did this in 1988.  :)
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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #9 on: 08 April, 2021, 05:14:34 pm »
It has too little storage all round. Fridge is way too small, we struggle to fit plates, bowls,  pans etc in without stacking higher than is practical to get things out easily broken one bowl already due to getting it out of a crowded cupboard.

Dry food and tins are packed in such that we often pull out a can or box of something with what we really need.

We keep a lot more in fridge than perhaps most do. To keep fresh food fresher for longer. This basically means we are bringing stuff up from our old fridge freezer pretty much every day.  It's like the fridge is partly just a day fridge. There is our old fridge freezer and a full sized freezer in the garage for overflow.

hellymedic

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #10 on: 08 April, 2021, 06:02:40 pm »
The John Lewis website is pretty good for details of appliance dimensions.

You can play with scale drawings on squared paper if computer visualisations aren't your thing.

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Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #11 on: 12 April, 2021, 07:09:53 am »
I’ve designed and fitted about 14 kitchens in properties so far, but can suggest nothing without a plan and photos. Sometimes things work that are outside the box. Without knowing what your talking about it is impossible, but eg. if you are taking the door away and making a bigger hole, doors tend to be in /near corners, and corners are useful, so consider making the opening somewhere else. Do you have a chimney breast?, I’ve opened up the hole vertically to accept a f/f and units more than once. If you are considering removing the wall completely, ( lounge/ kitchen/ diner, ) then you have no boundaries, and can possibly incorporate a breakfast bar. Presumably you have a back door and a washing machine?, consider moving either or both, form a utility room. Without a plan it is really impossible to assist, sorry.

Ps I will add, that in a small kitchen, placing a f/f in a corner, with a run of worktop up to it, minimizes its visual impact, and makes kitchen look bigger, and doesn’t block view/light. There is also the work triangle to consider, tho this rarely is a problem in a small kitchen anyway.

Re: How to get more from a small kitchen?
« Reply #12 on: 12 April, 2021, 07:21:07 am »
placing a f/f in a corner, with a run of worktop up to it, minimizes its visual impact, and makes kitchen look bigger
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