We somehow end up with random spoons from frozen yogurt shops, straws, etc… Moving or renovating is one way to really address this, but I try to do it every year. I make a list of items that need replacing, like silicone spatulas.
We have only three drawers in our current kitchen, but we manage to find a place for everything.
Trust me, this may sound like a big job, but it actually makes you think about each item and where you’ll store it. Personally, I love the look and it does make a kitchen feel bigger without upper cabinets. When we renovated our kitchen I originally planned to have open shelving on both sides of the sink.
On the left side it would be very small and it would have been nice to have shelves for coffee mugs, but seeing the open space made me realize it was better to lose a small amount of shelf space for the overall openness of the kitchen. Every couple of weeks I run everything through the dishwasher and wipe down the shelves with soap and water.
When we bought our house it had a very large built-in island with cabinets on the bottom and two drawers.
In the corner where we now have our Saarinen table they had a very large built-in desk.
We chose an island that was much smaller, but had two drawers and open storage on the bottom. Small electric appliances like a coffee maker, slow cooker, panini press, stand mixer, and a blender take up a lot of real estate in any size kitchen.
Decide which ones are absolute must haves and consider storage for the rest someplace else like a basement or garage. The Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer is super heavy and so keeping it out just makes sense. When our son is home from college I make paninis every day so I created a space on a shelf in a cabinet in the kitchen. The slow cooker is something I only use in the winter and maybe only a few times a month, so that is stored in the basement freeing up some kitchen cabinet space.
It always throws off the symmetry of a kitchen and even small microwaves take up too much counter space. I use my 7 1/4 quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven almost every time I cook.
Mine is white and looks beautiful on a back burner on our stove. A Le Cresuet is an investment, but clean it properly and you’ll have it forever, making it well worth the $300! We bought a $10 knife magnet from Ikea and it holds almost all of our beautiful knives.
So we already talked about the kitchen Island, but another mistake people make is choosing furniture that is too large for a space. If you are not lucky enough to have a nice big walk-in pantry in your kitchen, get creative and find a place elsewhere. Our house is 118 years old and as soon as we moved in I noticed the ledge going down to the basement (which is right off the kitchen) as optimal space.
It shocks me that no one ever thought to use it, but by the looks of it before, it was space never considered for storage of any kind. Brent painted the shelves cloud white and added ship lap to make it extra lovely.
He added brass hooks from Anthropologie to hold shopping bags, brooms and a dustpan.
Having trash under the sink is an option, but in our small kitchen, even that seemed to take up too much space.
She is a Nashville artist so I sent her a photo of one of our favorite places (the hills behind Borgo Scopeto near Siena in Tuscany) and she painted this lovely abstract for us. It’s impossible to keep them clean and having foggy glass lighting is the worst.
We used two satellite pendants from Schoolhouse Electric, they seemed small, but anything larger would have overwhelmed the space. Having a bare surface gives the kitchen an overall uncluttered and clean feel.
That’s it, that’s how we make our small kitchen look and feel like the perfect size! If you are struggling with a small kitchen and need some tips, leave a comment or send a few photos and let’s see how we can help.