Many people get frustrated by a lack of space in their kitchen and wish they could either move somewhere with a bigger one or renovate theirs to create more space.
Whether it’s for storage or counter space, or just feeling too cramped trying to move around, there are always ways to fix up the design of your kitchen so you have more room.
Here are some of the best ways to redesign your kitchen in order to create more space.
Install a Kitchen Island
Having a kitchen island is a great way to create more storage space and more counter space at the same time.
You can have them installed in different sizes and shapes depending on how much room your kitchen has for you to work with.
Unfortunately not every kitchen can fit an island — you should have 42 or more inches of space on every side of the island to move around according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s guidelines.
If you do have the room for an island, you can maximize the space it creates for you by giving it plenty of counter space, extra storage underneath, and to use it as seating space if you just want to sit for a quick meal.
If you add seating, have the counter space overhang the cupboards and drawers below, and use stools that can slide underneath so they don’t take up foot space or get in the way.
The end result is an entirely new area that you didn’t have before to prepare food, sit and eat, and store things.
Replace Drawers & Cabinets Where You Can
If the major problem you’re having is a lack of space to store things, to the point that your counter gets cluttered by dishes and utensils and cooking equipment, there are a few ways you can free up cupboard space:
- Install magnetic strips on the wall or backsplash to hang your knives instead of using a knife block or having them in drawers
- Hang hooks from the sides of cupboards or oven handles or anywhere there’s room to hang other kitchen utensils and equipment
- Hang heavier hooks from the ceiling above your kitchen island (if you have one) for all your pots and pans
- Replace a fixed dishwasher with one on wheels that you can store in a closet instead of taking up potential cupboard space
The aim for all of these ideas is to find alternative ways to store things in the kitchen so they are easily accessible but out of the way. It helps to use areas of the kitchen that wouldn’t be used otherwise, so you aren’t just shifting the lack of space elsewhere.
Install Built-In Shelves & Cabinets
If one of the major problems you have with your kitchen is the lack of foot space, and you always feel cramped moving around you may be stuck without any room to install more cabinets or shelving.
However, what you can do is take advantage of the extra space you have on any interior walls. Built-in storage basically cuts out a section of the wall so you can install shelving or cabinets within the space you just created so it doesn’t take up any floor space than before.
The big advantage is that you can customize the size and shape of the storage however you want, depending on how much wall space you have to work with.
You can have it protrude out from the wall a bit if you want to have deeper shelving space, or you can make the shelving wider or taller instead.
This is a great way to store things you want for your kitchen but don’t use very often, so you don’t need to access it all the time. Meanwhile, it frees up storage space for all the things you do use all the time without infringing at all on your foot traffic.
Install a Peninsula Counter & Storage Space
An alternative to the full kitchen island is to install a peninsula instead. Where a kitchen island is out on its own in the middle of your kitchen floor, the peninsula simply sticks out from the end of your current counters and cabinets.
Like with an island, it gives you the extra room you need for countertops, storage, and maybe seating as well.
You can also have one of your kitchen appliances moved to the peninsula — the sink, dishwasher, microwave, or maybe even the oven — to prevent having all of the appliances clumped together.
The advantage of a peninsula compared to an island is that it usually takes up less floor space. So if you were not able to install an island because you didn’t have enough room, you might have enough room for a peninsula.
You just need to make sure there is enough room for people to walk by the end of the peninsula rather than needing enough room all around it.
Use a Rolling Cart for More Counter & Storage Space
Another alternative to either a kitchen island or a peninsula is to get a floating island instead.
It’s basically a mobile kitchen island on wheels so you can move it around wherever and whenever you need the extra space.
They can come in a variety of sizes and styles so you can get something that suits the room you have and the space you need.
You can get them with a cutting board-like top if you need the space for food preparation, as well as hooks and drawers or cupboards for more storage.
If you do get one, you’ll need somewhere close by to keep it when you aren’t using it. It can be against a wall off in a corner, or in a nearby closet or pantry where you keep other rarely-needed kitchen supplies or ingredients.
That way you can always move it out of the way, but it’s easily accessible and close at hand for when you need it to store something or make extra room to prepare food for a big party.
Matt Doyle is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Excel Builders, a custom home building company serving Delaware and Maryland. The company specializes in ICF and custom-built, energy efficient homes. Matt grew up in the construction industry and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Alabama. He also has an extensive background in internet marketing and has worked with some well-known international companies such as Best Western, McGraw Hill Construction, Sharp, and Canon.