The kitchen is where you want to entertain, enjoy quality time with family, and have some culinary fun! However, if you are a homeowner in Washington, D.C., then chances are you have a small kitchen space, which can prevent you from enjoying this important area of your home.
While some D.C. homeowners can open up their kitchen space by removing a load bearing wall and re-supporting the structure in another way, many homeowners either can’t or don’t want this done.
Below are some of our recommended tips to help you better enjoy your small kitchen space without removing a load bearing wall.
Pay attention to the hues of your kitchen
With the right combination of hues, you can make your small kitchen appear bigger. Light, clean hues is subtle on the eyes and can make your kitchen pop! Also, if you use a pastel color in conjunction with white, then you can attract additional light and make your kitchen look bigger.
Another popular color scheme in D.C. homes is two-toned themes. Most two-toned kitchens use rich wood finishes combined with lighter hues of white or cream, as mentioned earlier. However, grays, blues, and even navy are making a presence especially when tempered with rich champagne bronze or brass tones. These color combinations let the whole kitchen look well designed, luxurious and fabulous!
Choose smaller appliances and mind your space with a proper work triangle
While you may have dreamt of a huge refrigerator or full-size oven with all the fancy gadgets, with a small kitchen, having these appliances simply won’t work with your design.
It is important to mind your space in your kitchen, and pay attention to your work triangle. The work triangle is a common term used by kitchen designers which refer to the three primary work areas in your kitchen: your kitchen sink; cooking areas such as a range or cooktop; your food storage as in your refrigerator.
It is important to make sure the placement of these three primary areas of your kitchen are not shoved up next to each other or too far away. You need to ensure that they are forming a triangle. Also, you must make sure that no one leg of this triangle is shorter than four feet if you can help it, and no leg of this triangle is longer than nine feet long if you can help it. With a proper work triangle in place, you will have a very efficiently designed kitchen space that will work for you.
Additional storage can be found with your unused spaces
You may have thought that you have found every nook and cranny within your kitchen, but chances are there may still be some available areas that can be used for additional storage in your D.C. kitchen. For instance, there could be space above your oven range if you have no range hood. This can be a good storage area for your cookware.
If you have an island or plan on having one, the sides of the island can be used as additional storage areas for your kitchenware as well. One caveat to mention – if you are planning on using these unused spaces, don’t go overboard by crowding this space as this can cause your kitchen to appear cluttered.
If you are going through a kitchen remodel, there are some things that a designer will take into account with your kitchen space to take care of the storage concern. One of the first things the designer should do is calculate the number of cubic inches you have in your existing kitchen so they can make sure that your new kitchen will have more actual storage space than you currently have.
Also, your designer should sit down with you and go over each cabinet in the new design to recommend what should go into each cabinet and to make sure the cabinets function appropriately for the items you plan on storing inside that space.
Lastly, your designer will want to ensure you have appropriate landing areas on either side of every major point in the kitchen. There are certain formulas that a well-trained kitchen designer will use that are general guidelines to make sure your kitchen sink isn’t too close to the range, or that your refrigerator has space nearby where you can set down a tray when you’re opening your door and getting items in and out.
Utilizing an island
If space allows, you can add an island, which can be used as a meal prep area, or as a makeshift table for you and your family to enjoy meals and great conversations.
While many homeowners in D.C. may think that an island will not fit in their small kitchen space, there are options to go with a narrower island, which will give you enough space to move around in your kitchen. There is also the option to have a movable island. This is a nice option as you can just put the island away when you are not using it.
If you are planning on having an island as part of your next D.C. kitchen renovation, then it is imperative to consider appropriate space considerations, especially if the island is going to work hand-in-hand with a primary work area.
If you are going to have a cooking surface on your island, then it is critically important to consider the safety of a seated individual. You must also take into account whether you have enough clear floor space to allow for proper traffic to flow through your kitchen.
Of course, having a kitchen island can be an elegant way to add storage and function to your kitchen, but it doesn’t always mean you have to have one. This is why it is important to speak with a trained interior designer before you begin the building the process of your next D.C. kitchen remodel.
Light up your space
Proper lighting for your small kitchen is imperative. With proper lighting, your kitchen space will feel more open and can appear more spacious.
There are four main types of lighting you want to consider in which your designer will be able to walk you through when planning your D.C. kitchen renovation.
First, there is the natural light. This is the light that comes in through the windows or through a skylight in your kitchen.
Second is the general kitchen lighting. This is the artificial light that you will need in the kitchen when it is night time or for those cloudy days outside. You can still get the proper general lighting to walk safely through the kitchen, and be able to illuminate what you are doing. Types of general lighting will be recessed lighting on the ceiling, or other surface mount types of lights, such as track lighting or decorative fixtures mounted to the ceiling.
The third type of light is the task kitchen lighting. This kind of light is most common with your under cabinet lighting, and it is important because it illuminates your work area so that when you are prepping food, or you’re cooking, you can clearly see the countertop area.
Lastly, is your accent kitchen lighting. This type of lighting is used to illuminate certain features in the kitchen, such as light that is placed above the crown molding over the wall cabinets to bring to life the ceiling. This type of lighting adds a little extra dimension to your kitchen space.
Consider your backsplash
Your backsplash backdrop can either make or break your kitchen design. Painting your backsplash with pastel colors, or simply going with white can help to make this important backdrop stand out. This can also give an added emphasis to other areas of your kitchen. If the paint option is not the route you want to go, then you can also use stones or tiles that can give your kitchen design a classic look.
Play with materials
Mixing and matching materials can give your kitchen space depth and texture. However, it is recommended that you choose materials that do not look over the top, which can overwhelm the appearance of your tiny D.C. kitchen space. Granite for your countertop(s), tiles for your backsplash, and some soft curtains for your window(s) can work out to be a good mix and match of materials. By playing with your materials to see what would be a good match, you can give your kitchen the style and design it needs for your small D.C. kitchen.
Look at your kitchen floor!
Homeowners can get too distracted with the cabinets, positioning of appliances, lighting or other things in the kitchen. However, your flooring should never be ignored. The type of flooring you go with and how it looks can be your tiny D.C. kitchen space’s savior.
Utilizing a soft-hued or hardwood flooring can work within your small kitchen space. If you don’t have the budget for marble or hardwood flooring, then exploring some other options, such as resilient or linoleum without a distracting pattern can be a good option to go with as well.
Is your kitchen comfortable?
Your kitchen should be a comfortable place in which you can entertain, relax, and enjoy precious moments with those you love. A kitchen that is clutter-free and represents your style with the tips mentioned above and surely make your small D.C. kitchen space appear bigger. Also, having your workstations at the right place where you can comfortably do your kitchen tasks can also make a huge difference in your kitchen.
If you are a homeowner in Washington, D.C. and you have a small kitchen, then we hope you found these tips helpful. It’s not easy configuring a tiny space to meet your design, functional and entertaining needs. However, based on our near four decades of quality craftsmanship and experience, we know a thing or two about implementing beautifully designed kitchens in D.C. that will help you enjoy more precious moments with those you love most.
Finesse Design Remodeling is an award-winning full-service design-build firm specializing in fine renovations and restorations in the Washington DC Area.
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