What to consider when designing a mini kitchen
A kitchenette, essentially, is a mini kitchen. Similar to those you’ll find in suite hotel rooms or bachelor’s apartments, kitchenettes are smartly designed units that maximise limited space to its full potential. In many homes, kitchenettes are used as secondary kitchens, often installed in a guest area, basement, and sometimes, a home office.
Of course, when living in a small apartment, the humble kitchenette could be your main cooking space. Whatever your application of this pocket kitchen, when space is limited, it’s a cooking area that packs a lot of power, without the luxury of space.
To have your kitchenette function as intended, you need to be clever with design. To get the most out of your project, here are some ideas to keep in mind when installing a brand new kitchenette in your home:
1. Plumbing Needs
Your average ‘get your hands dirty’ DIY enthusiast would be able to create a home kitchenette without too many issues. The one area you don’t want to play around with though, is plumbing. No fully fitted kitchen would be complete without a sink, so considering your plumbing options is pretty important. First, choose where to place your kitchenette. A shared wall nearby other plumbing outlets like a bathroom or laundry would be perfect. This would enable your plumber to create the connections without too much hassle and cost. If your space or budget don’t allow it, or if you don’t require a sink, you can always opt for a countertop or built-in water cooler to cover your needs.
Ample working and preparation space in your average kitchen is crucially important. It’s the space you need to cut and prepare ingredients, mix, stir and blend. In a kitchenette this space can be very restricted, especially if you include a stove and/or sink in your build. You can increase your space by adding extra counter space that folds out from the main unit, or using custom coverings to work over your sink of stove. Opt for the same material as the rest of the worktop for a consistent look.
Like its larger cousin, a kitchenette will need the same (albeit slightly smaller) appliances. A mini fridge under the worktop, a small stove, and mini microwave or convection oven are all essential ingredient to a fully functional kitchenette. Think carefully about the unit’s intended use. Renting out an extra room on Airbnb? Then you’ll likely need these appliances and more. Using your kitchenette in your home office? Maybe the stove will be overkill. Small fridges are of course great to store a selections of foods and drinks. Also give some thought to other popular appliances and like coffee machine or kettle, and a toaster or blender. Where you store these items will also have an effect on your design – so think about everything before taking on your kitchenette project.
4. Maximise Storage
It goes without saying that you need to make the most of the limited storage you have when designing your kitchenette. You can use things like cabinet organisers, separators, corner units, and cabinet door shelves to maximise your possibilities. Consider hanging items on the wall or from the ceiling – to keep your new kitchenette free from clutter. Some other helpful storage savers to think about is a pull-out garbage can, a Lazy Susan and knife blocks. Don’t overfill what space you have. Be critical in deciding what items warrant a space in your unit.
It’s a well-known fact that lighter colours make a space feel more open, and larger than it actually is. This truth is a natural fit for a kitchenette then. When working through your design iterations, think about using light and bright colours. Light tiling, light wood countertops, bright cabinets and appliances. Think about installing lots of lighting around your unit – both under-cabinets and overhead. These seemingly small additions will make all the difference, helping your mini cooking zone feel expansive.
6. Personal finishes
Kitchenettes don’t take up a lot of wall space – typically less than 3 metres, so think about how you can add some personality to your design once you’re done. Maybe consider and interesting backsplash, brass hardware, or unique-looking countertop appliances. Maybe even consider putting your kitchenette on wheels if you have no plumbing restrictions. Always keep in mind that the goal is to minimise mess and keep things minimal. Kitchenette can become cluttered in record time, so following a strict necessities-only plan during your design phase will pay off in the end.
Compact, functional, and when you put in some effort, beautiful – kitchenettes are playing an increasingly important role in modern homes. As people trend towards living a life less cluttered by unnecessary things and distractions, the kitchenettes future looks bright. Just like the colour palette you chose for it. Happy planning.