If you did not experience the courtesy of having a large kitchen and, instead, you ended up with having a small cooking space, there is still hope for choosing the right equipment for it.
Actually, it all boils down to common sense and the right positioning of your appliances. Should you struggle with choosing the right gear that is worth investing both your time and money, we have come up with the complete guide to buying appliances for a small kitchen.
For the very start, we will narrow down our scope to major appliances. Shall we?
Maintain the airflow – install the right range hood
The way you cook is of the essence when it comes to choosing the right fan. Given this, you have to decide whether you cook a lot and, if the answer is yes, consider the size of your kitchen for the right range hood. Speaking of size, if you’re the owner of a small cooking area, you will, undoubtedly, go for:
- Wall-mounted fan. Not only is it a functional space saver, but it can also be considered a piece of art. Wall-mounted ventilation appliances are potent and they work in almost complete silence. If you are planning to use a model with a chimney made of stainless steel, you have to measure your ceiling accurately. Although many homeowners struggle with steam lines from chimney extensions, they may take the advantage of running the chimney into a valance cabinet, for instance.
- Microwave along with a hood fan. As I mentioned before, a microwave is a no-brainer for many people but its positioning can be challenging. By combining a microwave with a range hood, you will afford to manage the space with a lot more flexibility. Provided that you the width of the oven is identical to the size of the cooking area, you will achieve the symmetrical and orderly look that will make your feel itching for an evening cooking session.
- Power packs. Having a power pack in your small kitchen allows you to make your own hood fan design. You can incorporate it into the trim around the hood or around the exposed brick or stone. Power packs usually have controls on the bottom panel, but you can wire them to a wall-mounted control box. If you are a fan of wireless technology, some manufacturers also offer such solutions. The spotlighting use in most power packs is mostly LED or low-voltage halogen. Remember about the right positioning of your spotlights.
The right oven arrangement
The idea of having two separate wall ovens in your kitchen sounds pretty exciting; however, you may believe that this option is unavailable for the size of your space. Well, let me enlighten you; contemporary kitchen solutions provide homeowners with various double-oven possibilities to incorporate into the cooking area. They are all listed down as follows:
- Double oven. There are plenty benefits of having the oven that is separate from the cooktop since it allows you to be more flexible with its layout. Furthermore, many people prefer not to bend down every time they are to cook something in the oven and, instead, prefer a more back-friendly solution, such as the raised oven. If you have enough space to place the microwave in the oven, you are welcome to do so. It’s a great setup.
When it comes to making measurements, double oven usually comes in 24-27 and 30-inch widths. The variety of heights, though, is much wider.
- One oven, along with a microwave and warming drawer. This is one of the most common and practical solutions for a small-space kitchen. The arrangement is terrific; You start from the microwave, then you have the oven and, the last but not least, there’s the warming drawer at the very bottom of this setup to help you keep your dishes warm, should your guests arrive late.
- Stacked double oven.This is the setup that most manufacturers go for. It’s ideal for a person who loves to cook on a bigger picture and, at the same time, is full of contempt for microwaves. The double oven unit has usually one or two drawers below and is 10-16 inches off the ground.
The perfect fit for your cooktop
As it is with ovens, a separate cooktop provides a great deal of homeowners’ flexibility with their kitchen design. Before you choose a cooktop, be sure that you did enough research on this appliance. Well-known options, such as gas and electric ones that have been two standard offerings, are still very popular but many people decide to go beyond the traditional cooking style and they opt for induction or radiant heat cooktops. For a small kitchen, you will opt for compact 20-inch ranges.
- Induction cooktop. This type of cooktop uses an electromagnetic field that heats the cooking area instead of the whole cooktop. It heats up instantly; moreover, you have precise control over the temperature. On the other hand, induction cooktop requires induction-compatible cookware, so you will have to make more effort while combining the appliance with the cooking gear.
- Radiant cooktop. Unlike induction cooktop, the radiant type works more like a traditional oven, i.e. it heats up and cools down gradually. Then again, it doesn’t need specialized cookware. It is believed that radiant cooktops will take over the traditional gas appliances since many professional cooks favor it.
- Gas cooktop. The popularity of this type of cooktops is explained by the “I believe in what I see” type of people. Most of them prefer traditional gas plates, for they allow them to control the heat output by simply having a visible flame. Gas cooktop power is measured by BTUs – British Thermal Units, while electric cooktop power does not have the respective equivalent.
- Drop-in gas cooktops. That’s the solution that will fit most small kitchens. Drop-in gas cooktops have control knobs on top as well. Most of them also have sealed burners and lack the power of their range-top alternatives. What’s in favor of a small-space kitchen, on the other, is that they usually come in 30-36 inches wide. Alas, the functional size will cost you some other, fancy functions like integrated grills or griddles.
Fit the right refrigerator into your space
While standard refrigerator-freezers are 36-inches wide. Smaller kitchens, though, cannot be equipped with such a large fridge, so you will opt for apartment-size or counter-depth fridges that are 24-inches wide. They offer significantly less storage space but they are fat with features: dorm-style mini-fridge, refrigerator drawers, and many more space savers.
- Counter-depth refrigerators. Their body of the unit is of the depth of the countertop, although the doors extend a bit because of the hinges. The size of a counter-depth refrigerator varies from 24-36 inches wide and 14-18 inches deep. The height is usually 45-60 inches.If you are searching for stuff that looks shiny and more built-in than a standard refrigerator, this is your must-have option. It will make your room look more spacious and tidy, and the stainless steel will add glamor and make a statement in the kitchen
- Refrigerator along with freezer column units. The main advantage of this fully integrated appliance is that they can be completely matched with the cabinet-panel fronts or your kitchen furniture. This solution is relatively new on the housing market, albeit its revered reputation in restaurants. What you will also benefit from, is the flexibility, since they can be put together as a custom side-by-side setup. If you are longing for the complete customization and usability or you simply want to make your refrigerator-freezer disappear, choosing the fully integrated setup will be as obvious as death and taxes. Such “fridge” combination typically comes with widths like 18, 24, 30 and 36 inches, while being 25 inches deep and 80-84 inches tall.
Find the most functional and efficient microwave
Incorporating a microwave into your kitchen design is tricky, as the microwave is not something you can’t do without, nor is it the cutting-edge appliance for your design needs. However, most people use them because they are functional, provide quick heating and fits perfectly well into the lifestyle of a typical, busy person. Let’s see what type of microwaves serves small kitchens best:
- Built-in microwave. Actually, any size microwave can be built in; on the other hand, the trim kit that such microwaves are equipped in allows the microwave to look even more integrated. They can be installed on their own above the oven unit or above the below the warming drawer. On the contrary, you have to ask yourself whether you have space that is designed to have a built-in microwave without violating the cooking triangle, or is its height convenient for every family member. When it comes to figuring out the depth of the cabinet that will suit your microwave, be sure to measure the plug, as well. You don’t want your microwave to look so unfitting after all.
- Countertop microwave. Before the interior design industry burgeoned for good, microwaves had been put o countertops – a situation many of us consider i-grew-up-with-that stuff. You simply plug the microwave in and it works; moreover, it doesn’t clutter the space. If somehow, you want to hide it a bit more, you can also use the trims available on the market to make it look as if it was a built-in unit.
- Drawer Microwave. This kind of installation will make you feel satisfied for sure. Thanks to this solution, you will be able to acquire the base cabinet installation. You pull out the drawer, so the buttons are positioned higher, taking the most of its usability and being back-friendly. They are 24-30-inch wide, so they are not far from the standard size and will save you some countertop space or allow room for two warming drawers below the oven, too. Plus, if you install a microwave anywhere below eye level, you will enhance the design of a wall cabinet in your small kitchen.
Small is not non-functional
As you can see, there is no need to be deflated by the disillusionment of having a small kitchen. The key point is to choose the right major appliances that will suit your cooking space. Remember about the cooking triangle, combine some appliances together, and, above all, make the right measurements. You want to maximize the space, not clutter it with reckless decisions without having the necessary numbers written down.
What are your ideas for major appliances for small kitchens? Do you stay traditional or go beyond the “there is only one correct order” notion?