Wednesday, March 23, 2011
In a tiny-ass apartment, every room tends to be, well, tiny. But each has their own unique challenges when they're on the small side. Kitchens are probably one of the most problematic; they require both massive amounts of storage as well as workspace. Most other rooms, you can store stuff interchangeably without it looking too weird. If you store a few out-of-season coats in your hall linen closet, your friends won't think you're losing it as much as if you were to store your blender in the cabinet under the bathroom sink. (Also, food prep stuff in the bathroom? Ew.) So, it's essential to find the space you need within the confines of the kitchen itself. And, if you're a baker like me, you still need plenty of countertop space on which to build your culinary creations. So, what can you do to maximize both? Lily Gahagan put together an "ideabook" of "17 Space-Saving Solutions for a Small Kitchen" on SF Gate, via Houzz. (Houzz is a cool scrapbooking site for interior design; I can't believe I'm only just now hearing about it!) She's got some great tips and has found even better pictures to demonstrate her points.
My favorite tip is making use of a rolling cart. Storage space underneath, workspace on the top, and the ability to move it to where you need it and out of the way again when you don't. It could also double as a bar cart in the dining/living room when you're entertaining.
Bringing things up off of your countertop and onto the walls is another storage solution that also frees up workspace. I love how this pic demonstrates a magnetic knife rack, a hanging utensil rack, plus open-air shelving, all while looking clean and user-friendly. Everything you need to put together a quick breakfast on that drool-worthy stove is at your fingertips.
Lily also mentions pot racks in her ideabook. I love them not just because of the extra storage they offer, but there's something so very Julia Child about pretty, shiny cookware hanging from an iron rack. Above is a cute and really affordable rack from Walmart. Yes, I know they're an evil empire, but I can't ignore my own tiny-ass budget...
Walmart's hipper cousin, Target, has a likewise affordable magnetic knife rack. Not only do these magnetic metal strips store your sharpies on the wall, they won't dull your blades the way traditional wooden blocks tend to. (Plus it keeps them within easy reach in case of zombie invasion. Think it's strong enough to hold a machete?)
Lily dedicates several slides to making use of corners in your kitchen. Unfortunately, a lot of these tips require some heavy-duty renovations, which I know most of us can't afford or aren't allowed to do (especially if we're renting). Still, I'm a big believer in exploiting every square inch of unused space, and putting baby in a corner -- er, putting your appliances in a corner -- is a good tip if you can pull it off.
Check out the rest of Lily's tips over at SF Gate, and check out Houzz for even more ideabooks. I know what I'm going to be doing with the rest of my afternoon...
Hat tip to Megan at Stellar Four for the link!