Size, shmize: How to make the most of your small kitchen


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Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes … much to many foodies’ chagrin. Whether you’re living in a city apartment, starter home or you’ve recently downsized, cramped quarters may have you — the household chef — ripping your hair out. Here are some tips to make a small kitchen more functional without tearing down any walls.

Optimize your counter space: Though not a small upgrade, if you’re reworking a small kitchen, consider work surfaces that you can work directly on top of, like butcher block and stainless steel. Alternatively, you can add a small, rolling kitchen island that serves the same purpose and offers storage.

Think vertical: Cabinets and drawers full to the brim? Add more storage space on the walls with rails like Ikea’s Grundtal series, which hold everything from drying dishes to spices and utensils. Magnetic boards can also serve to hold knives or magnet-backed spice containers. Pull items that don’t stack neatly out of your cabinets — like pots, pans and colanders — and hang them on a hanging rack.

Gussy-up your storage: Conserve cabinet space by placing storage containers for everyday ingredients (like flour, sugar and coffee) on that rarely used area at the very back or corner of your countertop. Tired of those old boring containers? Choose more stylish canisters that are more appealing to the eye. Try these canister sets from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Optimize cabinets: Customize your cabinets — and no, we’re not talking about an expensive project involving carpenters. If your cabinets have adjustable shelves, take the time to move them around and find the right configuration for your dishes. If not, find cabinet inserts, like shelves and drawers that allow you to stack to your heart’s content. Add turntables to your fridge and cabinets to store hard-to-find condiment bottles and jars.