Design Don’ts for a Small Kitchen

Whether you’re living in a sprawling mansion or a one-bedroom flat, the heart of any home is always the kitchen. You can count on family and friends to gather here for meal prep, late-night fridge raids, social gatherings or any number of memorable discussions, from the light-hearted to the life-altering.

That’s why it’s so important to maximize your kitchen space for both aesthetics and function, a goal that becomes even more challenging when you’re short on space. Interior designer Anne Hepfer shares what not to do in a small kitchen with

  1. Don’t use small tile. The smaller the tile, the more grout there is to clean, so avoid using small grout tile, especially behind a stove where grease can splatter. Hepfer suggests using large tiles or stone slab behind the stove since keeping your kitchen sparkling clean is even more critical when it’s small.
  2. Don’t leave space between the cabinets and ceiling. This will create the illusion of lowering the height of the room, and also become a space that collects dust. Try cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, or use a fascia instead.
  3. Avoid honed-stone countertops. Referring to stone that has been ground to a smooth, matte finish, this material can stain easily. Instead, opt for polished granite, marble or quartzite. Hepfer also suggests avoiding butcher block countertops, which can stain easily and be difficult to maintain.
  4. Stay away from trendy materials. Hepfer suggests staying away from materials that will quickly become dated. Instead, invest in materials that will always be in style. This goes a long way toward resale value, as well.
  5. Keep clutter under control. Small kitchens have a low tolerance for clutter, so take steps to keep your countertops clear. Find a home for appliances within cabinets, except for those you use daily, such as a toaster or coffee maker.
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