Even though the urbanites among us are wont to toiling away in small kitchens with zero counter or space for storing anyway, most folks haven’t experienced the unique challenges (and rewards) that a very tiny kitchen can bring. So, we ask a couple of tiny homeowners and builders to seek out out what it adores to form these impossible spaces work.
Paul Schultz, who designed and helped build the 147-square-foot toy chest Tiny Home; Jenna Yee and Michael Papillo, who designed and built the 265-square-foot Rustic Modern Tiny House; and Dan Dobrowolski, the founder, and CEO of small home building design firm ESCAPE Homes all have their share of experience making small spaces livable.
Here are their recommendations on smart design and organization, which you’ll use regardless of what size your kitchen is.
“The main question is typical ‘How much and lots of everything does one really need?'” Schultz says. “Tiny home people keep it simple and have about four place settings.” and every one the small house experts advise getting obviate bulky or oversize appliances and tools. Dobrowolski, for instance, calls large pots and pans “space hogs,” saying “You need only a few to be an excellent cook.”
“Another key question is ‘Can one tool double as another or fold away?'” Schultz says. “There are some practical, well-designed kitchen products that have double or triple uses and are collapsible or foldable.” for instance, Schultz swears by necessities like “disposable plates made from leaves to save lots of on water; a pot steamer that doubles as a colander; small, square oven-safe Pyrex glass containers that double as food storage; and a group of straightforward glass mixing bowls that are oven safe and attractive for serving.”
Yee and Papillo use a convection oven that also acts as a microwave and kitchen appliance.
Storage & Design
When it involves the design, “every subtle space is assumed of,” Yee and Papillo say. And it is vital to think outside the box here. for instance, the couple’s kitchen features something unexpected: a multi-drawer wooden dresser.
“We were working with a really small space and no standard cabinet would fit, and that we didn’t want to rent a custom cabinet maker. We decided to put in a dresser instead and got it for about $70 at a thrift store, then built open shelving above it. The drawers are perfect as a pantry and storage.”
They also use pot racks for keeping bulky items out of the way.
Schultz recommends, “An open and adaptable countertop to suit any cooking activity also helps with organization.” But versatility doesn’t stop there. “The kitchen features a fold-down table with two different tops: One is that the eating mode (18-by-36 inches), while the opposite is that the work mode (12-by-24 inches). When not in use, the table folds down on the wall to form more room within the kitchen area. additionally, the living area is often transformed into an off-the-cuff dining setting if needed.”
And albeit appliances are small and place settings few, it is vital to believe in aesthetics. Yee and Papillo use white dishes and clear glasses “to keep the space more open and uncluttered.”
“Natural light is basically important also,” they add, “because it exposes the space visually and causes you to desire you’ve got more to figure with.”
“I believe the skillful and artistic cook can make an exquisite meal for four or more during a tiny kitchen,” Schultz says. “It has all the fundamentals of a typical kitchen, just slightly smaller and during a tighter space. The fridge and freezer do have limited storage, which tends to retrain the meal preparer to adopt a more European approach to ‘buy for the day’ rather than overstocking the fridge. additionally , many small home dwellers are gardeners by default. They simply walk outside to select their ingredients during the season and may goods within the colder seasons.”
Yee and Papillo agree that cooking and cleaning effectively during a tiny home all depend upon the mind-set.
“There’s a special way of cooking within the kitchen. you’ve got to wash as you go, so you are not overwhelmed at the top of a meal,” they say. “You need to adapt how you’re moving through space: As soon as you allow something out, it feels really cluttered, so it’s to be easy to place things away. There has got to be a delegated place for everything.”
And simply because these homes are small doesn’t suggest one can’t throw a celebration.
“Our spaces tend to be very flexible and adaptable with multiple seating areas,” Dobrowolski says. “All of our units have an outsized board that’s multipurpose, and, of course, dining alfresco may be a perfect complement to living during a tiny home.”
Yee and Papillo add that though their house is found out for 2 people to dine, they need to host more. “We have had more people over, but we’ll entertain outside on the patio. We had 21 people here directly once we first launched, and, yes, it had been really packed, but we made it work.”