“I live in an older home with tons of character, unfortunately, what it has in charm, it lacks in space, specifically in my kitchen. What can I do to maximize the space I have without a full remodel?”~Pfister Facebook fan
For the avid restaurant patron or frequenter of take-out, a spacious kitchen might not be on your list of priorities. But for those of you who fancy yourself gourmet cooks, or find that your life and time at home revolves around your kitchen, ample room and functionality is a must! Though a full-on remodel might squash all your space woes, it can also cost tens of thousands of dollars—surely not always a realistic solution. So, we asked home cook-turned chef Victor Virginio—who happens to be no stranger to a cramped condo kitchen—for some where-did-all-this-space-come-from tricks for even the tightest spaces.
Try this at home:
- Hang in there. Pots and pans can take up a ton of room when stored in your cabinets, or in your sub-range drawer. Avoid the clutter by opting for an over-the-island hanging rack. Suspended cookery is not only useful, but it also makes your kitchen look chef-ready.
- Fake it to make it. Unless you plan on hiring a demo team to knock out walls, gaining more square footage isn’t really an option, but employing tricks to make your kitchen look bigger certainly is! Install lights under your cabinets to brighten up the room, or swap out your tile backsplash for mirrors. It might sound odd, but it’ll reflect back all the space you already have, and fake the eye into thinking there’s even more of it.
- Declutter. Appliance – and utensil-filled countertops are the enemy of a spacious, open kitchen. Tuck away anything you don’t use on a daily basis (like that blender or food processor) into a shelf in your pantry or in your cabinets. Install a shelf over your range to hang utensils for easy access, and a clear countertop.
- Double up. No matter how much cabinet space you have for storage, you’ll probably always feel like you could use more. Work with what you have by buying some inexpensive wire racks to double your cabinet space. These are great for stacking canned goods, plates, pots and pans (if a hanging rack is not an option), short glasses and beyond!
- Lighten up. Never underestimate the power of paint. Choose light, airy colors to create the illusion of openness. If you have white cabinets, try a dove gray or ice blue; for darker woods, a pale, minty green should get the job done.
Photo credit: Flickr CC-By-2.0 Barb McMahon