As many new homeowners know, a new condo or townhouse can be an exciting change from apartment living. Many new homeowners can’t wait to get started on customizing their new spaces, and the kitchen is one of the most commonly updated rooms in any condo or townhouse. Cozy condos may be just right for one or two people, but condo kitchens can sometimes feel cramped, especially for larger families. A kitchen remodel is typically just the right upgrade needed to ensure that a smaller-size kitchen meets new owner needs. A remodeling professional can design a kitchen for a Livonia townhome or condo that’s stylish but still highly functional by incorporating the elements below.
Sleek, Modern Style
With a cohesive design, even a small space can look minimalist and modern. Modern styles generally feature crisp, clean lines and design elements that create an air of elegance in small rooms. Low-profile, minimalistic hardware and fixtures add to a streamlined look, while bulky details such as crystal chandeliers, wainscoting, and crown molding can weigh a room down.
Light and Color
Light colors mixed with wood or other natural elements can make a small room feel larger. A light-colored palette mixed with stone, wood, metal, or other natural materials creates a relaxing, modern space. Together, white or light cabinetry, tile, and walls create an airy feeling, reflecting light and brightness to make a space seem bigger.
If a light color palette isn’t possible, a few light-reflecting tips may help create the illusion of more space. Frosted or clear glass cabinet doors and stainless-steel countertops can reflect light, and even a glossy finish on a darker countertop can make the room seem brighter. Similarly, white subway tile can help a kitchen feel wider, even if cabinetry and countertops are darker. A mirrored wall can broaden a visual angle, while a tile stripe can lengthen the room. Large windows allow natural light to permeate and brighten.
Many condos and townhouses have an open floor plan, allowing kitchens to blend seamlessly into living space; a blending of color from kitchen to living room helps both spaces appear larger and more inviting.
A slim kitchen island can increase both under-counter storage space and work area in a narrow kitchen. A particularly small kitchen may call for a rolling island that can be pushed out of the way once food prep is completed. A rolling island can also double as a bar area or an extra counter when guests arrive.
A kitchen island or built-in bar can also serve as a breakfast or lunch counter and adds space for additional guests or family members to enjoy a meal.
Seating Options That Maximize Space
The shape of a small kitchen can have a big impact on adjacent dining space. A small dining nook in a kitchen may call for a round table to open surrounding floor space. Similarly, a bench or built-in nook in a small dining area can often seat more people than two chairs in the same space and can be a creative option for families with small children.
A floating table mounted on a wall facing an L-shaped kitchen can provide additional dining space for meals; if a small space will not comfortably accommodate a floating table, a fold-down table that’s flush with the wall when not in use is a good alternative.
Counter-height bar stools can fit comfortably under most kitchen islands; bar stools increase seating and allow guests or family members to interact with the cook while meals are being prepared.
Using Vertical Space
Although a small kitchen may not have a lot of square footage, a professional kitchen designer in Livonia can make the most of a kitchen’s vertical space by installing cabinets from floor to ceiling. Ceiling-height cabinets dramatically increase the amount of available storage and create the illusion of height. Seldom-used kitchenware can be stored in upper cabinets and easily accessed when necessary.
High-mounted open shelving can add both style and storage space to a small kitchen, creating visual appeal and an eclectic, fun way to display accent pieces or to store rarely-used items.
To meet the demand for space, condo and townhome owners may opt for high-quality, streamlined appliances that function like their full-size counterparts. Many compact counter-depth refrigerators are just 24 inches wide, but thanks to space-saving features, homeowners may not notice the difference in size. Similarly, slimline dishwashers fit into tight spaces, but do the work of full-size models.
Combination appliances such as microwave ovens with convection and browning capabilities may take the place of bulky single-use appliances, streamlining and saving space.
Additionally, panel-ready appliances can be blended seamlessly into surrounding cabinetry, creating a minimalistic, uniform look that can make a small kitchen appear larger.
The kitchen sink is a frequently-overlooked feature, but a smaller sink may work well in a townhome or condo kitchen while still pulling double-duty as a food prep area. Many kitchen sinks today come with a cover or can easily accommodate one; a cover can work to make a sink function like a countertop so as to increase the amount of available working space. And, a kitchen remodeling professional can help select a sink that’s still deep enough to conceal dirty pots and dishes.
When remodeling, condo and townhome owners may want to consider structural changes, depending on the shape and size of the kitchen and the surrounding walls. If the kitchen area is completely cut off from the dining area or is separated by a wall from the living space, installing a pass-through or cutout area between the rooms will connect two spaces while providing convenience. Also, adding a large picture window or enlarging existing windows can make a kitchen seem expansive and filled with natural light.
Statement lighting in a small kitchen can add a touch of elegance and style, as well as work to brighten up the entire space. Pendant lights over an island are a great way to add a pop of color while illuminating food prep areas. Custom lighting under cabinets and shelves are relatively inexpensive and can be easily installed in Livonia condos or townhomes by a kitchen remodeling professional.
While it might seem that townhouse and condo kitchens are short on storage space, a little creative planning can go a long way toward increasing available storage. Small appliances, plasticware, cookware, and lids can all be stored on pull-out shelves inside cabinets. Pull-out racks next to the cooktop or oven can store spices so that they take up only the space they need.
Other creative storage options for small spaces can include overhead pot racks, magnetic knife mounts, or hooks for mugs or utensils; these solutions free up cabinet space and focus visual interest on a few fun kitchen elements.
Condo or townhome owners with a slightly larger remodeling budget may want to consider installing floor-to-ceiling cabinets that make use of vertical space to boost storage options. A kitchen remodeling professional in Livonia can recommend cabinets that work to create a kitchen with sleek, modern style while doubling available storage.