Small Kitchen Ideas

23 Apr

Many of  you know, or have read, that we’re moving on Saturday. While I’m more than thrilled, I’m a little sad to be leaving our relatively big kitchen for a very small, not-much-counterspace, one-person-at-a-time kitchen.

I’m looking for a little help in figuring out how to best make this kitchen work for us. I’ve tried looking at articles about small kitchens, but they either lament the terrible layout of a U-shaped kitchen (umm, how about a line-shaped kitchen, and a short line at that?) or suggest keeping most of your stuff in the pantry (pantry? Hello, this is Manhattan).

So I come to you. How do you manage with a small kitchen and a small everything else? We have a few cabinets, a little counter space, and no other storage areas. Can’t really put up shelves. What appliances do you find you use or don’t use? Love your microwave but find few uses for a toaster? Cuisinart/bread machine/fill in the blank back at your parents?

Any and all tips and suggestions are welcome, and I’ll try to post pictures once we’ve actually moved. Many thanks!


6 Responses to “Small Kitchen Ideas”

  1. rebecca/geekchicbride April 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    Fellow galley kitchen chef here, and I’ve come across a few tips that have really helped!

    I don’t know if you have them, but we have super high ceilings and therefore lots of space on top of our cabinets. We keep our appliances that we don’t use enough to keep on the counter up there. The KA mixer stays on the counter though. =)

    I have lots of empty wall space but not really enough room for shelves, so I’m itching for my husband to make me a pegboard pot rack (! If you can, a hanging pot rack also frees up cabinet space. I’m also looking into getting something like this for spices, paper towels, etc.:

    For counter space, I have a huge cutting board (like 4’x3′) that I place over the sink or stove when I’m not using them. It’s like instant counter space.

    You could also get an under-counter shelf for wine glasses: We have one from PB, but it’s a standalone shelf, and you said no shelves.

  2. shayneaja April 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm #

    Well, while my current kitchen is relatively small, our old kitchen was miniscule (a one person type). I kept my microwave on top of the fridge. Lots of bowls, bakeware, and misc. appliances on top of the cabinets. If you have any vertical space, use it. Also, consolidate your stuff, if you don’t use it often, get rid of it or put it in storage. Good Luck!

  3. joelen April 23, 2009 at 11:29 pm #

    Good luck with your upcoming move! I prefer galley kitchens because its much more effective use of space for me. In fact, I’ve had my share of a large and small kitchen and I actually prefer a small kitchen to cook in since everything is within reach and I don’t have space for random ingredients and kitchen stuff I probably won’t get much use out of. With that said, for additional counterspace, sometimes I’ll place my large wooden cutting board over my sink and as I prep vegetables/fruits/meats, I can just brush waste into the sink… which I’ll gather and throw away when I’m done.

  4. Stacey July 19, 2009 at 1:57 am #

    I have only had tiny kitchens since moving to NYC and I love to cook. My current kitchen is 5’x8′, no window. But it is well designed. Here’s what I advise: no toaster (I use a grill pan), the smallest food process on the market that has a feed tube (I have an old 3 cup cuisinart, not sure if they’re still available). A 10 or 12″ “everything pan” with a lid.(I have an All-Clad) A stockpot with a lid (and if your pans can share a lid, even better. And a round dutch oven (not oval). No pans with long handles (they take up too much room). Depending upon how your kitchen is arranged, a magnetic knife rack and those magnetic strips for spices. In one kitchen, I had a “fold-down” shelf that I made from a 12″x24″ piece of butcher block (container store) and fold-down brackets from a hardware store. This functioned as extra counter space. Buy dishes and glasses at thrift stores b/c in a small space, stuff breaks. Get the best you can afford but don’t get too attached. I do have a tiny microwave (the GE Mini-mike, no longer on the market but I think Sharp makes one). I could live without it but since I have a spot for it, I’ve kept it. I use a stove-top espresso pot for coffee so I don’t have an electric pot taking up counter space. Good luck! Post pictures!

  5. fellowgalleynyc July 21, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    Hey there– just read about your move in the newspaper (which cancels out our plans to look for a place in carrol gardens, thanks for the fyi!) and right now I can tell you I function rather well in my galley kitchen (about 8 ft long)… so here goes: we have a toaster oven that we got for our wedding (over a year ago) and it is in the closet, and we don’t miss it, so skip that; 3 cup cuisinart food processor sits on the counter and is awesome; handheld cuisinart beats a blender; we keep a plastic board for drying dishes on the side of the sink, and it’s easily propped up and moved when I need more counter space for cooking; microwave is key, although i wish we had a smaller one, it’s a major space hog; lid holders in the cabinet; those oxo rectangular tall storage bins are awesome, stackable and make the cupboards easy to organize……….. anyway, hope this helps, and very cool blog!

  6. julie July 21, 2009 at 2:09 am #

    my favorite space-saver in my itty bitty kitchen is my herb system. I use these drams from Container Store ( – they fit perfectly into a little magnetized mesh container that hangs on my microwave. Perfect!

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