Your old kitchen seems cramped or dark, and appliances are beginning to overwhelm your limited counter space. Give your small kitchen a fresh look and improved efficiency with a well-planned kitchen remodel. Small kitchens are less expensive to remodel and are often more efficient than their larger counterparts. Incorporate smart new technology such as space-saving cabinetry and compact appliances to save space and improve the design.
Keep a notebook of your ideas. Save magazine clippings and photos of kitchen styles and designs that appeal to you. Record your needs and dreams. As you fill it with ideas and desires, your notebook will evolve to express your preferences and styles.
Create a floor plan of your kitchen on graph paper. Measure the dimensions and distances of stationary objects such as windows, doorways and walls. Sketch the various placements and positioning of appliances and cabinets.
Consider the kitchen "work triangle." The triangle was adopted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association, and recommends that the distance between the sink, cooktop and refrigerator should measure 4 to 9 feet each with a total sum of 26 feet.
Research space-saving appliances and devices designed specifically for small kitchens. A combination microwave and range hood fan saves precious counter space; roll-out garbage bins save floor space; extra tall upper cabinets provide additional storage.
Install recessed lighting fixtures instead of ceiling-mounted light fixtures or a chandelier. Recessed lights are installed in small circular niches inset into the ceiling, providing a more streamlined and spacious appearance.
Select light colors for walls, cabinets and flooring. Light colors suggest a more open, larger room. Add dark accents such as a wallpaper border or dark counter tops for a visual focal point.
Create unique cubbies, recessed shelving and hanging racks to save space. Spice shelves or a hanging pot rack provide visual appeal and save precious kitchen cabinet real estate.
Check with your local codes department for kitchen remodeling regulations such as electrical wiring requirements and counter top height. Your codes department may also provide you with helpful ideas and resources.