Jenna Spesard of Tiny House, Giant Journey cooks in a 30-square foot tiny kitchen. Here’s how she makes it work (and how you can make your own small kitchen work for you, too).
When I planned my ideal tiny house kitchen, I was determined not to compromise on functionality. I pride myself on my ability to find storage solutions and to de-clutter small spaces. Was it a challenge? Absolutely! That’s why creating a functional space with a small footprint is so rewarding.
Eliminate Bulk Kitchen Gadgets
As with any compact room, maximizing your space begins with reducing unnecessary items—downsizing. How many times have you opened a drawer in your kitchen and had to dig through a sea of utensils to find your favorite spatula? Do you really need those gadgets you hardly use? Determine the value of your gadgets based on how frequently you use them. Create a mental recipe for your kitchen, and if a certain gadget doesn’t add up to a valuable ingredient, eliminate it from the recipe.
My tiny kitchen has limited storage and instead of building more storage spaces (which could further enclose the space), I eliminated any kitchen gadget that I do not use on a weekly basis. This meant selling my cookie cutters and pasta maker: gadgets that I only use once a year around the holidays. I now borrow gadgets from friends and neighbors when needed or I cook a different dish that doesn’t require these unnecessary gadgets. Not only has reducing clutter helped to maximize my tiny kitchen, it’s also expanded my cooking repertoire!
Purchase Kitchen Combination Tools
Reducing the items in your kitchen doesn’t require you to simplify your favorite gadgets. In fact, high-tech combination kitchen tools are usually great space savers. Today it’s easier than ever to purchase compact multi-purpose tools to maximize your prep space, so begin to think of your tiny kitchen as the culinary equivalent of a Swiss army knife!
Recently I purchased one pair of kitchen shears to replace several tools in my kitchen. This compact multi-functional tool transforms from a set of scissors into two knives, a fish scaler, a bottle opener, a flat-head screwdriver, a potato peeler, and a nutcracker. By replacing my dated utensils with innovative combination tools, my tiny kitchen is organized and spacious. I’ll never dig through a crowded drawer of dated tools again!
Food Storage Can Be Beautiful
Does it look like a bomb went off in your kitchen after a trip to the grocery store? My tiny kitchen doesn’t have an allocated pantry, yet I’m able to store plenty of food without the need for bulky cabinets, which can crowd a small space. It began with a belief that changed my kitchen pantry forever: Food is beautiful, but food packaging is ugly.
No one wants to busy up their kitchen with advertisements, or cheap plastic and bulky cardboard containers. In my tiny kitchen, I created an appealing display by using repurposed glass jars, dry food items, and open shelving. The textures and natural colors created by the foods act as a beautiful evolving collage. By doubling my pantry as functional decor, I have no need for doors and drawers in my kitchen, and my countertops always remain bare.
Think High and Low
Traditional kitchens only utilize the space that is considered easily accessible (approximately four to five feet of an eight-foot high room). However, in a tiny kitchen, every inch should be used to its full potential, whether designed for storage or kept clear for visual aesthetics. It’s also important to recognize that anything stored at eye level should be considered a “display item,” while any item stored high or low will be less noticeable.
In my tiny kitchen, I used the space rarely observed—the high and low—for storing my unattractive or bulky items (such as mixing bowls and cookie sheets). Because these spaces are not as easily accessible, I also store gadgets that I use less frequently.
By utilizing every inch of my tiny kitchen, whether it’s purposefully kept clear, organized for storage, or functioning in multiple ways, I’ve created an efficient and visually appealing cook space in only 30 square feet!
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