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Idea File: The New Kitchenette

Idea File: The New Kitchenette

The tiny home movement is reinvigorating the concept of the kitchenette. However, in many homes, kitchenettes are used as secondary kitchens in finished basements, guest spaces or in-law suites. The newest styles are design forward and super efficient. And when it comes to a tiny space, function is key.


Today’s sinks come in any size you need. In a small space, you can certainly keep them lean, but make sure it’s still large enough to do whatever the task at hand is. This is also where a high arched, articulating, kitchen faucet is necessary. The idea is to make sure even if you’re filling a pot with water for pasta, the faucet can reach. If a dishwasher is absolutely necessary, consider Bosch or Haier who both focus on small appliances. Likewise, Streamline Hoods recently introduced a combination sink/countertop dishwasher that’s an old-school idea made modern.


Ample workspace is crucial in a functional kitchen, even if it is tiny. Have your contractor create an additional “hidden” counter top that can fold out of the main unit. Many cabinetry companies also have systems that allow for pop up prep areas that will disappear when not in use. Since you’ll need a place to dine anyway, use a counter height, drop leaf table, that can do double duty for prep and meal time. Sub out dining chairs for counter stools and you’ll be good to go.


Really consider how you cook and like to entertain, and choose appliances that really work for you. How often will you really use all four burners on your stovetop? Since most people use an average of two, go for modular units that can be placed anywhere. Perhaps a super efficient countertop oven, like one by Wolf Gourmet, is all the oven space you need. Refrigerator/freezer drawers or under counter units can be easily installed, and while this might require more of the moment runs to the market, it’s actually a healthier way to live and eat.


To keep your kitchenette free from clutter you need to make the most of limited storage space. Use pullout cabinet organizers and cabinet door shelves for the most efficient use of space. Limit cookware to what’s absolutely needed, and use a wall rack for storage. Keep everything stackable and in groups of no more than four when it comes to tableware. If you a small appliance helps you cook more at home, choose one that has more than one function, like a multi-cooker that can saute, make rice, slow cook and work as a pressure cooker. This will take the most advantage of limited space.


Kitchenettes don’t take up much wall space, so consider allocating an appropriate budget on finishes to ensure the kitchenette blends effortlessly into the space. This is not the place for bold color or patterned tiles. Keep things minimal and clean so the kitchen doesn’t become the focal point of the room.

As we move towards less cluttered lives, kitchenettes are playing an increasingly important role in today’s homes. With a little effort you can have a functional and beautiful kitchenette.

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