The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
When we moved into our house 17 years ago, I was pregnant with my first child. We had no way of knowing that all these years later, we’d still be in the same house but with 3 kids who love to cook as much as I do. Unfortunately, our kitchen is not really conducive to having us all in there at once… so I’ve been trying to find ways to remodel and have been kind of drooling over the appliances from Best Buy that I saw at the Mom 2.0 conference I went to a few weeks ago. I’ve also created a Pinterest board (of course) for my dream kitchen.
I used to design kitchens back when I was working as an interior designer… and designing kitchens is tough. You only have so much space (usually) and you want to make it as user-friendly as possible. For those of us that cook a lot, there are definitely some tips that will help make your too-small kitchen a little easier to navigate.
Not enough storage? Look up!
We have way too many pots and pans. My favorite cookware are my copper pots that my family gave me when I got married. There is absolutely NO storage whatsoever for them so I went the old-fashioned route and hung them on a pot rack. Personally, I love that they add a little French flair to my kitchen… and it makes it so easy to just grab what I need. I hung mine over my kitchen window since my ceiling is slanted, but there are so many different types of pot racks that you can get.
Watch your flooring.
Kitchens traditionally have some kind of tile or vinyl flooring. With the availability of great new materials, you can pretty much do anything you want to a kitchen floor. We tore out our tile floor when we moved in and continued our laminate flooring into our kitchen. With our tiny house, it really opens up our great room and makes the space seem a little more expansive. Having a different type of flooring in the kitchen would have made it seem so much smaller. There are also amazing wood-looking tiles that I would totally consider if we had a completely separate kitchen space.
Get the right refrigerator.
I’ve had all different kinds of refrigerators. I’ve had the one with the freezer on the top, and now I have a side-by-side. There are pros and cons about both and it really does come down to your preference, but I’m kind of stuck on the Family Hub with Touch Screen refrigerator from Samsung and I’m trying to talk my husband into splurging for it. This is awesome! The touch screen on front has the ability to manage multiple calendars, lets you write notes, you can stream music while you’re cooking, and you can watch videos. VIDEOS! Like cooking videos!!!! How cool is that??? If your TV is compatible you can actually mirror what is on your TV. Just think… you’ll never have to pause a show when you go into the kitchen to get a snack. The fridge also has 3 built-in cameras that you can sync to your smart phone… and OMG you can actually check what is inside the fridge when you are at the market so you won’t forget the milk… or orange juice… or eggs.
Think outside-the-box for storage solutions.
With a small kitchen, there is no way I could actually hide everything from plain site. So what’s a girl to do? I love finding non-kitchen objects that I can use for storage. I’ve used metal vases and wire baskets… and glass candy jars. Pretty much anything is fair game… and makes your countertops a lot more exciting.
Extra counter space.
The one thing we lack that is necessary for any kitchen is counter space. We just don’t have it. We also don’t really have a ton of space to put a built-in island in the middle of the floor either. We ended up finding a stand alone kitchen island at a heavy discount at a home improvement store. It was a floor model they were trying to get rid of. What I love about this is that we can move it around wherever we need it. It’s small enough to use as a regular island in the middle of the kitchen… but I often move it to the side, under our window, to use as a coffee bar. It gives us a little more countertop space AND it has drawers that are full to the brim with extra plastic containers and kitchen gadgets.
The oven makes all the difference.
We are in the process of looking at new ranges and the Samsung Flex Duo with Dual-Door Slide-In Range is looking better and better. We use our range a LOT. I mean… a LOT a LOT. Like, several times every single day. With this range, you can cook two different dishes (at different temperatures) simultaneously. I can’t even… this almost makes me want to cry. It’s like have TWO ovens in one. There is wi-fi connectivity (WI-FI) so you can remotely monitor your cooktop and control your oven. This is huge! I can turn the oven on when I’m on my way home from the store so I don’t have to wait to preheat it. It’s already hot when I get there. Score!
No pantry? No problem!
Okay… well, it actually kind of IS a problem for me. With 5 of us in the house, we need to have a lot of food on hand. Plus, since we cook every single day… we need to be able to store staples in the house. Since I don’t actually have a walk-in pantry (sigh) we had to make it work with what we did have. We have a small cabinet for our dry foods so we made sure to have sliding drawers put in years ago. That way, we can at least pull out the drawer in the cabinet to see what is in the back. I can’t imagine not having this feature… and I would put then in no matter how large our kitchen was. We also have pull outs under our kitchen sink so we can see all the junk we throw under there as well.
Dishwasher is a MUST.
We are getting ready to replace our dishwasher too. We are pretty hard on our dishwasher since with all the cooking we do, we have an abundance of dirty dishes that need to get washed. None of us have time to hand wash dishes so our dishwasher gets used every single day. Sometimes more than once a day. The Waterwall Dishwasher from Samsung is different because it uses a powerful, streaming wall of water (that maintains maximum pressure from corner to corner) to deliver some serious cleaning results. You also have the option of custom settings so you can program zones for your wine glasses or those baked-on brownie pans and wash them all together. With a lack of counter space, we need to be able to load our dishwasher up as we go.
So tell me what you would have in your dream kitchen?