Why we love tiny kitchens

A small space can feel like warm hug. Knowing that everything has a place and is in it, all at arms reach. In order to get there – we need to know a little about planning Tiny.

Planning a kitchen in a tiny space can be challenging but the recreational vehicle and marine industry have been doing it for years and perfected it.  Using RV design for inspiration and relying on good basic design principles you can have a functional kitchen in very limited space.

Tiny kitchens can still be lovely as we see in this illustration from Tumbleweed.

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How low can you go?

One of the first questions is how small can  a kitchen be for in a home that is to meet building code requirements.

Besides a cooking surface, a sink and a cool storage for food then the code requires that you have a certain amount of surface (“landing”) space between them.  If you imagine a kitchen in a straight line with average sized appliances you can combine the requirements of fixtures beside one another as in the illustration below.  The minimum space required beside the individual elements has been shared.

This illustration shows our minimum suggested space assuming standard appliances.  You can go smaller; by reducing to 24” “apartment size” appliances you can go from 13’4” to 11’6”, reducing the sink to single bowl and you come to 10’6” and you can reduce a further 6” to go to minimum required space rather than suggested.  At 10 foot overall length you would have quite a compact kitchen.

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This one walled kitchen design using apartment sized appliances and a double bowl sink would take just under 15 linear foot of wall space or 14 foot with a single bowl sink.  The addition of a small pantry and a bit extra counter space it a good little working space.

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This galley kitchen designed for a cottage includes the utility storage closet and uses less than 85 square feet of floor area.

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This small L shaped design uses less than 90 square feet of floor space.

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My personal favourite; this little U shaped kitchen has lots of useful working space in under 100 square feet. In this photo of an actual compact u-shaped kitchen you can see that it is a surprisingly roomy space with all points of the work triangle at arms reach.

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You must be orderly and frugal to work with a very tiny kitchen.  Good planning goes hand in hand with good design.

There are many tricks to help you work with a tiny kitchen.  Fold down or pull out counter extensions can help expand work space as can a dual purpose work table or island space.  Rolling carts or island come in an amazing range of sizes and styles. Choosing to upgrade to tall upper cabinets or a deep fridge cabinet can add storage.  Open shelving used as upper cabinets opens the space up or can be used on adjoining wall space to store decorative dishes moving them out of cabinet space.

Attractive visible storage containers like this dish rack by Wayfair can put necessities out on display and out of limited cabinet space.

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In all aspects of design your personal preference balanced with good design prinicipals should be combined to create space you love to be in.

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