No matter how big or your kitchen is or what it looks like, home expert Elizabeth Dodson says people will still gather in there. So make sure it’s neat, warm and welcoming with these tips for organizing your kitchen and adding personality.
Brighten up your space.
Dodson, co-founder of HomeZada, an online digital platform that helps people manage their home improvement, manuals, photos and more, says a small kitchen needs light to look bigger. Even a small window can make a small room look larger. So can light-colored paint.
Dodson says you could also hang a mirror to make the space appear larger. You can use the mirror as a whiteboard for notes and grocery lists.
Build an “eat-out” kitchen.
If you have space in another room, Dodson suggests moving your seating out of your kitchen. That will free up space for extra shelves, cabinets or even a portable butcher block that can sit to the side until you need it.
Use your walls.
Almost anything can be hung. According to Dodson, famed chef, author and television personality Julia Child recommended keeping the products you use often readily available.
Dodson suggests installing decorative hooks instead of backsplash tile to hang utensils with holes, and magnet bars to hang knives and magnetic spice jars. Your items will be accessible and free up countertop and drawer space. Keep your posts and pan close by hanging them on the wall or from the ceiling as well.
Remember, if you are putting your supplies on display, they must be clean.
Stack everything you can. Stack dishes, jars and cans. Add removable shelves to your cabinets to stack items that don’t easily fit on top of each other. Store smaller items in clear stackable containers so you can see what’s inside.
Divide those drawers.
“People rebuy items because they can’t find them in a messy drawer,” says Dodson.
To make the most of the drawers in a small kitchen, Jordan Bloom, organizing superstar at Rachel and Company, says to always use drawer organizers and dividers. “It keeps things separated so you can easily grab what you need while you’re cooking. There are so many great options for this. I personally like clear plastic drawer dividers because they can be easily removed and put in the dishwasher if they get dirty.”
Leverage your shelves.
“Wallpaper the back of your shelves to pop and add personality,” suggests Dodson, “or paint the bottom or back of the shelves.” You can even alternate paint colors.
Rather than throwing everything on the shelves, Bloom suggests putting all the pasta in one basket, canned goods in another, etc., with labels. “This makes putting away groceries easier and makes everything in a tiny kitchen look neater. If you don’t have a built in pantry you can pick up a shelving unit to use against a wall in your kitchen. With neatly lined up baskets, it will add a bit of decor to your kitchen.”
Use fancy items as décor around your house.
If you don’t have room in your kitchen for all your nice platters and bowls, Dodson suggests using them as décor around your house. Glass cabinets are great for storing clean dishes and glasses, as well. “If glasses are clean, it’ll make a section of the room pop,” says Dodson. “It’s like a little gem.”
Don’t buy in bulk.
“Buy just what you need,” says Dodson. “Don’t buy 200 spices, buy the spices you’re going to use or fresh spices.” If you do have extra, however, Dodson says you can make spice mixes and give them away as gifts. Put them in a decorate jar and attach a recipe.
Sharing is caring.
“Find multifunctional appliances to free up space on your counters for everything else,” says Dodson. A food processor is a great example of a multifunctional appliance, she says.
But if you’re not going to use a specific appliance very often, don’t buy it, she says. “Why not borrow your friends’ or neighbors’ equipment. That’s what community is about.”