Over the past decade, tiny houses and micro-apartments have gained an immense amount of popularity as affordable and environmentally-friendly options for modern living. With compact architecture growing increasingly preferable or necessary for many, spatially-conscious furniture design is becoming increasingly relevant as well. One of the most critical areas for space-saving is the kitchen, where the multitude of functions and necessity of storage can make it difficult at times to make efficient use of space. Below, we outline several examples of space-saving furniture designs to make the best use of a small kitchen.
The space-saving table is one of the most popular methods of increasing kitchen efficiency, with variations that can include sliding components, folding parts, and transformable functions. One of the most iconic examples of this typology is the drop-leaf table, which dates back to 16th century England. With foldable ‘leaves’ on either side, users can transform the table when not in use to increase limited walking space. Other more modern examples can include dining tables with nested chairs or ottomans, increasing storage space while eliminating the space taken up by regular chairs. Some kitchen counters or islands, such as the one shown above, can even increase space with modular sliding components serving either as plain surfaces or functional countertops with sinks and storage. The benefits of these products lie not just in their spatial efficiency, but in their ability to only take up space when actively in use.
Wall and Ceiling Storage
Where floor space is minimal, residential designers and homeowners can conserve space by making full use of the walls and ceiling to store necessary kitchen tools and utensils. Common examples include magnetic knife racks, hanging plants, and hanging pot racks, transferring important storage space from cluttered countertops and precious cabinets to overhead units. When trying to maintain an oft-desired minimalist scheme, designers can look for or create retractable or sheathed overhead cabinets.
Just as transformable tables and kitchen islands can conserve space by compositing multiple functions into one space, so can cabinets or other kinds of shelving, being a necessary part of kitchen furnishing to begin with. These transformations can take many forms, from tables that swing or stack into shelves to shelves with nested components to those with extendable surfaces for eating or drinking, such as the one depicted above.
Regardless of these many unconventional options for space conservation and efficient storage, the drawer will always be an inseparable part of the kitchen typology. Thus, making better use of the drawer will inherently improve kitchen efficiency and functionality as well. To facilitate better drawer storage, drawer organizers will always be the most timeless and effective method of efficiently utilizing precious storage space. While less extravagant than many of the above kitchen storage options, these can be the most helpful in day-to-day use for having easily accessible and well-organized tools.
Altogether, there exist a variety of methods to improve the efficiency of small kitchen spaces, ranging from space-saving tables to improved multi-functional storage to even the most minute detail of drawer organizers. Combined, these furniture typologies can help even the smallest kitchen spaces exercise the full functionality of a regular kitchen, whether through furniture transformations or optimized use of space – rendering the small kitchen a minute inconvenience if one at all.