Remodeling Blog

Do you love to entertain but dread the stress and aggravation of cooking in your cramped kitchen? Are the drawers and cabinets packed to the brim? Is just one cook too many? Consider these 3 straight forward remedies that will turn your kitchen into a room fit for cooking, eating, and spending quality time with your friends and family in the New Year.

#1 Add More Storage

Whether you are preparing a meal for one, or a feast for an army, you need every square inch of precious counter space. Without enough storage, valuable work space gets converted into clutter. When all you can see is stuff– you have a cramped kitchen.

It’s time to add more storage. Here are some cramped kitchen ideas you can put to use for developing a revitalized and functional space.

This Burnsville kitchen features a huge cherry and maple cabinet, affectionately called the “super pantry.” Pullout drawers and shelves make the whole depth of the pantry easily accessible. Adjustable-height baskets for energy bars and bags of treats and snacks are affixed to the inside of cabinet doors. In this colossal pantry, there isn’t an inch of wasted space.

Pullout cabinet shelves and a special drawer keep staples and spices organized and easy to find in this contemporary styled kitchen.

#2 Change the Layout

The kitchen has become the most lived-in room of the house. Not just a cook-in but an eat-in, read-in, talk-in, be-in place. This new center of the home should be warm, inviting, and comfortable. Unfortunately, many kitchens were designed before this cultural shift and are too dark or crowded for creature comfort.

It’s time for drastic measures– changing the layout, even removing a wall.

This small kitchen had problems – dark, cramped, and narrow. Barely any light shines through the half-windows above the cabinets, and the only light fixture belongs in an office– not a home. Just behind the fridge lies huge picture window and plenty of open space. You can guess what happens next…

Recognize the windows? Knocking down the dividing wall between kitchen and family room changed the kitchen from cramped and dreary to spacious and bright. This unified and cohesive space is centered around the center island – a large triangle for work, storage and eating. White paneled cabinets along the perimeter are a crisp contrast to the grounding dark wood of the island. Cheerful natural light from the picture window spills into the now open kitchen.

#3 Reconfigure your Cabinets

While using cabinets as a floating divider between rooms may have seemed liked a good idea in the 80s and 90s – it’s not. In an effort to use space efficiently, this configuration blocks sight lines and closes off the kitchen. Fortunately, it’s possible to have it all: smart use of space with storage and a spacious feel. Reconfiguring your cabinets might just be all it takes to take away that small, cramped kitchen feeling.

This kitchen in Eagan had eye-level cabinets that limited sight lines and cut off the flow of light between rooms. This design is typical of many homes built in communities south of the river like Eagan, Burnsville, Bloomington, Apple Valley, and Eden Prairie.

Feeling cramped? Just re-configure your cabinets – that idea alone could completely change your kitchen for the better.

Of course, if you are moving the cabinets you might as well do away with the tired honey-oak decor. Here is the same kitchen, transformed into a timeless interpretation of traditional craftsman style.

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