If you live in an apartment, you might love the efficiency and charm of the space but may have a crowded kitchen. Smaller kitchens may cause you to feel cluttered and claustrophobic, and nobody wants that!
While tearing down a wall is an obvious solution to creating more space in a small kitchen, this is not an option for apartments! The good news is that there are many space-saving remodeling ideas you can incorporate into your kitchen no matter its size and footprint, for added storage and a more open, airy, and welcoming look.
1. Store items above your kitchen cabinets
If your kitchen’s upper cabinets don’t reach the ceiling, you’re wasting precious space throughout your entire kitchen! There is usually open space between the ceiling and shorter cabinets. You can store additional pots, pans, and more here!
2. Add a Banquette
For an eat-in kitchen, get rid of the table and chairs and add a built-in banquette. A banquette provides space under the bench seating for storing linens, small appliances, holiday dishes, and other such items. You can even use the space under the bench for storing canned goods and other pantry items!
3. Install custom cabinets around a built-in refrigerator
A stand-alone refrigerator below a set of tiny, recessed cabinets wastes precious storage space in your kitchen and creates a boxy, cluttered look. A cabinetmaker can create custom cabinets that extend to the front of a built-in refrigerator, making them more accessible. Lifting the refrigerator off the ground and installing a cabinet under it also creates convenient storage as well as a clean, streamlined look in your small space.
4. Add two-layer drawers
Two-layer drawers have a half shelf installed on a roller above the bottom part of the drawer. The half shelf holds flatware and other small items and slides to the back of the drawer so you can access larger utensils underneath. Two-lawyer drawers allow you to store lots of cutlery and utensils in one space while keeping all your items organized and at your fingertips.
5. Create a rolling work island
A rolling work island takes the place of a lower set of cabinets; you roll the island out when you need added prep space and then roll it back into place under the counter when not in use. Ensure your rolling work island blends seamlessly with the rest of your cabinets and fits perfectly in your small space by having it custom made by a cabinetmaker or kitchen design expert.
6. Attach a fold-down table
Another alternative to a center island is a fold-down table, attached to a wall on hinges. The table can be unfolded when you need more prep space and it then folds out of the way when not in use. You can also attach fold-down barstools to the wall on either side of the table to create a flexible eating space that won’t get in the way when not in use!
7. Create a custom, flush-mounted broom closet
Kitchen Remodeling professionals, bring a keen eye for detail to small kitchen spaces and usually recommend creating a custom, flush-mounted broom closet for small spaces. A flush-mounted closet is installed against one wall and is only a few inches deep. A custom, compact closet allows for storage of cleaning supplies without taking up the same footprint as a full-size broom closet.
8. Add lots of lighting
Get rid of your kitchen’s unattractive fluorescent light and add an updated track light fixture or a row of unique pendants lights. Along with new fixtures overhead, consider adding lots of recessed lighting along with the ceiling, to brighten up dim corners. Under-mount lighting also keeps countertops and the sink area from looking dark and dull and can make the entire kitchen look larger overall.
9. Fool the eyes with surfaces
Long, thin laminate floor slats and oblong subway tiles make a small kitchen seem larger. Glass cabinet doors reflect light, adding brightness to your space. Simple Shaker-style cabinet fronts create a simple and clean look that is uncluttered and open. Crown molding adds height to a small kitchen, while a wall-mounted stove and slim cooktop also keep your apartment kitchen spacious and roomy.
10. Ori Systems
Ori Systems is a company helping people make efficient use of every square inch of their living space. We thought we’d write about how this Cambridge-based tech company is making urban studio living even more attractive through high-functioning and high-tech furniture systems.
So what’s all the fuss about? With an astounding amount of press coverage from the Washington Post, TechCrunch, the BBC, and many other publications and news outlets, surely these guys are onto something.
At its core, the Ori is a modular furniture system that helps apartment owners maximize their space. However, this is nothing new and certainly not newsworthy.
What’s truly stunning about this product is the integration of smart technology that gives it a new level of functionality never before enjoyed with this kind of setup.
The system allows users to transform their small living space from a bedroom to a living room, office, or closet, at the push of a button.
And it doesn’t stop there. The system is also fully controllable by smartphone and even voice. Through Amazon Echo, merely saying “Alexa, ask Ori to create my living room,” will hide your bed, move the entire system out of the way, and have your apartment ready to tackle the day in seconds.
It’s this marriage of modular studio apartment furniture with modern technology that makes the product so fascinating. In an interview with CTV News, CEO Hasier Larrea said, “We can bring the world of robotics and technology into architecture and real estate.”
Watching the system work, Ori has nailed this union.
How The Ori System Works
The Ori exists as one modular unit with a built-in interface that allows the user to move the whole piece, or access its three presets. These consist of a bed, lounge, and wardrobe mode.
The system stores your bed in a drawer on the bottom of the unit. When you press the button or give the voice command, the system will move the appropriate distance from the wall and roll your bed out, creating a private sleeping nook.
Studio apartment residents know how much precious space is taken up by their bed. The ability to store it easily saves a significant amount of time and space. While there are many systems to hide or remove your bed, this is the first that has reduced the process to just a push, swipe, or phrase.
In lounge mode, the unit will roll all the way to one side of the room and assume it’s most low-profile form to allow the user the maximum amount of floor space. If you thought entertaining guests in your studio apartment was impossible, think again.
Everybody wants a spacious walk-in closet, but most studio dwellers aren’t so fortunate. Those using an Ori can just roll out of bed and push the preset wardrobe button on the system for effortless access to the unit’s generous storage. In just a few seconds, you’re ready for your morning routine.
While these are the three presets programmed into the Ori, the system is entirely under its user’s control. You can move the whole unit to your desired place and customize its modular features to create your space.
This feature is vital to the system’s success. Studio-dwellers are increasingly drawn to creating highly personalized spaces. People don’t want their small apartments to be one of three presets.
To combat this, Ori not only gives users full control to customize the system’s function but offers a variety of ways the credenza can be modified to achieve unique style and functionality.
The company’s founders stated in an interview that the goal of the system was to solve three of the most pressing problems studio-dwellers face. Space, storage, and as the CEO himself puts it, “where to put the damn bed.”
The system accomplishes these three goals expertly through the presets, customization, and technology features while providing a user-friendly experience that is unmatched in the world of studio apartment furniture.
The lucky few who have had the opportunity to have these systems in their apartments have noted how simple it is to divide space. Many consider it one of the most valuable benefits the robotic appliance offers.
For many urban apartment-dwellers, dividing their living quarters into smaller functional spaces without making them feel cramped is a considerable challenge. Rather than confining themselves to an even tinier division of the apartment for sleeping, dining, or lounging, the Ori allows them to do each of these with the maximum amount of space possible.
As the most comprehensive and sophisticated all-in-one furniture system ever brought to market, it provides a glimpse into the future of studio living. As urban centers continue to develop and attract more people to enjoy all the conveniences and comforts of downtown living, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more robotic furniture making appearances across the nation.
Where Can You Get Yours?
For now, Ori Systems is only partnering with real estate developers to pilot their products. They have said that they hope to use the system’s skeleton and muscle to develop future products “for many demographics at many price points.” This indicates that Ori may sell the units directly to consumers at some point in the future, but for now, they’ve partnered with just a handful of real estate developers across the continent.
Right here in DC, they’ve partnered with our property, The Vintage. If you want to see the system in action, you can do so by visiting the building’s lobby and requesting a tour.
Whether you are looking for a luxurious new DC studio apartment, or are just curious about this new technology, our team is more than happy to show it off. Swing by the property or fill out the contact form and get a glimpse of the future today.