Five ways to live large in a small kitchen

Consumer Reports News: June 27, 2012 01:08 PM

A small kitchen can quickly become cluttered and feel cramped. To maximize the space you have, rethink where you store things, especially if counter space is at a premium. A few small upgrades can make a big improvement. Here are five ways to make every available inch count.

  1. The placement of the dishwasher is key. Choose a location near the sink but where the dishwasher won't stop traffic when the door is open. Remember to think about access to other appliances too. You don't want the dishwasher door to block the refrigerator door, for example.
  2. Incorporate a landing spot for food by the refrigerator and for pots and pans on at least one side of the stove. These small details can easily improve your kitchen's efficiency.
  3. Install roll-out cabinets where possible. A roll-out spice rack near the range is a great use of space and eliminates clutter on the countertop or in a cabinet.
  4. Drawers and pull-out shelves are very handy. They're a perfect way to store pots, pans, kitchen tools and even dishware. Most commercial cabinets can be outfitted with pull-out shelves and other organizers.
  5. Before making any updates, take an inventory of everything you need and use in your kitchen and where it's kept. Remember to plan storage for small, easily overlooked items such as pot holders and plastic bags.

For our new Kitchen Remodeling Guide, Consumer Reports talked to designers, manufacturers and our own experts to help you design a kitchen that fits your lifestyle and your budget. Included in the report are our top-rated appliances and the best places to buy them.

Adapted from Consumer Reports Kitchen Planning & Buying Guide, on newsstands now.

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