Whether yours is a transportable granny home, a permanent secondary home in the backyard, a ‘fonzie’ built over your garage or an extra living apartment added to your existing home, the one thing they probably have in common is a small kitchen.
For some home cooks this is annoying, especially for anyone who loves to make a big culinary splash in the kitchen, spreading ingredients and utensils across the entire length of bench spaces. But there’s no reason to believe that these cooks can’t have it all in their small kitchens. If you’re creative with your space, you and your mini kitchen can make things work and get the dinner cooked on time and with as much flair as you feel like expressing.
The best way for you and your granny home to get along is to keep clutter to an absolute minimum:
- Buy the smallest appliances
There are some tiny but powerful appliances available, and provided you choose a well known and trusted brand of refrigerator, dishwasher and washing machine you will be surprised that small doesn’t have to mean cheap and nasty. Yes, they might cost a little more than unknown brands but just because you’re downsizing, doesn’t mean you have to settle for anything but the best in your secondary home.
If you keep your little kitchen properly organised by hanging utensils on wall space and using the space above your sink or beneath cabinets for storage, you will avoid chaos. They might be small spaces, but every inch of space is valuable in this exercise.
- The pantry
Keeping the pantry well organised and stacked properly using all available space (cans placed on top of each other, for instance) can make a big difference to your kitchen and to your sense of order. Dry goods can take up too much space, so buy some plastic containers for these and also for breakfast cereals, herbs and spices, but make sure you label them. Add some small baskets and bins to put smaller items into, and throw out any product whose use-by date has passed. This will save space in the pantry and the fridge.
Here’s where you can be really clever. Almost any unused space in your tiny secondary home can be used for storage. Box shaped stools that have compartments where you can store stuff can be tucked in underneath a desk or table. If there’s a little nook next to the fridge it can be turned into a narrow cabinet. You can add a pullout drawer in the space beneath the sink.
- Cabinets custom made
Rather than buying standard cabinets for your secondary home get a cabinetmaker to make some that fit the spaces in your particular dwelling with it’s own shape and design. You then know they will fit perfectly.
- Colour changes everything
The importance of colour in small dwellings such as secondary homes can’t be overstated. When decorating, it’s best to choose light colours to open the the area up and give a sense of spaciousness. Dark colours such as black, navy, dark grey, dark brown or deep purple will only make your home or room look dark and even smaller.
- A slim kitchen island can help
Chefs and home cooks need bench space to prepare meals on. There’s nothing worse than having nowhere to put the bowls and utensils or the chopping board, then the bowls and plates for serving up the meals. But if you can add a slim island in the kitchen of your secondary home it can be used for storage underneath and give you a great work area. Get one with drawers and shelves to put utensils or plates, spices or whatever you choose.
Wherever there’s wall space you can put up a shelf. They can be wall mounted and slotted into small spaces where you can’t fit a cabinet. They are a good place to sit items that you use every day for cooking purposes. The backsplash makes a really good storage area for herbs and spices. You can put in sliding doors. It’s a small space for small items and makes them easy to reach.