Few things can be more annoying than living in a small place that has a tiny kitchen. Actually, a small kitchen isn’t necessarily an issue as long as it’s well organized, practical and user-friendly. Size, as a result, is not as important and the structure and features of a kitchen. The focus today is on small and compact kitchens and some design ideas that are actually pretty great no matter how big or small your home is. We could all find inspiration in these ideas.
German brand Stadtnomaden is the name behind the A la carte kitchen, a system that reinvents the traditional kitchen as we know it and breaks it down into a series of modules which can be organized and structured as desired, according to the size and layout of the available space. The flexibility and versatility of the design allows it to fit a variety of spaces and styles. What’s also interesting is the attention to details such as the fact that the grooves between the modules can double as storage or additional surfaces, maximizing the unit’s space-efficiency. Each module includes a working area, an upper shelf, a middle storage area and a lower shelf. The space in the middle can accommodate built-in appliances such as ovens or dishwashers.
What you see here is a kitchen workstation designed by Sebastien Cluzel. It’s called Culinary Landscape and it’s a piece meant to replace the traditional kitchen island or even the usual cabinetry. The design is simple and focused on the raw and organic beauty of the materials involved. The workstation is designed using a combination of wood and volcanic stone, the latter replacing the traditional stove. The sink is pretty interesting as well, being made of concrete. Other interesting features include built-in cutting boards, containers, knife holders and planters, all carefully integrated in the unit.
Now you see it, now you don’t. It’s a compact kitchen which you can hide whenever you want, disguising it as a sleek wall-mounted cabinet/ console. Its name is Miniki and its design is modular, clever and practical, specifically created for small spaces such as studio apartments that don’t usually have a separate kitchen. This design allows you to hide the kitchen after using it and to turn the space into a cozy living room. The unit consists of three interchangeable modules that, when put together, look like a sideboard. It comes in 15 different colors and a customizable interior.
The Stealth Kitchen is designed based on a similar principle. It is, however, quite generous in size but that’s something you can work with considering the fact that when all the doors are closed the unit looks like a large cabinet, the kind that you expect to see in a living room. As a result, it doesn’t look out of place in small apartments where the kitchen and the living room often share the same room. Moreover, this kitchen includes all a cook needs, including a full-sized fridge, a sink, a cooktop, a dishwasher, a microwave oven and plenty of storage. In addition, the design also incorporates a fold-down countertop and a pop-up table.
This is the second version of the Flow kitchen, a product designed by John Arndt and Wonhee Jeong of Studio Gorm. It looks more like a desk than a kitchen but wait till you see all of its quirky features, such as the planters which let the user grow food, the cooking area and the composting module. Everything is in sync and there’s this symbiotic relationship between all these functions and features. This is a kitchen designed to put the user in contact with nature and the life cycle.
Another product designed with small apartments and studios in mind is the kitchen unit created by Ana Arana. The main idea behind its design is a response to the fact that different settings, configurations and users may use the same space in totally different ways. This island is meant to fit in all these scenarios. The Gali kitchen is compact and packed with storage compartments and features. The best thing about it is the small size and the fact that it can be used in a lot of different ways, depending on the needs of the user.
Being able to hide the kitchen behind closed doors is a major advantage when you’re living in a small apartment or if you simply enjoy a neat and simple decor without everything on display. Designs such as this one by DontDIY offer their clients exactly that: a kitchen that’s fully functional and which can be disguised as a compact wall unit when not in use.
Small isn’t always synonymous with inefficient or impractical, at least when it comes to kitchens. We’ve proven that time after time with all the great designs featured so far. But there are plenty of others to consider and one of them is Critter, a freestanding kitchen unit designed by Elia Mangia. It’s small and compact, minimalist, functional and also mobile which meant you can easily move it around the house whenever you want. It’s a design that suits open floor plans and small apartments with reconfigurable floor plans.
Modular furniture is pretty much ideal for small homes and this concept can also be applied when designing the kitchen. Cun is a modular kitchen designed by Joko Domus. It’s highly customizable thanks to its interchangeable units and it offers plenty of storage as well as all the basic features and even some accessories. The units can be hooked together or used as freestanding pieces.
When in its compact state, this Small Kitchen only occupies one square meter of space and yet that doesn’t make it tiny. The design is the creation of Kristin Laass and Norman Ebelt and is intended to put together features such as a stove, a cooktop, a refrigerator, a sink, a dining table, generous storage and also a prep surface. This is all possible thanks to the layered design. Roll out sections of the kitchen to reveal the rest and to discover hidden elements.
Another interesting concept comes from Kilian Schindler who designed this modular kitchen for Naber. The frame can be customized by the user according to his individual needs and preferences. The kitchen is comprised of four mobile modules. One offer a worktop with storage underneath, another includes a worktop and an oven with a cooking surface, one has a dishwasher and storage and there’s also a module that’s a cupboard. Extra shelves can be added if needed.