As a home decor expert born and raised in Austin, I’ve enjoyed working on dozens of small kitchen remodels. I know firsthand that transforming these intimate spaces into functional, beautiful kitchens is not easy but can be incredibly rewarding. The heart of any kitchen, big or small, lies in the appliances that power it. Choosing space-efficient appliances that maximize every inch while meeting your unique needs is crucial for small kitchen remodels.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll share my top picks for compact, multi-functional appliances that are perfect for tiny kitchens, along with plenty of real-world inspiration from stunning renovations I’ve worked on. As we explore this new world of petite appliances packed with potential, I hope you’ll feel empowered to makeover your modest kitchen into a personalized haven brimming with style and efficiency. Let’s dive in!
- 1 Why Size Matters in Urban Kitchens
- 2 The Top 7 Space-Saving Appliances Perfect for Small Kitchens
- 3 Before & After: 3 Tiny Kitchens Transformed Through Clever Remodels
- 4 Parting Words of Wisdom for Your Space-Saving Remodel
Why Size Matters in Urban Kitchens
Living in Austin, one of America’s fastest-growing cities, I often work with clients struggling to carve out functional kitchens in new apartments and condos. With space at a premium, we must get savvy when integrating appliances. But just because the kitchen is petite doesn’t mean its potential is small – when thoughtfully designed, compact urban kitchens can be surprisingly spacious and ultra-efficient.
The first step is choosing slender appliances that tuck neatly into tight spots without sacrificing features or power. For example, a slim 18-inch dishwasher will give you the same wash performance as a standard 24-inch model. Once the small-but-mighty appliances are in place, we optimize every inch with pull-out cabinets, slide-out pantry units, and other transformable elements to ensure everything you need is easily accessible. The final touch? Clever multi-functional furniture like a breakfast bar that moonlights as extra counter space or a farmhouse table that doubles as a kitchen island.
With the right blend of pint-sized appliances and space-saving accessories, tiny city kitchens can hold everything the heart desires! Now, let’s explore the appliances leading this petite kitchen revolution.
The Top 7 Space-Saving Appliances Perfect for Small Kitchens
Slimline dishwashers are narrow 18-inch models designed to fit snugly into tight spaces other dishwashers can’t. But don’t let their slim frames fool you – these powerhouses offer full-size features like adjustable racks, multiple wash cycles, and energy efficiency settings. Here are my two top recommendations:
Bosch 300 Series SHE3AR72UC: This ultra-quiet machine has a built-in water softener for spotless dishes and offers a full 3rd rack for extra loading flexibility. Its compact footprint is perfect for squeezing into small galley kitchens.
LG LDF6810ST: This dishwasher is Wi-Fi enabled so that you can control cycles from your smartphone. Its LoDecibelTM Ultra Quiet system reduces noise levels – something my clients appreciate in their open-concept kitchens!
Just because your kitchen is small doesn’t mean your fridge has to be! Compact refrigerators, sized 3-6 cubic feet, provide ample fresh food storage in a petite package. Opt for a bottom-freezer model that concentrates frequently accessed items at eye level for easy access. Finishes like stainless steel or colored exteriors blend seamlessly into modern-designed kitchens. Here are two great options:
Midea WHS-109FW1 Compact Refrigerator: This 3.1 cubic foot fridge is available in glossy white, black, or stainless steel, with adjustable legs to fit beneath counters. Its reversible door opens from either side to accommodate your kitchen’s layout.
Galanz GLR32TRSER Retro Fridge: Its vibrant red finish and charming rounded corners blast retro style. Inside, the fridge and freezer sections split 3.2 cubic feet of storage space. Vegetable and door bins make small-item organization a cinch.
All-In-One Oven and Microwave Units
Are you searching for a way to consolidate appliances and save precious space on your countertop? An all-in-one oven and microwave unit is your new BFF! These kitchen multitaskers showcase an oven below the microwave, maximizing functionality in one footprint. Many boast convection settings for perfectly crispy pizza crusts or golden roast chicken. After the cooking, the self-cleaning cycle takes care of any mess. Here are my recommended models:
GE Café CT9070SHSS Wall Oven Microwave: This gorgeous stainless combo features a 2.1-cubic-foot microwave powered by 1,000 watts of turbo-cook power. Below it lies a dazzling glass touchscreen electric oven.
Frigidaire Gallery FGET2765PF Gallery Series: The smudge-proof stainless finish will complement any modern metal and marble kitchen. It has an air fry mode and an adjustable broil for quick, crispy cooking.
Compact Ranges and Cooktops
Who says you need a sprawling 6-burner range to whip up fancy five-course meals? These compact cooktops and ranges offer the bare essentials for easy everyday cooking without hogging your limited counter space.
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop: Ideal for studio apartments or as an extra burner, this lightweight induction model has a compact 330 mm diameter sized for small pots and pans. Ten power levels and multi-functional timer settings offer plenty of flexibility!
Thor Kitchen HRG3080U 30″ Gas Range: Need an oven and stove without skimping on features? This space-saving 30-inch gas range has five sealed burners, a storage drawer, and a 4.2 cubic feet self-cleaning oven. The convection setting is perfect for baking homemade goodies!
Under Sink Water Heaters
Consider an under-sink water heater if your small kitchen lacks a closet or basement for the bulky hot water heater! These on-demand units mount below the sink, supplying instant hot water while freeing up floor space. They’re easy to install DIY-style. Here are my recommended electric and gas models:
Stiebel Eltron Tankless Water Heater: This under-sink electric heater requires just 15 amps to supply consistent hot water for one faucet, ideal for one-bathroom homes. Its advanced flow control adjusts the temperature as you turn the tap.
Rinnai V Series Kitchen Hot Water Heater: This under-sink gas heater ramps up quickly in standby mode without wasting fuel. Its compact 14″ width design slides into narrow sink cabinets, making it an excellent choice for small kitchen footprints.
Fold Down Countertops and Breakfast Bars
Add some transformable surfaces to your petite kitchen! Fold-downFold-down countertops instantly double your prep area and disappear back into the wall when not needed. They’re easy to DIY using standard base cabinets, plywood, and cabinet hinges. Or opt for a professional style made of durable laminate or butcher block.
Breakfast bars also moonlight as extra counter space – look for movable carts or install a permanent bar with seating. For small kitchen/dining combos, choose a round foldable table that can snug up against the wall as a space-saving circular breakfast bar!
Wall-mounted pot Racks and Floating Shelves
The vertical space above your kitchen cabinets is prime for expanding storage. Use wall-mounted pot racks, floating shelves, and other staggered storage solutions. Here are some creative ways to maximize vertical storage that I’ve used in client remodels:
- Wall-mounted knife racks: These racks keep sharp utensils safely stashed while freeing drawer space. They can be equipped with magnetic strips for easy access or slots for optimal organization.
- Hanging pan racks: To clear cabinet clutter, suspend bulky pots, pans, and lids from the ceiling or mount a rack on the wall. Opt for swing-down racks to access items easily.
- Vertical seasoning racks: Keep spices, oils, and condiments organized via wall-mounted racks at eye level for easy cooking access.
Mixing and matching these space-saving appliances and organizers into your kitchen plans allows you to transform even the tiniest kitchen into an organizational dream! For more inspiration, let’s peek inside some stunning small kitchen remodels.
Before & After: 3 Tiny Kitchens Transformed Through Clever Remodels
I’ve shared my favorite space-efficient appliances – now let’s see them in action! The following three kitchen remodels demonstrate how small spaces can live large with layout improvements and compact appliances.
A Cramped Galley Kitchen Turns Modern Micro-Marvel
Maggie complained that her narrow 8 x 5-foot kitchen needed to be more organized, was disjointed, and lacked personality. The closed-off galley layout trapped heat and stifled creativity.
- Knocked down walls for an open-concept kitchen/dining space
- Added a peninsula with bar-height seating to delineate the cooking area
- Installed a slimline dishwasher and an 18-inch wine fridge under the peninsula
- Added a floating microwave with built-in rangehood to maximize vertical storage
- Painted the cabinets a rich navy blue and paired with brass fixtures for pops of warmth
We welcomed natural light and cross-ventilation into the cooking space by opening up the cramped galley. Compact appliances helped maximize every inch, while pops of color added Maggie’s stamp!
Vintage Kitchen Sees New Life as Chic Urban Oasis
Kara felt her dated 1960s kitchen was inefficient, yet she needed the budget for a full gut renovation. The harvest gold appliances, linoleum floors, and tired oak cabinets had to go – but we had to work within the existing footprint due to structural limitations.
- Stripped cabinets to their framework and applied fresh white paint
- Added open shelving above the peninsula for display space
- Installed a slimline dishwasher to replace an aging full-size model
- Added a microwave/rangehood combo unit for a modern, streamlined look
- Removed dangling heat lamp to create unobstructed sightlines
By working with what she had, we gave Kara’s kitchen new life with some TLC and compact appliances! Choosing built-in models eliminated appliance clutter on her counters for a more unified look.
1950s Galley Kitchen Gains Spacious Feel
As a newlywed couple inheriting John’s childhood home, Carrie longed to makeover the outdated kitchen clinging to its 1950s pedigree. The closed-in galley layout felt claustrophobic and disjointed from the living space. With a minimal budget, Carrie came to me seeking cost-effective solutions to maximize the roomy yet poorly laid-out kitchen.
- Knocked down the wall separating the kitchen and dining for a unified open-concept
- Installed IKEA kitchen system for affordability: shaker-style cabinets, butcher block countertops
- Added slimline dishwasher and an apartment-sized refrigerator
- Added a movable kitchen island with drop-leaf sides for adjustable counter space
- Painted walls and cabinets are bright white for an airy, spacious look
By opening up the layout and selecting budget-friendly compact appliances, we gave Carrie the revamped kitchen of her dreams on a newlywed budget!
Parting Words of Wisdom for Your Space-Saving Remodel
As you embark on your petite kitchen overhaul, keep these tips in mind:
Prioritize must-have appliances: Compiling an appliance wish list helps distinguish necessities from nice-to-haves. Focus first on the oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, etc, before adding specialty appliances.
Measure carefully: Appliance dimensions matter in small spaces, so have measurements handy when shopping to ensure the perfect fit.
Consult designers: We designers keep tabs on the latest innovations in compact appliances and space-saving accessories, so tap our expertise! We can help assess your space and customize solutions.
This guide sparked ideas for maximizing every inch of your petite kitchen with space-saving appliances that merge functionality with charm. Remember, just because the kitchen is small doesn’t mean its potential is tiny – with clever design, compact appliances, and a dash of creativity, pint-sized kitchens can be the heart of your home.
What clever tips or favorite space-saving appliances do you have? Share your small kitchen remodels and help inspire fellow readers! Feel free to reach out for personalized advice tailored to your unique space. Now, let’s chat in the comments below!