How to make the most of your kitchen space

In the traditional African setting, the kitchen was the main part of the house.

Families bonded around the fire as the food cooked and a lot of learning took place in this setting. Once the food was ready, it would be served and enjoyed right there in the kitchen. Well, this may not be very practical today starting with the fact that houses especially in urban areas are quite small.

However, with a bit of creativity and simple hacks, you can manage to create a little extra space from your tiny kitchen. It may not be enough for the entire family to sit and have a meal there but at least it will be less crammed and spacious enough for you to manoeuvre freely as you cook. Here are a few tips to help you create more room in your kitchen:

  1. Invest in cabinets all round your kitchen. You can have them under the sink and above kitchen counters so that all your utensils and food stuff will have enough storage space.

    Placing bowls on top of cabinets creates more room in the kitchen. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

  2. Group similar items into specific cabinets in your kitchen. This will make your kitchen to be organised and help you save time because you will know where everything is.
  3. Invest in a couple of strong hooks for your kitchen. Use them to hang kitchen towels, aprons and even utensils such as pans. Magnetic hooks for instance can be placed on the side of the fridge and doors to save on the wall spaces.

    Hooks can be used to hang utensils that have handles. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

  4. Place colourful baskets or containers on the spaces between and above cabinets for extra storage. In addition, the containers will add some colour and warmth to your kitchen especially if they blend well with the rest of the furnishing.
  5. Use containers and jars to store dry foodstuff like flour and rice. Storage containers are affordable and easily available in local supermarkets. Using them makes your kitchen look more neat as opposed to storing foodstuff in their original wrapping. Ensure you label these containers according to their content for easy retrieval when cooking.

    Baskets are a creative way to make your kitchen interesting. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

  6. Invest in racks for storing items that you use often such as cooking magazines. The kitchen can get messy because of all the cooking that takes place there and hence it is important to ensure that the magazines are safely stored on the rack. The rack should be placed on the kitchen counter for easier access.

    Racks keep books and paper towels safe from ruin in the kitchen. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

  7. Eliminate clutter on the kitchen counters by limiting that space to necessities only. This is your working space while in the kitchen so remove all cutlery and plates and place them in the cabinets so that you have enough working space on the kitchen counter.

    Stands help decongest the kitchen and make it look more orderly. PHOTO| KAREN MURIUKI

  8. Ensure you have plenty of natural light in your kitchen or at least good light bulbs. You can have light at the base of your top cabinets to illuminate on the kitchen counters beneath them. Good lighting will create a spacious illusion and warmth in the kitchen.

As you can see, most of these tips include purchasing a few storage items in order to create room in your kitchen. Agreed, such purchases can often be pricey.

According to interior designer Lawi Muriuki, one may end up spending up to Sh1.5million to fully furnish a kitchen depending on the size of their space and also the items they opt to go for.

That said, you can still work with a manageable budget to purchase the items you need for your kitchen since most of them are available in the local supermarkets and online.

The most cost efficient way to redesign your kitchen is by doing it gradually and prioritising the purchases in the order of necessity. There’s no rush.