Swinden Homes Team

Broker, ePro, ABR, CRS, GRI

Are You Ready to Downsize Your Kitchen?

By John Voket

Getting more with less - that goal creeps into hundreds of DIY projects around the home. And nowhere are we seeing more activity when it comes to downsizing than in kitchens.

Whether it's simplifying arrangements of cabinets and appliances as we age in place, or a desire for a modern or minimalist cooking zone, there is no shortage of good advice on how to get started and get through it.

Thinking of downsizing a kitchen from 10,000 feet, Claire Bock at apartmenttherapy.com recommends starting with key small appliances. Think about those that you use most often and those that are the biggest time savers, and prioritize them.

Bock says the more mismatched your dishes and glassware are, the more space that they will take up. Matching dishes and glassware have more stacking ability, which will maximize your storage.

She says companies like Joseph Joseph to design clever, multi-tasking kitchenware that is made for those with limited space, like this folding box grater. Nesting bowls are a must when downsizing on space, and several companies make them in various materials from stainless steel to melamine.

If you have any open walls, Bock says take advantage of the open shelving trend and add some stylish storage. Even if an open wall is very small, she says IKEA makes wall brackets for hanging kitchen utensils, which will clear up space in your kitchen drawers.

Apartmenttherapy.com also points downsizers to a new compact dishwasher is by Zanussi featuring an excellent energy rating, and the ability to wash/dry a full 6 place settings. The model ZSF2450S has a smart LED display, 5 different washing programs and only uses 7 L (1.85 gallons) of water each time it goes through a cycle.

The Zanussi can actually fit underneath a sink, placed on a counter or inside a cupboard. Measuring just 18" high, 21" wide and 19" deep, this model is also pretty quiet, generating a total of only 48 dB- a bit louder than an average refrigerator.

We'll hear from a few more experts on kitchen downsizing in the next segment.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

Are You Ready to Downsize Your Kitchen

By John Voket

In our last segment, I dove into the subject of downsizing kitchens. Whether it's simplifying arrangements of cabinets and appliances as we age in place, or a desire for a modern or minimalist cooking zone, there is no shortage of good advice on how to get started and get through it.

Mariette Mifflin, a housewares and appliances writer at about.com says a large number of baby boomers are eyeing moving to low maintenance apartments or condos, while others will plan to retire to their smaller cottages or vacation homes to age in place.

Mifflin says consider the many more compact appliances that offer energy saving options, like an economy dry settings on dishwashers, 1 and 2 hour auto shut-off on coffee makers, and low water features on washers.

According to Mifflin, delay start has now become a great energy saving option for those areas that pay for electricity based on when they use it, with peak and off-peak rates. You can set a dishwasher with this feature while you're loading it, but it will only start later in the evening when energy off-peak rate is lower.  

Cambria Bold design and lifestyle editor for The Kitchn (thekitchn.com) says don't be afraid of using darker colors - done right a darker color scheme can actually make a smaller kitchen space appear bigger.

At cultivate.com, Susan Serra writes that visual tricks will be actively incorporated to create a more open feeling. For example, backsplashes that are more simple in design than ever before, such as single sheets of glass (a hot material), engineered stone or other seamless surfaces, such as stainless steel.

The reason this works: A seamless backsplash has a huge effect on a kitchen's "visual clutter", is a natural complement to the modern kitchen and a practical solution for small kitchens where appliances are in close proximity to surfaces.

Serra says large interesting nooks and crannies decoratively illuminated in the kitchen can create new focal points as well as adding a spacious look. And she says appliances will largely disappear from view in 2013, allowing even high-end, chef's style appliances to be seamlessly incorporated into any kitchen space.  

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.