Last week, IKEA’s Facebook page asked its readers to submit their kitchen design questions. The questions were posed to IKEA kitchen designer and stylist Janine Love. I excitedly chimed in, and I’m happy to see that amongst the many questions, one of mine made it to the top 10 list, and that Janine Love answered it. Though I’m single and live alone, I do still cook often. I don’t like packaged food, and find eating out expensive, so I end up cooking my own meals every day for lunch and dinner. My little apartment-sized kitchen is well-used, and, because of the size, I need to make sure it’s organized smartly. I got some great ideas from Janine Love’s answers to the top 10 IKEA kitchen design questions.
Where do you start?
Before Pinterest, I used to collect decorating ideas in a binder or notebook. I know some people clipped things from magazines on a cork-board. Here’s one of my Pinterest boards, for you to take a look at: Kitchen Ideas and Inspiration.
Do you have a kitchen inspiration pin board, or another place where you store your ideas?
Another great exercise is to start playing with layout and design using the IKEA online planner. It’s a very easy tool to use, allowing you to visualize 3 dimensionally your new kitchen space. You can also easily change the cabinet style and colour with the click of a few buttons.
What cupboard style is timeless?
Cupboards are one thing that doesn’t get replaced often. I would recommend going for quality and not choosing something too trendy.
I like to use a Shaker style door, such as ÄDEL – it’s transitional and can be used in many different styles of homes. It also has a chameleon-like quality that allows it to take on both a modern or traditional look depending on what it is paired with. For
example, in this image I used ÄDEL medium brown with open shelves and classic white subway tile. The combination of classic materials and finishes helps to create a traditional bistro style kitchen.
How do you maximize counter space and cut down on the clutter?
I like to utilize wall space, when it comes to keeping things off countertops. IKEA has several great systems for hanging things on rails or hooks on the wall. I find this is especially helpful when living in an apartment, as there are never very many drawers available. You can hang things like pots and pans, utensils (spatulas, whisks, etc), or even drying racks.
My number 1 mantra for preventing counter clutter is “A place for everything and everything in its place!” I know this is easier to say than to do, but if everything has
a designated home, then it is more likely to be put away.
Where should dishwashers be placed?
Dishwashers are best placed directly beside the main kitchen sink for easy loading and unloading. Depending on your personal preferences, either right or left side works well.
Tips for an inexpensive refresh?
1. Changing the knobs on your kitchen cabinetry
2. Upgrade your lighting. Create a new focal point by replacing an existing pendant lamp with a dynamic, show stopping fixture.
3. Paint is your best friend. Refreshing a room with paint not only maintains a space, it offers an opportunity to inject an “of the moment” colour.
How best to design galley-style kitchens?
I’ve had galley-style kitchens in many of my apartments over the years. One thing that I’ve done, that has seemed to help, is removing the cabinets from the cupboard doors.
Keep things looking light and spacious by considering the use of light coloured upper cabinets, simple clean hardware and good task lighting.
How do you create the best layout for the 3 most important areas?
The “Working triangle” consists of a logical ergonomic arrangement of these 3 areas to make kitchen work easier and more efficient. If the 3 work areas are too close
to each other, multiple people working in the space can get in each other’s way. Too far away and your work becomes time-consuming.
What are the best corner cabinets solutions?
Corners are tricky business and it’s important to maximize their storage potential. Luckily IKEA offers 2 corner solutions for both base and upper cabinets. For base
cabinets, a classic Lazy Susan insert allows small appliances, mixing bowls and baking supplies to be housed efficiently. Corner cabinets for uppers utilize of an
internal carousel making a perfect solution for smaller stacked items.
How do you create a breakfast nook in a small space?
One of the best ways to create a breakfast nook in a smaller space is to select a small café table and chairs. A small round table won’t take up much space, and will enable 2 people to sit quite comfortably
Best storage and counter space solutions for small kitchens
1. Go with deep storage. Pullout pantries ensure nothing gets lost to the back of the cabinets.
2. Utilize as many interior fittings as possible to make cabinet spaces work as efficiently as possible.
3. Maximize little used areas for storage. Look for non-traditional spaces to stash less-used items. A flip up cupboard above a fridge offers purpose built storage for trays.