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The Small Kitchen: A Manifesto?
Small Kitchen

Small Kitchen

Getty / Steve Cole

Recently, there has been a wave of popularity for the small, cottage-style house, aptly called The Not So Big House (after a series of books by Sarah Susanka). But does the small kitchen get any kind of love?

While I will stop short of publishing a manifesto extolling the virtues of small kitchens, I do happen to think that the small kitchen is a great thing. Massive, football field-sized kitchens with islands (that are about the size of real islands) were the "in thing" in the 1990s. But no one ever stopped to consider the fact that bigger kitchens have some serious problems. Rather than belaboring the cons of the big kitchen, let's cut straight to the chase and look at five winning points of small kitchens:

  1. Efficient Design - A tighter work triangle, making for a more ergonomically correct and efficient work space.
  2. Less Expensive in Terms of Materials - More to the point, less expensive in terms of quantity of materials. Which leads to...
  3. Ability to Buy Higher-End Materials - Because you are purchasing less materials (i.e., a 30 sq. feet of Corian instead of 300 sq. feet), you can afford to upgrade quality of materials, if so desired.
  4. Simplified Kitchen Design - Admittedly, this is a "glass half-full" view. With the small kitchen, you have fewer options in terms of designs. Remarkably, this can be a good thing.
  5. Maximize Living Areas - Less space is given over to the kitchen, which means more space for living room, family room, or dining room. Or, you can create entirely new rooms that may not have been possible with a huge kitchen: a small office to the side, sewing room, or a breakfast room.
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