You found the apartment of your dreams, but the kitchen is smaller than you’d like. We’ve all been there at some point, and the lack of counter space and room to prep for meals can be a problem. However, there are some rental kitchen fixes that might make that tiny space one that is at least workable for your needs.
The modern American kitchen for most homeowners is 150 square feet. However, in a pint-sized apartment, you might deal with an area half that size and the counter space to match. Here are a few ideas to help you make the most of the space you do have without doing anything permanent that might cost you your security deposit.
1. Use Your Windowsill
If the kitchen has a window, utilize every square inch of space by using the windowsill to store items such as pots of herbs, a cutting board or canisters. A lot about how much you can store here will depend upon the width of the windowsill, but there should be some things you can get off the counter and onto the windowsill, freeing up space.
2. Cover Your Sink
Invest in an over-the-sink cutting board. This provides you with additional meal prep space without making any permanent changes to your rental. The cost of a cover for the sink varies from an inexpensive plastic cutting board to heavier wood models. The choice of what to use really goes to personal preference.
3. Build Burner Covers
Another idea is to build burner covers to create additional prep space. Of course, you’ll have to remove them when you’re ready to cook, but most people go through stages when making a meal that start with gathering ingredients, washing them, cutting and chopping, and then cooking. A burner cover does add the extra step of removing the cover before you cook, but that is a minor hassle for all the extra counter space you’ll gain.
4. Add a Fold-Down Shelf
Depending upon your lease, you may be able to add a fold-down shelf above your sink that will give you a place to rest a recipe book or other necessities. It isn’t something you’ll use all the time, but it can come in handy. Although attaching items to walls isn’t always best for rental kitchen fixes, you should be able to fill and spackle small holes you drill.
5. Buy a Movable Kitchen Island
Invest in a small kitchen island on wheels. You can even extend your kitchen into the dining space, placing the movable island at the entrance to your kitchen while you’re cooking and moving it back against the dining room wall when not in use. The benefit of a movable island is that you can move it almost anywhere in your apartment and pull it into the kitchen only when needed.
Do you meal prep just once a week? A kitchen island helps give you extra counter space where you can line up meal containers.
6. Use Your Table
Another way to expand your kitchen is to use your dining table for meal preparation. If you don’t already own a table, invest in one that is bar height with stools rather than a traditional table. This allows you to stand and chop or prep meals without having to bend over to use the space.
Traditionally, a kitchen should be set up as a triangle, with all activities within a certain distance of one another for efficiency. However, if you are limited on space, you may have to work around this and walk a bit more to get from a dining area to a sink to a stove.
Need Rental Kitchen Fixes? Get Creative
The six ideas above allow you to use the space you have to the best ability. Working in a kitchen without a lot of counter space is challenging, but with just a bit of creativity, you can expand that space and create a functional kitchen that suits your needs.