10 Gift Ideas for the Small Kitchen

How to make your kitchen look bigger and function better :

A GIFT GUIDE FOR CHEFS

We can't all have a large kitchen but with a few simple tweaks we can all have a beautiful kitchen that we enjoy spending time in. If you have a small kitchen you have two choices: 1) renovate to make it larger by "stealing space" from an adjacent room or opening the walls; or 2) make it as beautiful and efficient as possible. 

This Gift Guide focuses on the latter. It will give you solid ideas to improve the kitchen you have (or help a friend to improve theirs). 

FREE UP COUNTER TOPS

Get rid of everything on your counters. EVERYTHING. Impossible you say? Yes, I think so too. But some things are possible. Install a built in soap dispenser and wall mounted soap dish. The soap dish is great for your sponge. If you don't have a wall handy any pretty soap dish will do. If you're afraid to drill into your back splash, don't despair! Follow these tips from the experts.

SOAP AND LOTION DISPENSER $49

WALL MOUNT SOAP BASKET $16

Yes, you can buy a sponge holder with suction cups that attaches to the inside walls of your sink, but why? If you have a wall next to your sink there are many wire or porcelain soap dishes that are much more attractive. Often these are listed in the "bathroom" section of a website, but they are every bit as functional and beautiful in the kitchen.

Other great kitchen gifts that help free up counter space are wall mounted magnetic knife holders and cabinet mounted paper towel holders. I like a bamboo covered knife holder because I don't like to be overwhelmed by stainless steel in the kitchen, but you must make sure you don't skimp here! A strong magnet is essential.

I love this paper towel holder because you can use it one-handed, a helpful feature when your hands are covered in sticky bread dough or raw chicken. 

18" MAGNETIC WALL BAR $50

PERFECT TEAR HORIZONTAL PAPER TOWEL HOLDER $12

DOUBLE UP ON SPACE

Make your surfaces work for you! Over-sink dish drying racks and over-burner cutting boards functionally increase your counter space and can be essentials in a small kitchen. These are gift ideas that the space challenged will really thank you for!

I find that using a typical dish drain often makes a kitchen look cluttered, no matter what the size. Absorbent drying mats are a great solution for larger kitchens but in a small space you need to go even further - this steel and silicone drying rack will keep your clean and your kitchen looking streamlined. 

OVER-SINK ROLL-UP DRYING RACK $25

SMART OVEN BAMBOO CUTTING BOARD $40

EVERYTHING VISIBLE MUST BE BEAUTIFUL

Any useful and beautiful kitchen gadget is a great housewarming or kitchen gift idea. I'm sharing my two favorites with you. A hand held knife sharpener and a milk frother are my daily essentials.  They are always out in the open so I need them to look good!  

WUSTHOF IKON HANDHELD KNIFE SHARPENER $30 (SALE)

ELECTRIC MILK FROTHER $38

One other thing helps to instantly beautify your kitchen. I want you to go to Pinterest and search for beautiful kitchens. The pictures won't all have live plants or flowers in them, but I guarantee you the images you are most drawn to will. A hardy plant such as ivy and a stylish cachepot are all you need to instantly make your kitchen feel brighter, happier, and bigger. And it's good for your health to boot. 

6" IVY PLANT $16

DANA GIBSON CACHEPOT $50

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6a + 6b | 7a + 7b | 8 | 9 | 10

GO BIG OR GO HOME

If you really want to make a smaller kitchen seem bigger, crown molding and floating shelves are your best bet. There are so many wonderful things you can do with architectural elements in the kitchen, but to add space bring your cabinets to the ceiling and add crown molding. 

CROWN MOLDING $VARIES

4' marble shelf $160 (sale)

Here are three great ways to use crown molding:

  • If you have a foot of space or less between your cabinets and the ceiling, the cabinets can be extended with fiberboard and the crown attached to that.
  • If you have more space you can consider adding a short cabinet on top of your existing cabinets with a glass door, and attaching the crown molding to the top of the short cabinet.
  • It's also nice to have just the stove vent hood go all the way to the ceiling and have the rest of the cabinets end a few inches below that. 

Crown molding adds a sense of authority and presence to your kitchen. Floating shelves almost do the opposite. They open up the space and create a casual and airy feeling that works well in a farmhouse kitchen or a modern kitchen. If this doesn't match your style, consider switching your solid cabinet doors for glass paneled ones. This will also open up the space. 

If you are thinking, wait, these are DIY solutions and not gifts at all, I beg to differ. What better gift could you give a true friend than a mini-kitchen renovation by a great company such as Pig + Tiger Renovation? (*cough, cough*).