Compact and easy to run – but often tight on space – single line kitchens need to be planned with ingenuity. In a single line kitchen you have your sink, hob and the working area aligned together on one single counter. Although there is a scarcity of space here, it is still possible to use this limited space in an efficient way.
When planning the layout for our single line kitchens, our main motive should be to have maximum area on the worktop as free as possible, and having a flexible approach to storage using wall and base units, and the midway space between the two. For a comfortable single-line kitchen, you ought to have a minimum of 140 cm (4’-6”) of free floor space to walk. Whenever you plan the layout, make sure your hob is not placed very close to the sink. Some free worktop space is a must between the two. Try not to move your sink too far from the plumbing points. If you own a dishwasher as well, fix it closer to the sink/plumbing points in the kitchen.
Today our lives are surrounded with so many appliances and gadgets. Our cooking has definitely become easy and fast, thanks to these appliances. But again, the biggest problem we face is the lack of space in our small kitchens. Appliances like an oven can be fixed below your hob (chulha). This is a very convenient place. An oven with a side opening door is easier to use in a very narrow kitchen than the one with a flap-down door. If your budget allows, you can even go in for the integrated ovens that go well with the front panels of the storage units in your kitchen.
Many people prefer to place the refrigerator in the kitchen itself. If so, then place it at the end of the wall. The same goes for a larder or a tall unit that can accommodate your micro-wave and an OTG one above the other. In these cases, the appliance door should open to give you enough space to transfer items to and from the fridge/OTG/Microwave oven to the work surface with ease.
When it comes to saving space, here are some tips you can follow:
- Instead of the ordinary side-hinged doors, use piano hinges or bi-fold doors. They are hinged in the middle to fold back on themselves, thus offering access to the whole cupboard.
- Use sliding doors. They use less space but restrict the access to half the cupboards at a time.
- Roll-down shutters made of metal/glass or wooden slats can be used for units, especially which are placed on the counter.
- Take wall units right up to the ceiling. This way you utilize every inch possible in this small kitchen. Use the top most shelves for items that are not used frequently. Of course, you may also need a small step ladder in this case.
- In case there is a window in the wall, fix wall units on either side of the window, so that they are all at the same level. An overhead shelf can run above the window.
- Pull-out drawers are good for base units, although they take up a lot of space.
- The area above the worktop and the wall units can also be used efficiently and effectively. You can fix a grid for hanging utensils and wire shelves for spice-jars. S-shaped hooks can be used to hang your serving spoons and other such stuff. This area is good for a hanging dish-rack, glass rack, knife rack, kitchen-towel holder etc. Besides the existing light in the kitchen, an additional fluorescent light can be fixed in this area as well.
- If you have less space on the work-top, get a stylish butcher’s table which has foldable side panels which can be used as an extended work table and caster wheels for mobility. This table can be folded and stored easily in some corner of your kitchen when not in use.
- For a neat and modular look for your kitchen (and if your budget allows, of course), go in for the integrated appliances. They give a very neat and elegant look to your kitchen.
- Use an efficient exhaust fan/electric chimney.
- Use laminates or tiles that are easy to maintain. Select good colour combinations for your kitchen like cream and natural wood, red and black, black and white, green and yellow etc.
- Do not ignore the facing wall in the single line kitchen. You can make small shelves on the entire wall to add storage space to your existing kitchen.
- Fix hooks for hanging utensils, mugs etc. The telephone and sundry kitchen accessories can be put on the facing wall rather than cluttering them on the main counter of the kitchen.
- A small wooden foldable breakfast table/worktop can be added to this wall.
Every inch of your small kitchen can be put to better use if planned wisely. Hope the ideas add more space to your kitchen.