Small cabinets for small spaces: Tips for how to design and install the best cabinets for your small kitchen

If you’re looking to outfit a small kitchen with the right organizational cabinetry, finding the right tools for the job can seem like a challenge. If the space left for your kitchen behind that shaft wall isn’t wide enough, you may even feel “relegated” to choose shallow cabinets for your unit, but shallow cabinets don’t have to be your enemy! Sure, big box stores do a great job of selling you the deepest cabinets money can buy, but sometimes that’s just not realistic for your space. Did you know that any Conestoga cabinet can be custom-made to fit your tricky space? Tall, shallow cabinets actually allow you more visibility to everything that’s being stored (no more stale cookies you hid from yourself months ago!) and help you get more organized.

Sometimes, you just need a run-down of your options. We’ve compiled some ideas that will make you see the hidden opportunity in your small space and consider custom cabinets.

Measuring your small kitchen for cabinets

First up, let’s get the obvious out of the way to prepare you for the task at hand: make sure you measure, measure, measure (measure twice, cut once). These dimensions are going to be your friends in helping to take the best advantage of the space. It will not only ensure your custom cabinets actually fit, but it will also (and, more importantly) help you get a clearer, more realistic understanding of your space and what you can do with it. Need help measuring? Here’s a guide that can help.

Once you’ve measured, consider your options (and Conestoga has a plethora of them). Shelves and a minimal amount of drawers will be your friends and try not to waste any space. If you’ve got any blind corners (hard-to-reach corners), don’t just box them out, consider options, like using a 90 degree door, a lazy susan or, open them up from the opposite side (in the case of an open kitchen). Tall cabinet shelves like these are also a great option to replace a cupboard-like space and can store spices and tall boxes like cereal.

Fitting your kitchen with the right appliances

Our next tip has less to do with cabinets and more about your choice of appliances, which, I promise, will help you in the long run with your custom cabinet journey. Make sure to do your research! First, decide which appliances and fixtures are non-negotiable. This usually includes a refrigerator and some sort of cooktop and, by default, a sink. Lucky for us, these three appliances generally come in a variety of widths and, in the case of sinks, quite flexible with sizing!

Next, take a second look at your other kitchen appliances: ovens, dishwashers and microwaves. You may be thinking that one or all of these are requirements for the perfect kitchen investment, but the truth is that the market is changing. There are now a greater variety of viable alternatives and, in general, less need for jam-packed kitchens. A dishwasher may be replaced by a simple drying rack (it’s energy efficient too!) and ovens are losing out against the take-out generation. If you do find that you can’t live without a microwave, however, many shelves that you can order with Conestoga custom cabinets can be used as microwave cabinet shelves.

Tip! Ask yourself if your customer, future buyer, or you (if you’re designing a kitchen for yourself!) will need a conventional oven or if a smaller convection oven will do. You can kill two birds with one stone with this one–convection ovens are great for heating up those leftovers and wont leave your food soggy! Conestoga cabinets can fit these smaller ovens right into their cabinet bases and you’ll be left with more of that coveted storage space. And, if you’re not going to be installing a double oven, there’s no need to use a traditional tall oven cabinet. 

Support in your small kitchen cabinet build out

If something goes wrong (which, let’s face it, sometimes it just does)? We’ve got your back! With Conestoga’s top-tier product and our team by your side, it’s a lot easier to tackle those tricky projects (sometimes you just need a middle man between the decision-maker and the builder, even if you happen to be in both roles). Small spaces don’t have to be your nemesis and, sometimes, they just make the difference between a project that barely scrapes by and a truly successful project. You only sell a penthouse once, but the smaller spaces are the ones that keep coming back for more.