Think Your NYC Kitchen’s Too Small for a Renovation? Think Again

Luxury kitchens are known for hosting and being picturesque. Check out these 4 tips to see how you can offer the same and make the most out of your space.

When we think of a luxury kitchen, we usually picture a large, airy space with an island, the latest appliances, and enough room to comfortably entertain 15 guests. Some kitchens in New York City fit this profile, or at least have the space to be transformed into it. Not all of them do, though, and if yours doesn’t, you might think that a lack of space means the luxury NYC kitchen you want will always be out of reach.


On average, a one-bedroom Manhattan apartment offers only about 750 square feet of total space. That leaves only about 90 square feet of kitchen space (the city minimum for kitchen space is typically 80). Even larger-than-average kitchens might not provide the type of space you would consider luxurious. However, there’s no reason you can’t have a small luxury kitchen.


Redefining Your Idea of Luxury


Along with the bathroom, the kitchen is one of the two most common areas that apartment owners wish to improve, even when they’re perfectly content with the rest of their living space. In fact, new NYC apartment owners spend more than $19,000 a year on kitchen renovations to realize those wishes.


That’s because they understand that though they might not be able to entertain 15 people at a time, they can incorporate several smart design concepts to maximize the space. Before giving up on your vision of a luxury kitchen — or spending more than necessary for results you don’t love — consider these four tips for how to maximize a small kitchen:


1. Open up your kitchen space.


You don’t need tons of space to create the kitchen you want, but the feeling of having a more open kitchen definitely helps. Try integrating the space with the adjacent living room or dining room and adding an island or peninsula to break up the two areas. You’ll not only add countertop and storage space, but you’ll also give your kitchen a larger feel with a well-defined footprint.


2. Use open shelving to keep your walls clear.


Full cabinets can make a small space seem cluttered, so consider including open shelving in your new kitchen design instead. Open shelves provide depth and texture to your kitchen without the clutter, leaving more space for storage and for light to flow through the space. They’re also easier to organize and typically less expensive than full luxury cabinets.


3. Turn utensils into functional wall art.


Worried about your collection of cooking and cutting utensils cluttering your shelves or taking up valuable real estate on a counter? Use magnetic strips to organize them on the wall and simultaneously add to your kitchen’s décor. You could also hang some items like bottle or can openers on your fridge, keeping them in easy reach whenever you need them.

4. Hang pots and pans like the professionals.

Pots and pans take up even more space than utensils, which is why you often see them hanging from the ceiling in a professional kitchen. Take that as a cue to implement hanging racks for your pots and pans in your own kitchen so you don’t have to sacrifice an entire shelf or cabinet to hold them. They’ll give your kitchen that high-end feel and will be easier to sort through than if they were jammed in a cabinet.

We automatically associate luxury with space, but the true grandeur of a luxury kitchen lies in the quality of the area. In NYC, where kitchens are generally smaller than the national average, it’s more important than ever to recognize that distinction. With these four tips — and with the help of an all-inclusive design and build firm — you can take on a small kitchen renovation in NYC and create the luxurious space you deserve. 

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