On Small Kitchens

I have been posting about our upcoming kitchen renovation off and on and thought I would “share” just a couple of thoughts!

DSC_1987 nx2Here’s the thing, our kitchen is what you might call smallish, so I get all annoyed when we discover things such as IKEA and their “great” kitchen re-design. Apparently, done to accommodate the North American market of larger homes, i.e. larger kitchens…what?  I wonder if they checked the market here in Vancouver to see the cost of a single family dwelling? News flash: the Real Estate Board recently released numbers on buying a home in Richmond, Burnaby and the East Side.  The prices have climbed to 1 million dollars! On the West Side of Vancouver, where we are, it’s even more! To put this figure into perspective, the annual income is $72,200.

So, I ask you, how is it that these “average” people living here are going to be buying larger homes…how about condos and townhomes, that would be more realistic but certainly not cheap, just cheaper. A young couple will probably have to get a 1 bedroom condo “starter” home and work their way up the food chain. All of which means, smaller kitchens for most of us!

This all brings me to the IKEA upper cabinets being switched out from an inside dimension of 12” up to 15”…I’m still trying to wrap my head around this! You might think…wow, more storage but in a small kitchen that means a 3” loss of space both visually and in reality, a 3″ encroachment over your work space. By the way, the quote came in the other day for having a semi-custom kitchen installed in our condo…over $14,000. Not outrageous but in our case that means a couple of plane tickets! This brings me back to IKEA! For the record, the 12” cabinets seem to be available in Europe! No kidding…where a lot of people don’t live in huge North American type homes!

slide and hide ovenWe’ve been watching the Great British Bake-off (got hooked when we were staying in London). We love the show, even if it sends us running to the kitchen scrounging around for some dessert! The have the most incredible ovens! When you open the door flat, it actually slides underneath the oven! Now, that’s a great idea, especially in a small space! WOW, is that cool or what? P.S. if you live in the U.K., aren’t you the lucky one, as they don’t seem to be available here in Canada! Check it out: http://www.neff.ie/why-neff/get-the-best-from-your-neff/slide-hide.html

No sour grapes here…we don’t have space for a wall oven!  But I’m tempted to cut a hole in the wall and install one of these babies!




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  1. Hey Phyllis,

    I can feel your pain & frustration, however I have a question. Your kitchen is small, with few options to change it significantly. You have nice white cabinets & that configuration can’t change much…….so why not leave your existing cabinets, add the quartz, the new appliances, flooring, lighting etc? Just a thought. It would be be less expensive, still be gorgeous & you can take 2 extra trips to Italy!!!!! Just sayin 🙂

    • You should see the condition of those cabinets Suze! They are beyond it…luckily people don’t look closely! But realtors do and so do perspective buyers…I hate that they are falling apart, doors refuse to close and I have painted over the disintegrating bits to keep them from falling apart…that said I wish they were the kind of cabinets that we could paint, change up the doors and call it good, change up the countertops, etc. So far we are on budget for the fall trip to Italy!

  2. Yes, all you have to do is look at the size of an IKEA store and you get the idea – another BIG BOX! I love how European designers have become so creative in their design because of having limited space and making better use of it. Notice it a lot in Italy – like a pull out drawer under the bath sink & beds with storage underneath – very practical & makes so much sense…

    • OMG, I hate going there…it’s so damned big and it just makes me so tired that I can’t be bothered to look at anything other than what I went for! They are not appealing to this age group! I really notice the clever way space is used in Italy and in London…we need to do more of this!

  3. Well, two things about this post made me laugh. (1) your comment comparing the cost of doing things and plane tickets! I am constantly doing that. When people say they can’t afford to travel I answer that I can’t afford Starbucks: $3.75/day X 365 days = $1,368. That’s a flight to pretty much anywhere. (2) your comment about IKEA – it’s love/hate – I love the clever designs I hate going there – I become overwhelmed and find myself a little panicked trying to get out. But I go because I’m hooked on Lingenberry jam. Looking forward to exploring your blog!

    • Thank you for your comments and welcome! I am so glad you had a laugh! I know, I get panicky there too and the air is so awful! To get to the lingonberry jam they make you walk through the entire store…sorry but in my books not a good marketing thing but I guess it works for them…I see people there with young children and I just can’t imagine…of course, you can check them at the door!

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