Small Kitchens

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A lot of function in a tiny space

The single kitchen has many names: Some know them as mini kitchens or pantry kitchens, others speak of a kitchenette or cabinet kitchen. Ultimately, it is always a small fitted kitchen with reduced equipment. Nowadays, it's no longer a question of doing without: in the age of rediscovered minimalism, reducing a kitchen to a few functional aspects is an attractive idea, especially for people living alone. In terms of design, too, the mini-kitchen offers plenty of scope. Clever planning and innovative spatial concepts are crucial for both practical and aesthetic designs of the modern single kitchen.

The Pantry Kitchen: What is it?

In its simplest form, the pantry or mini kitchen usually consists of a base cabinet with two doors, one of which often hides a refrigerator. A sink and a hob with two plates are also part of the classic design. This type of galley kitchen was generally 1.20 meters wide and 90 centimeters high. They originated in the USA at the beginning of the 20th century, as cities became more crowded and living spaces shrank– and along with that, so did kitchens.

Single vs. Mini Kitchen: What's the Difference?

The mini kitchen, also called pantry kitchen, is actually a cabinet kitchen - everything fits in a space with a maximum width of 1.50 meters, in the form of a base cabinet. The single kitchen, on the other hand, is a little more generous and can be up to two meters wide.

Mini Kitchens: Not just for Singles

Even though the mini kitchen is often referred to as a single kitchen, it is by no means only suitable for single-person households. Rather, the type and duration of daily kitchen use are an important decision criterion. Mini and single kitchens are mainly found in private apartments or one-room apartments as well as in hotel rooms and apartments, in vacation homes, caravans and mobile homes, but also on boats and in office buildings in the form of a kitchenette. This makes them the ideal kitchens for small spaces.

What Do I Need to Consider When Planning a Single Kitchen?

The purchase of a new kitchen should be well thought out. The following questions can help you understand more precisely whether the single kitchen is the right choice for you.

  1. How many people use the kitchen and do they all rely on it at the same time? How many people are you cooking for? Is the kitchen in use every day?
  2. What is the size of the room in which the single kitchen will be installed? Do you have extra storage space or an additional work surface available, which the kitchen furniture as a solitary item does not have to offer?
  3. How many built-in kitchen appliances need to be installed? If a dishwasher, oven, extractor hood or microwave are indispensable, the kitchen is no longer a classic pantry kitchen but rather a small built-in kitchen. Nevertheless, there are also narrow dishwashers with a width of only 45 centimetres, as well as ovens with microwave function; thus, valuable centimetres can often be made up. Small refrigerators often have an integrated freezer compartment.
  4. How much storage space do you need for china, utensils and supplies? An additional shelf, wall cabinets, a bar cabinet or a kitchen buffet can help.
  5. How much work and storage space do you need? Should the toaster, coffee maker, etc. also have room? Remember: The dining table can also be used for cutting vegetables. If there isn't enough room, you could possibly install a counter or folding table so that you can eat comfortably even in smaller rooms.
  6. What are the lighting conditions in this room? As a general rule, dark materials in particular materials benefit visually from more light, while for darker rooms light-colored kitchen furniture is best.

The Pantry Kitchen for Offices

A frequent place of use for pantry kitchens are company buildings - because here the classic “tea kitchen” often plays a very decisive role for the well-being of all. Traditionally only hot beverages are prepared here, so the equipment needs are covered by refrigerator, microwave, kettle and coffee machine. In this context, the mini-kitchen is an absolutely adequate, space-saving solution. If the kitchen is also to be used for communal cooking or even for meetings, it is worth considering more spacious fitted kitchens as office kitchens in any case.

Advantages of a Single Kitchen

The single or mini kitchen has distinct advantages:

  • You gain space: the smaller the kitchen, the more space for other things. Especially in one-room apartments or in lofts and open spaces, small kitchens can be extremely charming. Studio apartment kitchens are growing in popularity, especially in urban areas.
  • Low cleaning effort: Logically - the smaller the kitchen, the faster it is cleaned.
  • Less costly: depending on the design, the cost of a single kitchen is likely to be probably lower than for larger models.

Inspiration for modern single kitchens

Since the demand for single kitchens has increased massively in recent decades, they now come in almost every style - whether you prefer purist kitchens or appreciate more classic designs. Totally unconventional kitchen models are also gaining in importance - for example, in lofts and studios, but also for ultra-modern office buildings or vacation homes with design aspirations.

Clever planning for little space

A well thought-out space concept is crucial for any kitchen planning. When purchasing a single kitchen, pay particular attention to the choice of colours for the kitchen fronts and work surfaces. Light sources, whether artificial or natural, play the decisive role. You should also consider how the storage space will be divided. Kitchen cabinets and drawers should be designed according to your personal needs, because only a coherent interior design makes using the kitchen a pleasure. As a general rule, consult a professional furnishing consultant or a kitchen studio. In the meantime SieMatic also offers digital kitchen consultations. A virtual visit to the SieMatic kitchen showroom is also sure to inspire.

Small, but iconic: the SieMatic 29

With the SieMatic 29, the traditional German kitchen manufacturer has created a homage to the kitchen buffet while simultaneously referring to its own history. The solitary piece of furniture received the gold medal in the German Design Awards and combines timeless design with high functionality. It is available in all colours and materials from SieMatic and can be expanded in a modular fashion, for example, by adding a tall cabinet, which, in addition to providing storage space, can also provide room for an oven. The characteristic black metal feet and the striking lines give the model a unique look that is more that is more reminiscent of designer furniture than of a kitchen. This is the perfect addition to a small apartment kitchen.

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