The ‘classic’ kitchen design is usually one which enables easy movement between the cooker, the sink and the fridge in a three-point fashion. Single-wall kitchens, on the other hand, are those in which all of the main work zones of the kitchen are arrayed on one wall, with the fridge, sink, oven, microwave etc all aligned beside each other.
With their limited work surfaces and little storage space, single-wall kitchens used to be considered only an option when space dictated or if the budget was tight. But, while this may still be the case for many people, single-wall kitchens are increasingly becoming the kitchen design of choice in urban homes and apartments, which are often characterised by restricted space.
The advantages are obvious….
For a start, single-wall kitchens are still a relatively inexpensive option since they accommodate little worktop space (it’s often the worktops that add considerably to a kitchen cost). But, by having all work areas on one wall, these kitchens also allow you to utilise the space that you have saved for other uses, such as seating, or for a table. Since today’s kitchens are often the social hub of the home, single-wall kitchens offer an element of ‘openness’ that facilitates this socialising. They also keep all major cooking functions within a few feet of each other and this helps to promote good workflow.
There’s no doubt though that, despite their advantages, single-wall kitchens do provide some difficulties in terms of adequate storage and work surfaces. So, how do you solve these problems?
Well, even with the smallest of floor areas, you can still utilise the space available in the best possible way by using cleverly-placed larder units, which offer much more storage space than standard kitchen cupboards or drawers.
Open shelving on the wall immediately to the left or right of the kitchen wall will also provide you with plenty of levels on which you can store all of your appliances. (Open shelves are actually a good idea in small kitchens since they have less visual impact than solid cupboard doors and give the impression that the room isn’t as ‘cramped’.)
In terms of work surfaces, you could install a freestanding kitchen island to expand the existing workspace, or invest in a folding table, which could serve both as a table and as an ‘island’ on which you can prepare food.
If you live in an open-plan house or apartment, try separating the kitchen from the living room with a dining table that runs parallel to the kitchen wall or by placing a ‘runner’ rug to draw a line on the floor between the kitchen and living room. A breakfast bar with bar stools can also help to break up the space by providing a casual eating area.
Whether they’re there through choice or necessity, single-wall kitchens can still provide a cosy area in your home which, with a bit of planning and organisation, will inspire you to rustle up the most delicious of meals!