Small kitchens are common in Kenyan apartments and houses. With limited space, arranging all your cooking necessities can be a challenge. But with some strategic organization and creative solutions, even the tiniest kitchen can become efficient and functional.
The key is making the most of every inch. This means decluttering so only essential items remain. Utilizing vertical wall space with shelves and racks can also help maximize storage.
In this guide, we’ll cover key tips for optimizing a small Kenyan kitchen:
- Clever storage ideas to reduce clutter
- Making use of walls and vertical real estate
- Choosing space-saving appliances
- Incorporating multifunctional features
With a bit of advance planning and clever furniture arrangement, your modest kitchen can gain more workspace and storage capacity. You’ll be able to prep meals with ease, even in confined quarters.
Let’s explore some specific solutions to conquer the challenges of small kitchens in Kenya.
Declutter and Organize
The first step in managing a small Kenyan kitchen is decluttering. Removing non-essentials creates more usable space for meal prep.
After eliminating clutter, implement organizational systems to keep necessities accessible but out of the way. Here are some ideas:
- Store only the kitchenware you regularly use
- Use racks, bins and baskets for neat storage
- Keep counters cleared as much as possible
Decluttering and organizing transforms even the tiniest kitchen into a functional workspace.
Store Only Essentials
Take an inventory of everything in your kitchen cabinets, drawers, and countertops. Remove any items you don’t use on a regular basis. These may include:
- Extra dishes and glassware
- Rarely used appliances like juicers or ice cream makers
- Non-essential serving pieces
- Outdated or expired food items
Donate or sell usable items to free up storage space. Be ruthless about keeping only essential cooking tools, dishes, and ingredients.
Use Racks, Bins and Baskets
For storing what remains, use organizational tools to create neat, clutter-free cabinets.
Wire racks allow you to neatly stack dishes and bowls vertically. Stacking maximizes cupboard space.
Clear plastic bins are great for containing loose items like lids and food storage containers. Label the bins so items are easy to find and return.
Woven baskets can corral fruits, onions and other fresh produce to prevent rolling and climbing piles.
Limit countertop appliances and accessories to only those you use daily, like a knife block or coffeemaker. Stow any non-essentials in cabinets to keep counters cleared.
Install extra shelving above counters to hold items that don’t need precious countertop real estate. Mounting shelves higher opens the workspace below.
Decluttering and organizing transforms even the most cramped Kenyan kitchen into an efficient meal prep zone. Next let’s look at using wall space.
Use Walls Creatively
One key strategy in small Kenyan kitchens is utilizing vertical wall space. Taking storage and functionality off the floor opens up precious room for moving and working.
Here are some excellent ways to maximize walls and vertical real estate:
- Mount shelving for extra storage
- Hang pots, pans, and utensils
- Install spice racks
Don’t limit yourself to standard kitchen configurations. Get creative with walls to really gain space.
Wall-mounted shelving is ideal over countertops, sinks, and appliances. Open shelving allows easy access while keeping items off counters.
Floating shelves take this a step further. Secured to the wall without visible brackets, floating shelves create a clean, minimalist look.
For adept DIYers, building custom shelving lets you fit the space exactly. Include vertical dividers, racks, and cubbies as needed.
Hang Utensils and Pots
Hanging utensils, pots, and pans from ceiling hooks or wall-mounted racks is a classic small kitchen tactic.
Sturdy hooks allow you to hang everything from colanders to pots and pans. Stagger items on multiple hooks for even more capacity.
Wall-mounted rails with S-shaped hooks are ideal for keeping utensils and ladles directly within reach as you cook.
Add Spice Racks
Smaller Kenyan kitchens often lack full cabinets just for spices and dry goods. Counter-mounted racks or wall shelves for your spice collection can provide accessible storage.
Metal utility shelves with tiered ledges are great for holding spice jars right on the wall or inside cabinet doors.
Magnetic strips let you securely adhere a row of spice tins to any metal surface. Keep essential spices within arm’s reach.
Creative use of wall space takes functionality off the floor and maximizes every bit of real estate. But great kitchen layout also considers natural light…
Maximize Natural Light
When designing a small Kenyan kitchen, be sure to maximize natural sunlight. Well-lit kitchens feel more open and spacious even in tight quarters.
Here are some excellent options for flooding a small Kenyan kitchen with light:
- Install large windows if possible
- Use glass-front cabinets
- Choose light wall colors
Adequate light makes the kitchen more pleasant for prepping meals and entertaining.
The most direct source of natural light is windows. If designing a kitchen from scratch, opt for large windows along one wall if feasible.
A row of double-hung windows brings ample sunshine into the workspace. Place above the sink or countertop area for best illumination as you cook.
For existing kitchens, consider replacing small windows with the largest size that will fit the wall space.
Glass-front cabinets and display cases ensure light penetrates into the darkest kitchen corners. The transparent surface refracts light.
Glass fronts on wall cabinets above counters or peninsula bars also create an open, airy aesthetic.
For floor cabinets, choose glass doors on select upper cabinets only. Opaque doors below maintain a clean look.
Light Paint Colors
Painting kitchen walls white or light colors reflects natural light around the room, making the space feel sunnier and larger.
Soft yellow, light green, sky blue, and other pale hues work beautifully. Avoid dark paints that absorb light.
Also select light countertop materials like white quartz. Combined with light walls, the palette keeps the room bright.
With ample light from windows, glass cabinets, and color choices, small Kenyan kitchens feel effortlessly airy and open. Proper lighting sets the stage for an inviting, functional workspace.
Choose Space-Saving Appliances
Every appliance and furnishing must be carefully evaluated when organizing a small Kenyan kitchen. The goal is maximizing function in each item while minimizing its footprint.
When selecting appliances, look for these space-saving features:
- Compact mini-refrigerators
- Microwave or toaster ovens rather than full ovens
- Electric kettle for boiling water
Choosing wisely allows you to have essential appliances without sacrificing precious space.
While most Kenyan kitchens need a refrigerator, a compact “mini fridge” occupies less floor space than a full-sized model.
Opt for an apartment-sized refrigerator no wider than 3 feet, or even a cube-shaped “under counter” fridge designed to tuck beside cabinets.
If your mini fridge lacks a freezer, add a small chest freezer to store frozen goods while saving space.
Microwave or Toaster Oven
While convenient, full-sized ovens occupy considerable space in small kitchens. As an alternative, choose a microwave or compact toaster oven.
Countertop microwaves reheat and cook many foods using just a fraction of space. Select one sized appropriately for your meal prep habits.
Small toaster ovens allow you to bake, broil, and roast using strong top heating elements and minimal footprint.
An electric tea kettle is remarkably useful for boiling water for tea, oatmeal, pasta, and more. They heat water quickly using minimal counter space.
Choose a sleek, simple kettle that suits your daily needs. Features like temperature settings and keep-warm functionality make them even more versatile.
Kettles allow you to remove bulky pots from precious cooktop surface area. Just be sure to store the kettle when not in use.
Strategic appliance selection helps setup a highly functional cooking area even in the most petite Kenyan kitchen. Let’s look lastly at storage solutions.
No small kitchen can function efficiently without excellent storage solutions. Maximize every inch of storage space with these tips:
- Install floor-to-ceiling shelving
- Use pull-out drawers for easy access
- Add storage racks inside cabinet doors
Specialized storage keeps cooking necessities organized and at your fingertips.
Standard kitchen cabinets occupy floor space while leaving the area near the ceiling unused. Floor-to-ceiling shelving maximizes vertical storage.
Cut shelving boards or plywood to size and securely fasten into place with wall brackets. Start shelving a foot or two below ceilings.
These custom shelves can hold small appliances, serving ware, cookbooks, and infrequently used items.
Deep drawers that pull completely out allow you to access the contents easily, even at the back.
Installing custom rollers or slides lets you fully extend drawers and view all items. No more rummaging around dark cabinet corners!
Use pull-out drawers for pots, pans, cooking utensils, and other items you access regularly.
Door Storage Racks
Take advantage of the empty space on the inside of cabinet doors by adding storage racks.
Sturdy wire racks hold spices, cans, jars, and other dry goods securely. Mount them evenly across door panels.
Plastic magazine racks are perfect for organizing baking sheets and cutting boards vertically against the door.
Every possible inch of storage space in a small Kenyan kitchen must be utilized. Finally, let’s examine multifunctional furniture and design.
Create Multifunctional Spaces
To truly maximize space in a small Kenyan kitchen, look for furniture and design elements that serve multiple purposes.
Here are some excellent multifunctional ideas to implement:
- Fold-down work surfaces
- Rolling carts
- Dual-purpose furniture
A touch of multifunctional creativity turns dead space into useful storage and workspace.
Fold-Down Work Surface
Installing a folding work surface on a kitchen wall is an easy DIY upgrade for small kitchens. It instantly provides more prep area as needed.
Mount a wooden chopping block or stainless steel counter to the wall using folding metal brackets. Lower to provide extra workspace for chopping and food prep.
Fold it flush against the wall when not in use to keep the floor area clear. Choose a durable surface that matches other counters.
A rolling cart adds flexible workspace and storage. When not needed for food prep, tuck a rolling cart out of the way.
Carts with multiple tiers and pull-out trays are ideal. They provide storage that moves where you need it.
Use the rolling cart for food prep, serving buffet-style, or as movable storage for small appliances. Retractable power cords allow using electric appliances on carts.
Tables or cabinets that convert into different functions maximize use of space. Consider:
- A small drop-leaf table great for quick meals that folds into a slim console when not eating.
- Table seating with large under-seat storage drawers and compartments.
- An ottoman or bench with hidden storage inside its hinged seat.
Creative multifunctional furniture streamlines a small Kenyan kitchen.
- Declutter small kitchens in Kenya by removing non-essential items. Use racks, bins and baskets to organize what remains.
- Maximize vertical storage space with mounted shelves, hanging pots/pans, and spice racks on walls.
- Choose space-saving appliances like mini-fridges, microwaves, and electric kettles.
- Maximize natural light with large windows and glass-front cabinets. Paint walls light colors.
- Optimize storage with pull-out drawers, door racks, and floor-to-ceiling shelving.
- Add multifunctional elements like fold-down prep surfaces, rolling carts, and furniture that serves multiple purposes.
- Creatively utilizing every inch of space and storage allows even the tiniest Kenyan kitchen to function efficiently.