4 Space Hacks for More Workspace, Seating, and Storage in the Kitchen

Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2016 by Arch City Granite

For most of our clients, one of the key features of their dream kitchen is enough counter and storage space. But since most homeowners aren’t building from scratch on a limitless budget, they have to make the most out of kitchens that weren’t designed for a busy modern life. After so many years of working with creative and resourceful clients, we’ve collected a few no-fail space hacks that will help you improve the functionality of your kitchen by adding counter, seating, and storage space. Here are our top four tips:

1. Add a Second Function to Your Counters Wherever Possible

Two Islands Kitchen

Two Islands Kitchen

image source: houzz

Replacing your counters? Don’t waste this opportunity to squeeze in a bit more functionality and work space. If you have an island or peninsula, we cannot stress enough how much a seating area can improve day-to-day tasks in the kitchen.

Extending the granite on your island or peninsula by 12-18″ gives you that much more work space as well as another seating area. From a single chair that allows a friend or partner to sit and chat while you’re cooking to a family sized extension, a little seating space in the kitchen creates a more social kitchen. Long gone are the days when the kitchen was hidden away at the back of the house. Today, it is more often than not the heart of the home for everyone from single millennials to busy families to retirees.

Extra seating space in the kitchen is especially practical for busy families. It allows everyone do be busy…together. While parents are cooking or taking care of extra work on the phone or on the computer, kids can do their homework and play on their phones at the counter. The modern kitchen has to be smart and able to adapt to the busy life-style and non-stop-on-the-go pace of the modern American family. Creative use of space to facilitate more together time is the first step. The best part of this space/life-hack is that it’s pretty cheap. If you are already buying new granite or quartz countertops, adding a foot of depth is an affordable way to make the most of the investment in granite or quartz counters.

On a more technical note, 12″ is the minimum bar size for comfortable seating, but 18″ is the best size for comfortable adult-sized seating. If your overhang is bigger than 10″, your granite will need a bit of extra support like brackets or corbels. Your fabricator will be able to provide you with exact details on how much support your counter needs.

2. Make the Most of Your Vertical Space

Raised Granite Bar

Raised Granite Bar

image source: houzz

If you can’t extend outward to get that extra seating and work space, try going up. A raised bar-top on an island or peninsula can serve an aesthetic function as well. It breaks up the vertical space, adding more height variation to a room. Raised bars are a great way to add counter space in an open floor-plan and delineate the spaces while keeping the line of sight and sound open between the kitchen and living room.

3. You Don’t Need Extra Room for Standing in the Middle of the Kitchen

Raised Granite Bar Example

Raised Granite Bar Example

image source: houzz

Of course, it’s important to leave ample room for maneuvering in the kitchen, but if you have a large space in the middle or off to the side, you should seriously consider adding an island. This is a great space hack that you can try when you are upgrading your countertops or as a stand-along project. An island with cabinets will also add extra storage space. A rolling island can also be a great way to add more working space to a kitchen (and a little extra storage) if you aren’t ready for a permanent addition to the kitchen. If you have the floor-space, adding an extra rolling island to complement the existing island can really improve the functionality of the kitchen.

4. Turn Unusable Spaces Into Countertops

Granite Wall Cap

Granite Wall Cap

image source: houzz

Our last space hack requires creative assessment of your space. Take a look at your kitchen and the adjoining rooms and see where you can maximize unused space. Do your cabinets end a foot before the doorway? Why not extend the counter out a bit and install matching granite shelves in the space below? Have a pass-through to a dining room? Have a custom granite pass-through made that extends past its base. Have a breakfast area in the kitchen? Top your table with a matching piece of granite for a sanitary, durable space to extend food prep surfaces. Have a half-wall in or near the kitchen? Have matching granite fabricated as a wall-cap to provide an extra place to set food to cool while you are working.

A great way to figure out where you can use a bit more granite to maximize your work and storage space is to bring pictures of your entire kitchen along when you visit your local fabricator for an estimate. They will be able to suggest ideas and tricks for making the most out of your investment in granite or quartz. The same goes for deciding on a seating area or raised bar-top.

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