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Planning Guide for Custom Compact Kitchens

by Olly Mason

When dealing with space concerns, it can be difficult to find ways to bring performance and luxury into the home, especially when it comes to a compact kitchen. All the same, the right appliances can help transform tight kitchens into high-end, functional spaces regardless of size or layout. Follow along in this guide for expert tips on how to maximize a small kitchen with compact luxury appliances.

Step 1: Ask the Important Questions

In order to hack your small space, take a moment to ask what you want and need in it. Common questions might include:

✓ How frequently does your household cook?

✓ Do you like to entertain?

✓ Do you need a lot of storage space?

✓ Is counter space a commodity?

✓ What kind of layout does your kitchen have?

Like a cozy kitchen, understanding every corner and crevice is vital, so the more questions, the better!

Example 1: Sub-Zero/Wolf Compact Luxury Kitchen

Full shot of modern kitchen full of Sub Zero appliances

Once these considerations have been prioritized, the next step toward maximizing space efficiency in a small-scale kitchen is understanding appliance configuration. Take model kitchen shown above, for example. By taking into consideration the layout, the designer has been able to fit a number of Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances into a relatively small area.

That includes a:

Here’s another look at how these compact Sub-Zero and Wolf appliances help stretch the efficiency of this space.

Showcase of Sub Zero column refrigerator and wine column in modern kitchen

It’s evident the user is a wine enthusiast, considering a built-in wine cellar is a big commitment for a kitchen this size. And with three cooking appliances, we can also see the owner enjoys creating meals with as many cooking methods as possible, so possibly an entertainer. In order to meet these needs, the solution was to opt for smaller refrigeration and to borrow cabinet space in exchange for the function of an appliance.

Example 2: Bosch Compact Luxury Kitchen

Full shot of kitchen with Bosch appliances

Now that we’ve took a moment to understand the Sub-Zero/Wolf compact luxury kitchen, let’s look at a different approach with this Bosch luxury kitchen.

While the previous luxury kitchen uses an L-shape layout, this Bosch kitchen design works solely off a single-wall configuration (most likely around 12 feet in length). That means space is even more valuable, and yet, despite the limitations, it’s clear by the number of appliances installed into the single area that the intention was to fuse as much comfort and convenience into a single area.

This Bosch compact luxury kitchen features a full suite of appliances, including a:

With scarce countertop space, it makes sense that this luxury kitchen design would come with a built-in coffee maker. This small-space appliance solution makes it possible for coffee lovers to enjoy a fresh cup of specialty coffee all from a small footprint that’s typically more compact than the standard countertop coffee maker.

In order to be able to meet these demands, it was important to determine how much storage space was sufficient for the area. In this case, the compact, 24-inch footprint of the coffee maker strikes a fitting balance with cabinetry overhead and below, while the slim column refrigeration makes it possible to comfortably fit a stacked laundry unit.

Common Compact Appliance Categories

While designing around a small-scale kitchen takes some planning, the good news is that there are many appliances that make the process easier. Take a look at how these premium compact appliances help fulfill your big visions. 

Mix and Match with Module Cooktops

Overhead shot of a pan with gnocchi cooking on a Wolf module cooktop

As we recalled in our previous blog, 6 Problem Solving Appliances, luxury brands are making it even easier for small spaces to feel truly high-end. We highlighted just how wonderful Miele modular cooktops are, but did you know Wolf, Fisher & Paykel, and JennAir also have their own series of transitional cooktops?

Modular cooktops are great for two reasons: They’re small by design and they give users the flexibility to build their dream cooking layout. Each cooking element ranging between 12 and 15 inches can be mixed and matched to create a custom cooktop surface complete with a series of a user’s preferred cooking methods.

On top of standard options like a smooth glass top heating element or a gas burner, shoppers can also combine fryers, steamers, wok burners, and grills, making it easy to create a diverse cooking experience on a small footprint.

Speed Ovens

A popular choice in any size kitchen, speed ovens are especially beneficial in compact kitchens since they help keep countertops free from appliances and open for use. While electric speed ovens can microwave, they also use convection technology to cook foods quicker than a conventional oven. That means, together with a full-size wall oven, even small-size kitchens can enjoy more cooking options without having to compromise a large amount of space or storage.

Get a closer look at one of the best speed oven options on the market — Monogram Advantium ovens.

Column Refrigeration

Like pro-style ranges that now come in space-friendly 30 and 36-inch options, luxury brands are providing more space-friendly options that still deliver industry-leading performance. High-end refrigerators have received one of the biggest transformations, with customizable configurations that benefit both big and large kitchens.

In our Sub-Zero kitchen example, a 24-inch built-in refrigerator provides a sleek solution for both refrigeration and freezer storage all from a single-door appliance. The narrow door design makes it even easier for this column refrigerator to fit into tight spaces, while the handy freezer drawers make using the freezer and organizing frozen foods simple.

Overhead shot of Sub Zero column refrigerator with drawers open

Other ways to use refrigeration include:

  • Small kitchens with an island have an extra opportunity to include food storage inside under counter refrigeration
  • Refrigerator drawers blend seamlessly into cabinetry and require roughly the same area as a kitchen drawer

See Also: Why You Should Have a Drawer Refrigerator in Every Room of the Home

Compact Dishwashers

Although they’re smaller than standard 24-inch options, 18-inch dishwashers are more than just space-savers. In general, dishwashers are a more efficient way to do dishes than handwashing, so no matter the dimension, they’re a must in kitchens of every size. Compact dishwashers make it easy to fit this essential appliance any kitchen scheme, and with models available from leading brands, including Miele and Bosch, users won’t miss out on state-of-the-art performance.

Like refrigerators, dishwashers have also embarked on the space-saving terrain of drawer appliances. When installed into a small kitchen, dishwasher drawers can be used as a supplement to a main dishwasher, or a dedicated wash zone for delicate glassware or china. Available exclusively from Fisher & Paykel , dishwasher drawers come in single and double dishwasher configurationsthat allow users to get creative with how to maximize a kitchen's space. 

One of our favorite compact kitchen applications to use a single dishwasher drawer is installed above a standard kitchen storage cabinet. Once dishes are done washing, then they can be transferred to a drawer below for fast and efficient workflow. Or, install double dishwasher drawers for two separate wash zones dedicated to a specific wash type, such as heavy pots above and wine glasses below. 

Fisher and Paykel DD24SAX9 N drawer dishwasher shown slightly ajar

Small Appliances, Big Savings

From big projects to small upgrades, Grand Appliance and TV carries the reliable appliances you’re looking for at a price in your budget. With 25 locations throughout Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, you can explore the top appliance brands online or at a location near you. Shop Grand today to find everything from in-stock products to luxury appliances!