If you want to turn the basement of your home into its own suite or apartment, you’re probably wrestling with how to add a kitchen in the space. Depending on the size of your basement, you probably don’t have a lot of room to work with while also working to add a bedroom, full bathroom with shower, living area, and so on.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult. With careful planning and plenty of research to know your options, you can make a great kitchen for your basement apartment. Here are five tips to help you add a kitchen to your basement suite.
Use Smaller-Sized Appliances
If you don’t have a lot of space to build your basement kitchen, it’s a good idea to think carefully about what kitchen appliances you use. Thankfully, there are lots of smaller alternatives to traditional full-sized appliances that help you save on space, such as:
- Smaller, single bowl sinks instead of larger or double sinks
- Compact ovens or toaster ovens instead of a full oven
- Smaller, thinner, or mini fridges instead of a full combination fridge and freezer
- Small, portable dishwashers on wheels or a countertop dishwasher that hooks up to the kitchen sink
Using any of these will help you save more space to include the necessary amount of cabinets and counter space for the kitchen. If you really need to save on space, you can always not include a dishwasher at all and just have the tenants hand-wash dishes in the sink.
Install Proper Ventilation
With cooking comes the inevitable smoke, steam and other fumes that will require proper ventilation for safety reasons. The standard will be to use an electric hood fan to suck up and disperse any fumes and odors. They come in several models: ducted hood fans which connect to the ducts of the house to vent the fumes outside or ductless hood fans that recirculate the air back into the same room and use something like charcoal to purify the air.
Photo by nicholas-anthony.co.uk from wikipedia commons (public domain)
In a basement, you can try planning to build the kitchen close to your current duct system so you can hook up a ducted hood fan to it. However, if that isn’t feasible it is probably much more convenient and easier to install a ductless hood fan. They are very versatile in where you can install them, which gives you more flexibility in how you design the basement kitchen.
Install Cabinets that Maximize Space
With space at a premium in a basement, you’ll want the cabinets to maximize the available space you have to work with. Here are a few suggestions you can consider:
- Drawers, racks, and shelving that can be pulled out from the cupboard
- Floor-to-ceiling cabinets where you have full use of the space
- Add hooks and racks to the sides of cabinets and the insides of doors
- Vertical shelving or dividers for things like cutting boards, baking trays, and so on
You can also look into smart shelving solutions to use within cabinets to help store food, dishes, and cookware more easily. If the space to walk around the kitchen is tight, you can look into different cabinet door designs — doors that slide from side to side instead of swinging out, for example.
Use a Floating Kitchen Island
Another way to get clever with cabinet space, as well as helping maximize counter space for preparing food, is by including a floating kitchen island or cart. They look like small kitchen islands with a countertop and cabinets below for storage but are on wheels. The wheels give you the flexibility to move it where you need it or when you need to get it out of the way.
Floating islands come in a variety of colors and styles so you can pick something that matches the overall kitchen design you wind up building. They also come in a variety of sizes so it won’t take up more space than is needed for your basement kitchen. Just make sure you get one that is good quality, otherwise, you’ll wind up with something that rattles and shakes as you try and actually use it to prepare food.
Build a Closet Pantry
Another way to deal with lack of space to include storage options is by turning a nearby closet into a full pantry. If there isn’t a closet nearby, you can always add one. The advantage of using a closet instead of more cabinets is they do not stick out from the wall, so it takes up less floor space and avoids making the kitchen too cramped. It’s an ideal option to store bulkier food and cookware items.
Take the closet that was already there, or that you built, and think about the custom shelving and racks you can build to make use of the space as a pantry. You can even include a space for the floating island to be rolled into if you want to move it out of the way.