Here are the ingredients for additional space that wont cost more than a fraction of the 35,000 that the Remodeling Impact Report from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says you could spend upgrading your kitchen.
Put wire racks on the wall above your sink, add S-hooks, and hang cooking utensils. Itll free up a drawer or two. The backsplash area -- the wall area right above the sink and countertops -- is often underutilized and a great place for easy-to-clean, stainless steelracks and shelves. Cost: 50 to 200.
Bare walls above a phone nook or cabinets, and underneathwindows,beg for storage. Make use of that open space above your cabinets with store-bought shelves and brackets painted to match the cabinets. Cost: Less than 200.
For a built-in look, build a soffit above the shelves. Cost: Less than 2,000.
A freestandingwindow seatstores rarely used kitchen gadgets and provides additional seating. Cost: 200 to 500.
Do you really need a behemoth 36-inch-wide refrigerator that looks like an entertainment center? Downsize to an 18-cubic-foot refrigerator. If your refrigerator stands at the end of your cabinets, as most do, downsizing could save a foot of space -- enough for shelving to store dishes, canned goods, and supplies. Cost: Less than 500.
Dont need much room for perishables in your small kitchen? Try anunder-the-counter 5.7-cubic-foot fridge. Cost: 1,200.
Get the microwave off the counter andinto a drawer. Cost: Less than 800.
Cutting boards that hide inside your cabinets do double-duty as small kitchen tables or a bill-paying station. Caution: Its tough to add these to existing cabinets. Consider them as a custom add-on when ordering new cabinets. Cost: 300 or less, plus the cabinets.
Some custom cabinets offer a drawer that actually hides a 36-inch extension table. Cost: About 1,000.
Pantries are easy to create from a nearby closet using shelves and roll-out wire bins from a home improvement center. Cost: 200 to 500.
For a fancier solution, architect Sarah Susanka of Not So Big House suggests using store-bought shelving units and building them into a hallway space. Cost for a 10-foot hallway: 5,000 to 7,500.