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Remodeling 101: The Case for Small Appliances

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Remodeling 101: The Case for Small Appliances

July 21, 2022

Bigger, as we are often reminded here at Remodelista, is not always better. And if you live in a small apartment or just have a tight kitchen, that’s particularly true: Too-wide refrigerator doors will bang into the counter opposite, and a too-big range will take up precious counter space.

Enter compact appliances, specially designed and scaled to fit apartments and other petite spaces—or even to add an appliance where there was none (like a petite, but no less powerful, dishwasher drawer). Appliances Connection, the one-stop online purveyor of appliances and fixtures, carries more than 300 brands and has a wide array of the latest small-scale appliances ready to ship, from budget to luxury models. They’re experts in appliances, ready to answer any burning questions, and offer white-glove service to boot. 

Whether you’re upgrading your rental kitchen, redoing a city apartment, or renovating a cabin or cottage for summer, take a look at a few of their small-space appliances for the home.

What are small-space appliances?

The size depends on the appliance, but generally, small-space–or compact–appliances will measure 24 inches wide at most: 

  • Cooktops: generally smaller than 24 inches wide
  • Ranges: 20-24 inches wide
  • Range hoods: 24-30 inches wide
  • Wall ovens: 24 inches wide
  • Built-in microwaves: 17-22 inches wide
  • Microwave drawers: under 18 inches wide
  • Countertop microwaves can be truly tiny at just 10-11 inches wide
  • A good rule of thumb for a small-space fridge is to look for something between 18 and 24 inches wide.

For the kitchen

above: compact appliances are scaled just right for small kitchens, saving coun 13
Above: Compact appliances are scaled just right for small kitchens, saving counter and floor space and encouraging efficiency and flow.

An appropriately sized range adds all of the cooking power and versatility in a smaller footprint. The Fisher Paykel Contemporary Series 24-Inch Gas Freestanding Range has 2.5 cubic feet of cooking capacity and four burners with continuous cast-iron grates (for easy moving of pots and pans), all in a 24-inch-wide profile.

And every kitchen needs a range hood—apartment kitchens even more so, to clear the air in the cooking space. A small-space-friendly option is the Keira Series 24 Inch Slide-Out Cabinet Insert Hood.  The cooker hood automatically informs you when the metal grease filter requires cleaning.

above: even the tiniest of spaces can fit a dishwasher thanks to narrow built i 14
Above: Even the tiniest of spaces can fit a dishwasher thanks to narrow built-in, portable, and drawer options. 

The Forté 450 Series 18-Inch Double Built-In Dishwasher can fit eight place settings—a dinner party’s worth—in its 18-inch width. It’s also panel-ready and can run six different wash cycles.

above: petite microwaves come in drawer, countertop, and over range options (sh 15
Above: Petite microwaves come in drawer, countertop, and over-range options (shown here); see Appliances Connection to browse all the options.
above: small space friendly refrigerators are smaller and narrower than their f 16
Above: Small-space-friendly refrigerators are smaller and narrower than their full-size counterparts, but at 10-12 cubic feet, they still offer much more space than mini and compact fridges. Shown here is the Smeg 50s Retro Style Series 24-Inch Freestanding Counter-Depth Top Freezer Refrigerator, Energy Star certified and available in a wide array of bright hues.

The panel-ready Fisher Paykel 24-Inch Counter-Depth Bottom Freezer Refrigerator is another good option; importantly in a small space, it’ll sit flush with the cabinets.

For the laundry area

above: appliances connection also offers fairly new innovations like compact or 17
Above: Appliances Connection also offers fairly new innovations like compact or ventless washer and dryers, a game-changing luxury for apartment dwellers. 

The Blomberg Side-by-Side Front-Load Electric Laundry Pair includes a 24-inch compact washer and 24-inch compact electric dryer to create a laundry area in even the smallest of spaces.

For more on Appliances Connection, see their insights on How to Create an Outdoor Kitchen, or browse their site for many more appliances for the home.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the best small appliances for small spaces?

The best small appliances for small spaces are those that are compact, multifunctional, and designed to maximize efficiency. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers related to small appliances for small spaces.

What are some must-have small appliances for a small kitchen?

Some must-have small appliances for a small kitchen include:
Compact microwave: A smaller microwave takes up less counter space while still providing essential heating and cooking functions.
Mini refrigerator: Opt for a compact refrigerator that fits your needs without occupying excessive space.
Single-serve coffee maker: Choose a single-serve coffee maker that doesn't require a large footprint, offering convenience without sacrificing counter space.
Multi-cooker or Instant Pot: These versatile appliances combine various cooking functions into one, saving space and simplifying meal preparation.
Compact blender: Look for a smaller-sized blender for smoothies, sauces, and other blending tasks.

How can I maximize counter space in a small kitchen?

To maximize counter space in a small kitchen, consider the following:
Use vertical storage: Install shelves, hanging racks, or wall-mounted organizers to free up counter space and keep frequently used items within reach.
Utilize under-cabinet space: Mount under-cabinet storage solutions like spice racks, knife holders, or paper towel holders to keep these items off the counter.
Invest in space-saving appliances: Choose smaller appliances that fit your needs without taking up excessive counter space.
Clear the clutter: Keep countertops clear of unnecessary items by organizing and decluttering regularly.
Foldable or pull-out features: Look for foldable or pull-out countertops or cutting boards that can be extended when needed and folded away when not in use.

Are there compact versions of common kitchen appliances available?

Yes, there are compact versions of common kitchen appliances available to suit small spaces. Many manufacturers offer compact models of popular appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and even washing machines. These appliances are designed to provide essential functions while taking up less space.

Can small appliances be as efficient as their larger counterparts?

Yes, small appliances can be just as efficient as their larger counterparts. Advancements in technology have allowed manufacturers to create smaller appliances without sacrificing performance. However, it's important to research and read product reviews to ensure that the specific model you choose meets your efficiency requirements.

What are some space-saving alternatives to traditional kitchen appliances?

Some space-saving alternatives to traditional kitchen appliances include:
Toaster ovens: A toaster oven can serve as a compact alternative to a full-sized oven, performing baking, toasting, and broiling functions.
Electric skillet or hot plate: These portable cooking devices are convenient for cooking meals without the need for a stovetop.
Immersion blender: An immersion blender eliminates the need for a countertop blender and can be used directly in pots or bowls for blending tasks.
Electric kettle: An electric kettle is a space-saving option for quickly boiling water without the need for a stovetop kettle.
Countertop convection oven: A countertop convection oven offers faster cooking times and can be a space-saving alternative to a traditional oven.

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