Make Your One-Wall Kitchen Welcoming to Invited Guests
The kitchen is one of the most important parts of any home, with the rising demand for open concept house plans making it a place where friends and family can gather and enjoy themselves. Still, homes with single wall kitchens—where everything in the kitchen is placed along one wall—can face some special hurdles when it comes to making the space feel cozy and inviting. Below are a few creative and effective ideas for single wall kitchens to help you transform your space into the welcoming kitchen of your dreams.
1. Introduce an Island
One of the best ways to add more functionality to a one wall kitchen is to include a center island, which opens up a lot of different design options since it gives you an extra countertop. Some islands also include drawers or cabinets, to give you some much needed additional storage space that can take some of the load off your existing cabinets. The key is to find a style that has a functional countertop as well as the right style of storage the works with the flow of your kitchen. Large drawers in a cramped space are going to limit your motion and can actually make the space feel more cramped.
Left: An open floor design in a 3-bedroom Country Ranch style home plan includes this almost-single-wall kitchen and a center island that doubles as additional prep space and counter dining area (House Plan #176-1012). Right: The kitchen island in a 2-story, 4-bedroom Country style home plan has built in cabinets and drawers for extra storage space (House Plan #165-1094).
If you’re working with a house plan that has a great kitchen, then you might even be able to add an island that’s big enough to use as an eating area. These islands typically have an extended countertop on the side facing away from the kitchen appliances, so you can place a few chairs around it and instantly turn the whole kitchen into a gathering spot for a casual afternoon snack or a fun family dinner.
2. Break Up the Counter Space
Many single wall kitchens suffer from overly cramped working conditions, which can make you feel like there’s no room for you to actually get anything done. The best way to correct this is to insert clear divisions between each of the appliances in your kitchen.
Think about the traditional kitchen triangle layout, which focuses on the refrigerator, sink, and range/oven to identify where you need to put in that extra counter space. Keeping each of these elements in their own section ensures that you don’t have bothersome overlap when moving between stations.
A lot of countertop space is packed in the kitchen of this 2-story, 3-bedroom Victorian style home plan. Although it has a wall and base cabinet on an adjacent wall, it is essentially a one-wall kitchen. Work space between the oven and refrigerator allows smooth traffic for food preparation. The center kitchen island contains the sink and additional prep areas (House Plan #117-1030).
3. Lose Cabinet Doors
Sometimes the best way to spruce up a one wall kitchen in a floor plan is to modify the existing setup instead of going for a complete renovation. If your kitchen feels too tight and too small, think about taking the doors off your cabinets to create a completely open flow in the space. Losing the doors makes the room feel significantly bigger, and makes it easier for you to access your plates, or whatever else you store there. Smaller homes with a more rustic feel, like a classic bungalow, are the perfect backdrop for this creative and open design.
Glass kitchen cabinet doors and shelves open up the kitchen space and add just the right finishing touch – as shown in the kitchen of this 2-story, 4-bedroom modern house plan (Home Plan #168-1088).
4. Bright Colors for an Open Feel
Another idea for single wall kitchens that doesn’t require any major construction is to add a fresh coat of bright, vibrant paint. Houses with a smaller floor plan size don’t always give you a lot of options when it comes to how you can arrange your kitchen, so smart use of paint and colors is key to creating the feeling of more space. A bright blue on the walls, or even an electric pink or yellow as an accent, can transform the kitchen into a fun and energetic space that stands out even when everything is centralized along a single wall.
Rock bold colors! Using colorful wallpaper and bold colors for the cabinets and backsplash creates an eye-catching and appealing kitchen. (Photo credit: Zsofi Perganczky on Unsplash)
5. Mix Your Textures
If you’ve ever been in a single wall kitchen and felt like everything was flat and indistinguishable, then there’s a good chance that it didn’t have the right mix of textures. Using exposed brick walls as a contrast to stainless-steel appliances, or detailed Craftsman cabinetry along with a vibrant backsplash helps to give the kitchen more character. When there’s a bit of contrast between each element, you feel like there’s more activity in the space and not like everything is confined to a single area.
Gorgeous, modern wood cabinets and shelves, black appliances, black granite counters - and a stainless-steel exhaust – give this single wall kitchen personality and intrigue. (Photo credit: iAlicante Mediterranean Homes on Unsplash)
6. Downsize the Appliances
While the appliances are an incredibly important part of the kitchen, they can often take up quite a bit of space. Switching to smaller appliances is a simple and sometimes cost-effective way to free up more space for counters or storage. Going with a smaller stove or refrigerator works particularly well when you have a tiny house because these homes are often built for maximum efficiency and simply can’t accommodate full-size appliances as well.
The trick is to make a single wall kitchen feel breezy, open, and airy by using smaller appliances and building shelves instead of overhead cabinets.
7. Put Everything on Double Duty
Single wall kitchens can really benefit from some clever space-saving elements like an island with cabinets or a mounted microwave. The trick is to take as much off of your countertops as possible, so the kitchen doesn’t feel busy when not in use. This also gives you more space to work during meal prep by freeing up that counter space. Putting a sink, range, or trash storage space in your center island, if possible, can also help maximize things.
8. Include a Versatile Table
Houses with an eat-in kitchen can really struggle with unifying the space when it comes to single wall kitchens, since it can feel like you have two completely separate rooms. Fix this by using a table that is comfortable to sit at and eat, but can also be used as part of the whole kitchen. Tables with lower heights can double as counter space or work areas for kitchen tasks, and are easier to work into the overall flow of the spaces.
An attractive wooden table that complements the color scheme of this kitchen in a 2-story, 2-bedroom Craftsman-style home plan serves as both a work and dining area for the family (House Plan #146-2810).
9. Add a Personal Touch
Whatever type of one wall kitchen you have, make sure that you include your own personal design touches so that it feels like “your” kitchen and not just “a” kitchen. Fun graphic prints, hints of your favorite color or light fixtures that match your personality all help make a single wall kitchen your own, personal space. However you choose to design it, make sure it matches the décor of the rest of your house and that it’s a space you feel comfortable in.
A very interesting piece of art work and red dining chairs provide a unique personal touch to the kitchen space of this 2-story, 3-bedroom Modern house plan (Home Plan #168-1102).
Need more ideas for single wall kitchens? Make sure to check out our amazing selection of house plans that place the kitchen as the top priority. And don’t forget to share your one wall kitchen ideas and success stories in the comments below.