Building a Kitchenette

26 Replies

Have any of you ever built a small kitchen? I need to throw in some cabinets, a fridge, small oven, a mini-dishwasher, and a sink (drain and water are easily accessible on the other side of the wall which is unfinished). It's 8 h x 12 w x 4 d total footprint.

Cost expectation? Recommendations on appliances? I'm hoping not to go over $2500 all in if I do it.

If this is a galley about 5 feet goes to appliances- fridge and stove and the rest to counter and sink. You want a 21or 24 inch sink stainless is about $100 or free with your countertop.  In this situation I like the smallest sink cabinet because there isn't  a lot people like to put in them.If you forgo the dishwasher then go bigger on the sink. A freestanding range  is cheapest and easiest if you have to replace. If you can use a 24 inch dishwasher it is a  better price option and most flexible again if you have to replace. If you can't an 18 has some inexpensive versions but not very good. The bosch is good but not cheap. Standard size cabinets.  Online companies are a good choice if you want cabinets to have plywood sides. You should be able to do it yourself for that but there are things that drive up the price. A lot depends on the use, finishes,how long you want to keep it. It is 7 foot of cabinet so the cost on that can vary a lot depending on what you do. If it is a galley consider a breakfast bar on the opposing wall.

I'd give up the dishwasher for a little more cabinet space. If you give up the dishwasher, make sure to get a double sink instead of a single basin to make hand washing the dishes easier. (I speak from personal experience.)

4 feet deep total kitchen? Is there any way to make that a little deeper? Base cabinets are 24", so you're only going to be able to have them on one side, but even then that will be super tight. 

Isn't it kind of a big deal to have a dishwasher? Our first year of marriage we lived in a little one-bedroom apt and we didn't have a dishwasher and had shared laundry with 7 other apts. Seems like it would make it easier to attract a tenant with a dishwasher. I can fudge on space if I want to extend the depth a bit, but I'm not following...I have 4 feet...if cabinet minimums are only 24", and I only have one wall to work with, can't I even get a little extra depth and still be ok? I'm just thinking a skinny fridge (30"), small dishwasher (24"), small double-basin sink (28"), and a skinny oven/range (28"). Am I not thinking this through? I have 12', and that length only measures 110", with paneling in between. I could get a single sink if things are tight. Right?!

You've gotten some advice regarding the 12' length, but this dimension is not your problem.  

Four feet width?  As in walls four feet apart inside face to inside face? 



8 h x 12 w x 4 d

So, 4 feet deep. I have an 8' ceiling. The space I need to fit all the appliances is 12' wide. My cabinets in my personal residence are 25" deep. The fridge is only 33" deep.

@Account Closed questioned as well -- are you talking about a room, enclosed by four walls, that is 4' wide x 12' long?  

Updated over 1 year ago

If so, the arithmetic near the fridge condition is 48" - 33" = 15" clear space between the wall and fridge. Not workable, but a great diet plan.

Updated almost 2 years ago

If so, the arithmetic near the fridge condition is 48" - 33" = 15" clear space between the wall and fridge. Not workable, but a great diet plan.

I recently did a small kitchen with similar dimensions and the star of the show turned out to be the 24" Empava walloven we went with.  It was cheap, fit nicely/easily into a 24" base cabinet (where the door would normally go), preserved the drawer functionality of the cabinet, and is a gorgeous deep red.  Best of all, it's 110v so no need to run an additional gas line or 220v line.  We put a two burner cooktop we got from amazon (again 110v) for the countertop which can be moved if additional counter space is needed for big meal prep, etc.  

I'd recommend a big, deep 30" apron sink that can be a showpiece over a dishwasher as well. 

Go with open shelving instead of upper cabinets to make it feel bigger/open.  

Good luck and please post pictures!

I gather that this is what you're talking about.

^ Do you have a floor plan sketch for that layout?  Per the OP, the room is..... "It's 8 h x 12 w x 4 d total footprint"........      (4 feet wall to wall).


minimum hallway width is 3 feet I believe so you would have to find cabinets (or make your own) and appliances that come out a foot instead of 2 feet. Might be able to get another 4 inches if you use the interior wall cavities. What you need is depth of at least 5 feet.

Originally posted by @Kurt F. :

^ Do you have a floor plan sketch for that layout?  Per the OP, the room is..... "It's 8 h x 12 w x 4 d total footprint"........      (4 feet wall to wall).


You physically don't have room to make this space function.  This space is just too narrow.  For instance the oven door and dishwasher doors may hit the wall if they don't.  You don't have room for the frig to work either as they tend to run 28" or deeper.  You would not be able to physically install or remove the frig and stove after the cabinets are built as you would need to turn the frig to get it into place. Typical size is 30"x30".  I think there is a code that requires 30" in front of the stove but not positive on this.  I would want to have 36" clear walkway in this space.   I would move the wall or find a new space for the kitchen.  

The layout provided is nice.  I would look at a stove with a glass cook top that is flush with the countertop that would allow more useable surface.

^.....You physically don't have room to make this space function.

Yes, that has been my ongoing point in this thread...

You're no fun at all, I wanted to see the plan sketch. 

@Jassem A. -- the NKBA typically says that 36" walkway is pretty bare minimum.  Actual IRC code has no minimum for this width unless the space were somehow part of the egress path, which we have no information on -- however, at this point, to find out that this kitchen must also function as an egress component would be a hilarious additional design parameter for the awesome 4 foot wide kitchen...

Another layout idea...  single sink, 36" tall upper cabinets... you could go with (2) 30" wide upper cabinets in lieu of 24" and 36" units. You still need 36" of clearance in front of the cabinets.

2.5' Fridge
2.5' stove
2.5' sink (33-36" is standard) 
2' dishwasher
2' drawers

6"to spare. 

It's do-able. 
Prospective tenants will complain either way on the dishwasher vs cabinet space. 
Get the extra height uppers if its in the budget. 
Get 18" dishwasher or 24" stove if it's in the budget (comparable standard size is cheaper) 
4' is too narrow. Just measured my dishwasher, it sticks out 49" when opened. 

I would probably do 16" deep base cabinets or shelving and improvise. It looks like you can buy kitchen sinks that are 15" deep. I'm sure you could use a table top dishwasher or tiny/RV appliances that would fit the bill but it's not going to be your typical kitchen. If you wanted one large 30" wide appliance you could have it facing the other way at the end of the kitchen. So maybe a full size stove could go at the end and then the rest is 16" shelving/cabinets made from 3/4" plywood and the counter could be 16" tiles.

Digressing here, but the second sketch has some safety issues relative to the location of the range -- including no set-off or landing space for hot pots while cooking, which is a serious error.

I suppose the real point might be to ask why sketches and input are even being provided for locating a kitchen in a 4' wide "room"...

Next up:  How to design the long walls of a 6 foot wide garage.

I also would like to know, is the room truly 4' deep? If so your going to be doing custom items to make this kitchen function. Sketch up a floor plan of the room if possible.

Problem solved.

Wow. I must be terrible at descriptions. See image 7 of 8 for the link to see the nook (it's where the two chairs are:

The drawings are epic. Thank you!!!

My next challenge: I think I can get the same rent from an SFR (1 4bd/2ba unit vs. 2 2bd/1ba units, and then not have to do updates: no $1000 exemption application fee the city, kitchette, doors, egress windows, lost rents revenue, parking dilemmas, and chasing down an extra tenant's keep an SFR vs. Duplex....unless someone can convince me the upside to a duplex is much greater....??

This picture is a 10'6" single wall kitchen.  

Appliances were bought used, but in excellent condition: total $410 including fridge, stove, micro, dw (Craigslist, Lowes scratch n dent, etc).

Cabinets were hardwood, you assemble $400

Kitchen sink and faucet from Ikea $75

This was a basement apartment that ended up being very popular, hardly a vacancy in 7 years.  

@Account Closed -- I will agree that you are indeed terrible at descriptions.  What you have for available space is an alcove, and not a room.  You described a room.

You might lead with the photo next time.  

So, after all that, your question seems to boil down to:  "Can I build a kitchenette in a 12 foot long alcove?"

Uh, yeah.

Check out ikea  's modular kitchen 
With appliances ,open shelving and a 5 tier storage shelving unit (pantry)
It could be a very efficient kitchen .
Especially if it's  a really small space 
Can always add an island if it's open concept for more counter .

Kurt, did I hurt your feelings? Next book up, "How to Win Friends and Influence People"

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