HomeLivingHome LivingWhat is a Kitchenette?

What is a Kitchenette?

Kitchen vs kitchenette

What is a Kitchenette?

There are many different types of kitchens available to consumers. If you’ve been on or are on the market for an apartment in the city, you might have come across listings highlighting a “kitchenette.” So, what is a kitchenette? As the name entails, a kitchenette is a smaller, compact version of a kitchen. At this point, you might just be thinking of a small kitchen, but there are distinct differences between a normal-sized kitchen and a kitchenette. 

Differences Between Kitchen and Kitchenette

1.) Size and Location

Generally speaking, kitchenettes are planned as a solution to save space in a smaller home such as a studio apartment like this apartment at 25 Tudor City Place. This means they will be smaller than kitchens. You can have everything within reach with a kitchenette instead of walking back and forth to grab items. However, there are also downsides. Since kitchens are usually bigger, they are typically located in a separate room or a more well-defined space within an open-floorplan and connected with a living room. On the other hand, kitchenettes generally start in a smaller living space so that you may cook very closely to your bed or desk. You may frequently find smells from the last things you cooked lingering as you sleep or partake in other activities.

Note that you can find kitchenettes in all sizes and homes, so it’s important to review the listing carefully to see if the home has a kitchen or kitchenette if you know you want to have one over the other.

2.) Space and Storage

In a traditional kitchen, there are usually a lot of cabinets, drawers, and countertop space. Since a kitchenette is smaller than a normal kitchen, there may not be enough room for storage. A kitchenette can have very limited space to put basic kitchen tools. This may be inconvenient for those who like cooking or baking or a situation where multiple dishes have to be made. If you have a lot of food or food-related items, there may be limited storage to store all of those as well. 

3.) Appliances

Kitchens will usually come with some appliances already installed and running. This includes a fridge, an oven, sometimes a dishwasher, and a four-burner stovetop. With a kitchenette, you will most likely get a mini-fridge with no freezer, a two-burner stovetop, and a small toaster oven may be included to replace a traditional oven. Generally speaking, given the lack of space, kitchenettes will not come equipped with a dishwasher. 

4.) Cost

A kitchenette is generally cheaper to maintain and will ensure that your rent is lower. However, given that you may have to purchase additional appliances or additional storage, the costs may add up regardless.

5.) Cleaning

If you’re someone who hates cleaning after cooking, living in an apartment with a kitchenette would be easy. With the limited space, there isn’t much to wipe down. Even if you have to clean the floor, it would also be a smaller space to sweep/mop. On the other hand, kitchens have more storage spaces, meaning it’s easier to minimize clutter on countertops and ensure that you properly wipe down everything. 

How to Choose Between a Kitchen and Kitchenette?

Those who like cooking, hosting parties, or having a separate kitchen to cook in will most likely prefer a kitchen. However, if you’re someone who lives minimally, doesn’t cook a lot, or doesn’t own a lot of kitchen tools, a kitchenette would be perfect. 

Utilizing Kitchenette Space

Renting an apartment with a kitchenette isn’t the end of your cooking and storage days. Instead, there are a lot of ways you could make space for pots, pans, kitchen tools, and food. Before installing and trying to renovate an apartment, check with your landlord about what you can and cannot do. Thankfully, we live in a modern age where there are modern tools that don’t require drilling and knocking down walls. Here are some of our tips:

  • Install/attach hooks so that you can hang up items/tools such as pots, pans, cooking utensils, etc.
  • Install a shelf or two that can store cups and spices. Alternatively, consider a small rolling shelf that is thin and tall to slide in between any available space.
  • Save yourself extra space by getting rid of the chunky knife block. If the fridge is magnetized, get a thick magnet strip to store your knives.
  • If you want and have space, there are small kitchen tables that double as an island. This way, you can have extra storage space for the surplus of kitchen items that couldn’t be stored in the kitchenette.
  • If your landlord approves it, consider painting the kitchenette area a lighter color. This way, it can look more spacious than it actually is.
  • Consider stacking appliances on top of one another to create more room. For example, a microwave/toaster oven can be placed on top of a mini-fridge.
  • Designate corners of the area to store items, so there is less clutter.

Nina Yu is a freelance writer who is currently based out of Salt Lake City. They are interested in topics like social justice issues, travel, and beauty/skincare. When they are not writing, you can find them hiking, laughing to a fun podcast, or reading a good book.

Lynne has travelled and lived in over three different continents, but New York City is still her favorite. She is excited to share her love for great city and its community with everyone through her writing! In her free time, Lynne loves to watch cute and silly videos of cats, which may be the one thing that beats her love for NYC.