By Bob de Wit

Whether you are looking at a laneway house or a “Manhattan-style” condo, smaller homes all face a similar design challenge: how best to maximize space. One key element, to streamlining smaller spaces and increasing the spatial design, is found in choosing the right kitchen appliances.

Removing the west wall, originally separating the kitchen and dining-room created space for two wall-ovens, full-height pantry wall, and a glass-topped built-in buffet, extending to the window. The kitchen island incorporates waterfall edges, bar-seating, plus down-draft vent for induction cooktop, to ensure the view to adjacent entertaining/dining spaces and ocean beyond remain unimpeded.

In the case of Ovation Award finalist Twin Lions Contracting’s ‘Duchess’ condo renovation, the clients, recent retirees, were ready to downsize into a bright, open-concept condo. As part of the renovation pre-planning phase, it was determined the must-have features as including an entertainment-style kitchen, with island, and plenty of storage space, to accommodate specific items collected over the years.

Twin Lions Contracting removed the west wall, originally separating the kitchen and dining-room, creating space for two wall-ovens, full-height pantry wall, and a glass-topped built-in buffet, extending to the window. The kitchen island incorporates waterfall edges, bar-seating, plus down-draft vent for induction cooktop, to ensure the view to adjacent entertaining/dining spaces and ocean beyond remain unimpeded. Space was reclaimed from the side-by-side laundry and original oven location, and re-invented as enclosed pantry with stacked-laundry.

Speaking to GVHBA members Trail Appliances, there is no need to sacrifice function because of size when considering your appliances. European brands are known for producing functional and sleek appliances that are compact, long-lasting and energy-saving too. They are also perfect for small-scale living, when your kitchen might be next door to the bedroom, or office space, and a whisper-quiet dishwasher becomes essential.

A stackable heat pump dryer maximizes energy use and requires no outside venting, providing the ideal choice for those with a closet-sized laundry area as was the case in the Duchess renovation.

Most apartment-sized appliances start at 24-inch in width and go up from there. It sounds small, but it’ll still do its job. In fact, when it comes to ovens, reportedly, the optimal cooking size is indeed 24-inches.

Space, however, isn’t the only thing to consider when buying apartment-sized products. You also need to know a few things, such as which appliances require gas or electric, will they built-in or can they be freestanding, and the age of the wiring; noting to check to see if the existing load can handle newer appliances.

It’s good to review electrical and infrastructure with your builder or renovator when designing your kitchen because options will vary according to which type of appliance you need. For answers to these and other renovation questions, visit www.gvhba.org