In the world of interior design, there are many differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette. When discussing each, both show the pros and cons that work better in different environments. So, what is the difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette, and what are the pros and cons of each?
The difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette predominately deals with the size, kitchenettes are small kitchens, but that brings up a number of other differences. With size, restrictions come less space for storage, appliances, and more. However, a smaller size is more beneficial in certain instances.
Both a kitchen and a kitchenette are useful in different ways, but if not installed in the proper environment, they may cause trouble. To know which is the best fit for your home, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Keep reading for all things kitchen vs. kitchenette.
What Separates A Kitchen from A Kitchenette?
The main difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette is simple: the size of the area to which you are referring to. In short, a kitchenette is basically a smaller version of a kitchen. A kitchenette contains main appliances like a microwave and a small refrigerator.
Sometimes it might have a sink and/or an oven, but generally, it lacks a stove, a larger refrigerator, and quite a bit less storage space.
It is not just the size of a kitchenette that makes it different from a kitchen; it is what the decreased size limits a kitchenette from having. As mentioned, it lacks some common appliances found in a kitchen. Additionally, however, a kitchen and a kitchenette are more beneficial in different circumstances.
As you can probably tell, how a kitchen and a kitchenette are better suited for their respective circumstances will be discussed later.
For now, the important thing to understand is that both areas are meant to be places for preparing food and storing food and drink-related appliances, utensils, etc. Below is a quick summary of the main differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette.
|Size||80+ sq ft||Less than 80 sq ft|
|Appliance availability||Fully equipped and expandable||Limited assortment|
|Separate room||Yes||No in most installations|
|Best Fit||· Enthusiastic cooks|
· Medium to Large families
· Large homes
· Catering Services
|· Small families|
|Customizable?||Fully customizable||Limited options|
|Maintenance||High maintenance, difficult to clean||Low maintenance, required consistent cleaning|
Pros and Cons of a Kitchen
Now, to get into the advantages and disadvantages of both a kitchen and a kitchenette. Kitchens are most likely the type of food prep area you are most familiar with, but that does not mean that they are better in every way and every situation. While kitchens are useful in many ways, they are not always the right choice to make.
Let’s start with the positives. There are plenty of benefits to having a full-sized kitchen in your home. Here are the pros.
As a kitchen is equipped with more appliances, it allows you to cook any food you need to with respect to limitations like an outdoor grill and related appliances.
With a microwave, large fridge, oven, stove, and more countertop space to store portable appliances like a toaster or air fryer, a kitchen has most everything you will need, no matter what type of food you are preparing.
With more cabinetry, more countertop space, and a larger fridge, a kitchen allows you to fill it up with anything you desire, whether it be food, drinks, utensils, cups, plates, pots, pans, and whatever else you plan to put in your kitchen.
And by more space, it is important to understand one thing – this means quite a lot more space. A kitchen can come in many different shapes and sizes, but it is always going to be bigger than a kitchenette.
A kitchen can be designed to complement the area around it magnificently. With the options of different types of cabinetry, materials on the surface of appliances, and what the countertop is made of, you can design a kitchen to fit any of your needs.
Additionally, in the areas that it is typically used, a kitchen looks much better than a kitchenette would.
Along with being larger and having more storage room and appliances, a kitchen is great for those who need a big cooking space. This can come in handy when you are cooking a large meal for guests or family, or it can be useful if you simply prefer more space while cooking.
With the larger space, your kitchen will likely have a dishwasher, allowing for easy and efficient clean up after cooking.
To get both sides of the argument, we have to look at the negatives. Up next, we’ll outline the cons.
Yes, you are reading that correctly. Although more space can be beneficial for cooking a lot of food and having a lot of storage space, it is not always great.
If you have a kitchen that is too big for you and your preferences, you might find yourself feeling like you have wasted space. You might put too much money into all these fancy appliances and cabinetry, only to find that you do not use them to their fullest potential.
If you are not going to utilize all of the storage space and appliances, there is no point in investing in them.
Along with more space, you will have to deal with cleaning up your area when you use it. A dishwasher can be helpful, but with food remnants all over the countertops and other kitchen areas, it can be difficult to keep everything from getting dirty.
Another thing to consider is having to keep your cabinets and drawers clean. It can often be all too easy to throw cups and plates in a random place, and if you continually do that, your storage space will become a mess over time.
With the advantage of more appliances, there is also a higher chance that those appliances might run into problems, especially if you are putting them all to good use.
It is never fun to deal with a leaky fridge, a dirty microwave, or a faulty stovetop. Fixing these problems can also take professional help, which can be a big waste of time and money.
As you can see, there are a number of pros and cons for a kitchen. What is important is that you weigh your options and find what works for you. In the following sections, you will learn about the pros and cons of a kitchenette to further influence your choice.
Pros and Cons of a Kitchenette
While a kitchenette is considerably smaller than a kitchen, it still has a number of pros that make it useful for its respective locations.
A kitchenette is good for more compact settings, which can be useful in many situations. Below are the pros and cons of a kitchenette and the multiple uses for a kitchenette.
Even though kitchenettes are often considered the next best thing to a kitchen, there are plenty of benefits. Here we have a few positives that might make you reconsider a kitchenette.
Because it is so much smaller, a kitchenette is a much more cost-effective investment. With fewer appliances and less storage space, you will not have to worry about putting extra space to good use.
Plus, if used in a residential place, it can save you money if you are not looking or are not yet ready to spend big bucks on a home.
With a kitchenette, less space means less cleaning. Even without a dishwasher, you will not have to worry about cleaning up big messes created during a long night of cooking, simply because you will not have the space to make those messes in the first place.
Great for Decoration
A kitchenette is typically going to be found against a wall as an attachment in a room that is not its own, whether that is an office, a studio apartment, or whatever.
As a result, if you have decorations in that room to make it feel more professional, homely, or anything else, it is easy to use a kitchenette to enhance that feeling.
Because a kitchenette is smaller and does not take up its room, you will be able to use more space for other activities and purposes.
Without worrying about the space that a kitchen would take up, you can use the extra space provided by a kitchenette for more practical or necessary reasons.
Naturally, there are some drawbacks to having a smaller kitchenette vs. a full kitchen. Here are the negatives.
Lack of Appliances
Perhaps the biggest con to a kitchenette than a kitchen is that a kitchenette does not have as many appliances in its set up.
With that being said, if you like to cook a variety of different foods, you will not have as much freedom with a kitchenette. With limited resources, you will have limited options for cooking.
Lack of Storage
Another disadvantage of a kitchenette is that it might not neatly store all of the food and food-related items you have. If you are trying to find space for a large amount of food, cups, plates, utensils, and more, a kitchenette will likely be a difficult place to keep these things.
Maintaining a kitchenette can be just as difficult as keeping up the condition of a kitchen. With such a compact space, the main problem might be finding where the problem in your kitchenette is coming from.
Luckily, there are fewer appliances that will become faulty, but if the problem does occur, it can be tough to find the source.
Again, a kitchenette, like a kitchen, has its own number of pros and cons. It is all going to fall on your specific preferences and needs. Read below if you are still unsure what choice to make between a kitchen and a kitchenette.
Utilizing a Kitchen vs. Utilizing a Kitchenette
Kitchen spaces are an important piece to any home, and everyone uses them differently. How you plan to utilize your kitchen or kitchenette can help with the decision making process.
Uses for A Kitchen
The most common use for a kitchen is in a large home or apartment. Since they take up a lot of space, you will need an area that provides that requirement, which is most often larger residential facilities.
Of course, some high-end businesses and offices might have a kitchen to support office parties and the like, but you are usually only going to see a kitchen in a home.
A kitchen is great for, as previously mentioned, those who need space in general or space for preparing large amounts of food for a big group. It can also be an ideal location to show off your inner interior design passion with fully customizable abilities and options.
A kitchen is often built as its own room, explaining why it fits better in large residential buildings like homes or big apartments. It can be displayed as an add-on to a living room or dining room, but typically, you will notice that it is its designated area.
Despite the number of pros for a kitchen, that does not always make it the best choice for you. You can probably find just as many cons to even out the pros when thinking about a kitchen. Below are some possible cons that you might want to consider.
Uses for A Kitchenette
To add to the pros list of a kitchenette, a kitchenette is a much more versatile piece than a kitchen would be. They can be used in larger homes or apartments, but it is probably less likely. Instead, they can be used in smaller residential buildings as well as numerous places of business.
A kitchenette is great for a small-scale studio apartment as it takes up very little wall space. At the same time, it provides necessities that a kitchen would have without having extra appliances and storage that you would not use.
A kitchenette can also be used in a place such as a college dormitory. Whether or not the claim that the only thing college students eat is ramen noodles, they definitely do not have the time to put a full-sized kitchen to good use, which makes a kitchenette a great option.
A kitchenette can also commonly be found in an office building. For the daily stress that work can bring upon a person, a kitchenette provides them the ability to store and cook food and drinks on their breaks, giving them a form of relaxation in the workplace.
Because it is small, a kitchenette is also beneficial in an office to provide a larger area for company projects and everyday jobs.
Adding Extra Storage to Your Kitchenette
Despite their size, you can give yourself more space in your kitchenette if you are clever. Many of these tricks also apply to kitchens in general.
Attach Hooks and a Pegboard Backsplash to the Wall
Kitchenettes and kitchens alike often have bare walls between the appliances and behind the sink. You can attach a stainless steel pegboard backsplash to the wall to create more vertical storage . You can then use the hooks to store utensils, towels, and knives. The backsplash also protects your wall from splatters and spills.
Add Shelves and Storage around Your Fridge
If you have the room, you can place storage racks and shelves between your fridge and the wall. The shelving improves the look of your kitchenette while giving you a pantry to store nonperishable and canned food.
Use a Folding Table as Counter Space
You can make more counter room for yourself by placing a folding table near where you prepare food. The table will give you ample room to make meals and eat without taking out valuable space as you can fold up the table when not needed. You can also use the table as a desk.
Use an Over-Sink Cutting Board
The sink makes a great countertop as well. You just need a cutting board you can place over it. You get the extra food prep space without sacrificing the rest of the area You can even find over-sink cutting boards in most kitchen supply stores, making them easy to find. They are easy to clean as well.
Turn a Nearby Closet into a Pantry
Finally, you can turn a nearby closet into a pantry to create additional space or to remove stuff from your main room and kitchenette. You can keep your pantry open to the room or place a door or curtain to keep it out of sight.
Should You Have A Kitchen or Kitchenette?
The main thing to think about when choosing whether you need a kitchen or a kitchenette is where the choice will be placed.
If you are in a larger home and are willing to spend the money, a kitchen can be a great addition when adding the finishing touches to your home. Similarly, a large apartment can support the use of a kitchen as well.
Of course, this is not to say that a standard-sized apartment can never include a full kitchen. If you know, you will use all of the attributes of a kitchen, and you are aware of and willing to go without the additional space a kitchenette would provide you, then, by all means, go with a kitchen.
In terms of a kitchenette, however, consider its versatility. A kitchenette can be used for many other options, and therefore might have a bigger chance of becoming your choice of preference.
If you are in a small apartment or in a place that you are not planning on staying at for too long, a kitchenette can be a great choice for you. With limited storage, you will not overbuy food or food-related items for cooking, and if you already have them in excess, you can store them away somewhere else.
A kitchenette is also an ideal choice for an office. There is really no point in putting a full kitchen in an office. Think about how often it would be used; rarely ever.
A kitchenette allows employees to go about their day while having the opportunity to stop and make something quickly for a small boost of energy. Plus, face it; you are probably just going to order a bunch of pizzas for your next holiday party.
A kitchen and a kitchenette both have their reputations, but if you really want to put one in a place that it is not commonly found, as long as you are willing to use it to your benefit, it should not be a problem.
A kitchen and a kitchenette are both beneficial in their own respective ways. There are a number of things to consider when comparing the pros and cons of a kitchen vs. a kitchenette, but the main thing it is going to come down to is your personal preference.
However, thinking about the advantages and disadvantages of both a kitchen and a kitchenette will greatly influence – for good measure – the choice you make.