Advantages and disadvantages of kitchens versus kitchenettes

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Advantages and disadvantages of kitchens versus kitchenettes

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A kitchen is a part and parcel of a household. We’re all familiar with traditional kitchens. But a kitchenette? What’s that?

Putting it shortly, a kitchenette is a more modern and compact version of a kitchen. Composed of some of the most essential kitchen components, a kitchenette is a better option for compact apartments, studios and hotels.

In a kitchenette, you can usually fit in a stove, microwave, small fridge and small sink – ideal for small apartments, basement apartments, pool houses, hostel rooms and hotel rooms. You can check out some fantastic kitchenette ideas here.

Differences between a kitchen and kitchenette

Kitchens are more traditional and decorated. You can install various appliances and try out different setups. You’ll have the freedom of customization and ample space in a kitchen.

For people who are homely and love to cook food, a well-equipped kitchen can do wonders. But busy people will love kitchenettes as it’s highly functional and practical. So, it would be best if you think realistically about the layout while designing a kitchen or a kitchenette.

Whatever you choose – a kitchen or kitchenette – knowing the types, advantages and disadvantages will come in handy.


Kitchenette advantages and disadvantages

The word kitchenette first originated in the early 20th century. As kitchens were shrinking in small apartments, basements, offices and other compact places, a new term “kitchenette” took hold. And as lifestyles got busier, people started adopting the essential kitchen elements for easy maintenance and operation.

At first, the people of New York and Chicago used to build kitchenettes for their small apartments. But gradually, it became popular throughout the world.


Reduced floor space consumption

According to the NYC Building Codes, any kitchen with space less than 80 sq. ft. is to be denoted as a kitchenette. So, modern apartment kitchens having eight-by-eight ft., eight-by-six ft. or even 10-by-eight ft. floor dimensions are all kitchenettes.

Students who live in the hostels don’t have a lot of space. Kitchenettes should be able to free up some space. Also, office rooms, hotels, studio apartments can benefit from a smart kitchenette and save space.

In modern kitchenettes, sliding drawer dividers are used for hanging essential utensils. It helps to free up some space as well.

Easy to manage

Kitchenettes concentrate on functionality and utility. They opt to provide the minimum facilities of a kitchen by shrinking some bulky accommodations such as the sink, refrigerator and countertops. And in the process, they also simplify operation and maintenance.

Instead of the large gas burners or stoves, kitchenettes feature ovens and hot plates. They’re also easy to operate and clean as well. After every cooking session, you can expect a tidier kitchen environment.


Sometimes, refitting any regular kitchen area becomes very costly. The layout of a kitchenette, however, is much simpler. You can affordably change the layout and design of your kitchenette.

Moreover, kitchenettes feature fewer countertops and shelves, saving a lot on your furniture budget. The initial installation, customization and maintenance cost far less than a regular kitchen.

However, they’re not as customizable as a regular kitchen, so they often lack creativity.


Lacking space and utilities

Clearly, the main drawback of using a kitchenette, is a lack of space to keep many utensils, items, and appliances inside your kitchen. Therefore, preparing a variety of meals may prove difficult. Also, with the limited cooking facilities, you may find it hard to cook for many people at once. So, if you often host a house party, a kitchenette is not for you.

We use a lot of kitchen appliances these days. Blender, grinder, cutter, peeler, brewer, a beater… And in a kitchenette, you can install only so many of these.

Storage issue

Without a good number of shelves and counters, it’s difficult to store and arrange everyday consumables. Stocking up on goods can be difficult with a kitchenette.

You may also face challenges while setting up the kitchen stove. It would be best if you can manage the quartz countertop in such a way that your guest can use the furnace comfortably and sit while eating.

Lacks customizability and creativity

Kitchenettes are rarely customizable. They are already compact, to begin with. So, swapping components freely won’t be an option. And since there aren’t that many features, you may find a kitchenette dull and static.



Most of us use the traditional kitchen. The kitchen size depends on how big your house is. On average, a residential kitchen takes up about 10 to 15 per cent of the floor area. In a 1,000-sq.-ft. floorplan, for example, the kitchen should take up about 100 to 150 sq. ft. In some apartments, the kitchen room is attached to the dining or living room.


Spacious area

The average kitchen size is 240 to 360 sq. ft. – visibly spacious compared to the kitchenette. The kitchen is ideal for people who love to cook and host parties.

You can keep all of your necessary equipment, tools and appliances on the countertop, cabinet and racks. You can customize your kitchen with several drawers and cupboards as well. Besides, most kitchens come with an additional storage room to provide extra storage facilities.

Hosting a lot of guests

The kitchen is always convenient for a large family. You can set up several stoves and prepare multiple items at the same time. Ideal for hosting a lot of guests and throwing house parties.


A kitchen features a lot of components. That means you can rearrange and customize the kitchen as you like. Add a new shelf or a countertop, maybe add a dishwasher on the side. You can pretty much do anything with a well-equipped kitchen.


Difficult to manage

The more spacious your kitchen is, the more difficult it is to manage. It’s tiring work without a doubt. Bigger kitchens tend to get messy after every cooking session. So, cleaning the utensils, equipment and appliances will sap out a lot of your energy.


Redecorating or refitting common kitchen areas is very costly. If you want to give your kitchen a classy layout, you can’t chicken out on the budget.

To sum it all up, traditional kitchens are more complete and offer a better cooking experience. Ideal for moderate to large families and cooking enthusiasts, but for speedy corporate lifestyles or budget apartments, kitchenettes prove to be a better option.


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