Kitchenette vs Kitchen: Which One Is for You?

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By Andrei Login

We know that finding your dream apartment is no cakewalk. The whole process of browsing, sorting, viewing and deciding can take a lot of time. On top of that, realizing that the place that looked so good in the online listing is not so great in real life can be discouraging. That’s why it is important to set realistic goals.  If you’ve ever looked for rentals in pricier cities like New York, NY or Miami, FL, you probably focused on smaller, more affordable apartments. Perhaps you’ve even stumbled on countless occasions upon the term “kitchenette”. Sounds cute, right? But what’s a kitchenette and how different is it from a regular kitchen? Understanding what is a kitchenette as well as knowing a few techniques for making a kitchenette fit your culinary needs can make the search for apartments in a high-rent city a lot more manageable. So read on to find out.

kitchen tools

Differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette

The main difference between a kitchen and a kitchenette is simply the size. In a kitchenette, storage space is often fairly limited. There are probably only one or two cabinets and not very much countertop space. Kitchenette appliances are usually limited to only a few essential devices such as a microwave, a toaster oven, a hot plate, and a small dorm-size fridge. Most kitchenettes do not have stovetops or regular ovens.

Despite this, renting a kitchenette apartment comes with a few nice perks. While fully-equipped kitchens offer plenty of storage space, in many cases much of it remains unoccupied or is used for storing non-essential items. Plus, it’s a chore to keep clean with so many surfaces and greasy appliances. A kitchenette, however, is very low-maintenance.  Just brush off the dust and wash the sink from time to time. It’s perfect for students, bachelors or anyone who doesn’t want to deal with hours of cleaning every week. Also, it’s easy to find very good recipes online that only require a one-burner hot plate and a microwave.



Top tips for rocking a kitchenette

It might not be the biggest or the best, but you can surely make your kitchenette stand out against its fully-equipped peers with some simple tricks. For starters, sticking a few non-permanent hooks on the wall can make a huge difference. They can be used for hanging pots, pans, and the most-needed utensils. You can also speak to your landlord to add some shelving or permanent hooks for heavier things such as jars or bottles.

Additionally, there are several apartment-size kitchen appliances that can make life so much easier in a kitchenette. For example, an electric kettle is a must. At a fairly low price, it can be used to boil water three times faster than a hotplate or microwave. There is also the life-saving food steamer that’s not only easy to use but can also help you prepare a lot of healthy recipes in no time. Finally, if you’re a coffee lover, a French press is all you need to brew a nice cup of Joe that’s so good you’ll never need expensive coffee shop coffee again. And, if you really like to cook, you can always try fitting in an apartment-size oven.

Now that you know what a kitchenette is, you can decide for yourself if you need a large fully-equipped kitchen or if a small space-saving kitchenette does the trick. Does the chef in you need all those drawers and appliances, or would you be all right with less space for less money? Keep this in mind when searching for your dream apartment and don’t forget to check out RentCafe for apartments of all sizes in your area.

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Mihaela Buzec is a senior writer and online content developer for RentCafe. She covers topics about everything related to the renting lifestyle, from decorating and interior design to finding the right apartment, frugal living, money saving advice, and more. She dives deep into topics of interest, writing well-researched comprehensive guides on subjects such as renting with pets, saving on utilities, or avoiding rental scams to help renters stay informed and live smart.

Mihaela holds a BA in English and German Language and Literature, an MA in Current Linguistics, and she is currently pursuing a PhD in neurolinguistics.

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