Apartment-Sized Appliances: Finding the Right Compact Appliances for Small Spaces

Black and Milk Co

Small apartments and condos are the coziest forms of housing, but when it comes to making it your own, that’s where it begins to get tricky. There are several structural hurtles you need to jump over to find creative solutions on how to decorate your space the way you like.

Appliances can be among the trickiest to shop for when you’re taking into account a small living space. It’s important to know not only how much space appliances take up, but how other features could factor into the functionality of your kitchen, cleaning, and outdoor living spaces.


Designed by © Anne Schlechter

There is more to consider when equipping a small kitchen space than just size. Is your kitchen a galley style, one-wall, L-shaped? Is there plenty of counter space, how wide is the walking area? Take time to truly understand the dimensions and style of your kitchen so that you can find the perfect appliances with no last-minute hiccups.

Ranges can take up a lot of space, but as the principal function of the kitchen, many home chefs still want access to a powerful range. Some shoppers would prefer for it to be the focal point of the entire design, so make sure to remember how much space you can allot for and then find the right range for you. The average and most common range sizes are 30 inches, which can deliver all the power you need in a range while not taking up too much space, but also consider smaller sizes, which can go down as far as 20 inches. The smaller ranges can be more difficult to find however, and they may go up in price.

KitchenAid Cooktop

Consider installing a cooktop or rangetop instead, which not only frees up under-counter space, but it also doesn’t look clunky and gives your kitchen design a more modern and integrated look. Since they will be taking up countertop area though, make sure to plan a good location on your counter or island to give you ample space to prepare food.

Built-In Double Oven

Depending on how you look at it, wall ovens can be both a friend and an enemy when it comes to small kitchen spaces. On one hand, there may not be plenty of wall and cabinet space for you to utilize a built-in wall oven, but on the other hand, if you have the layout capabilities, then it frees up cabinet space and gives you height control on where you install the oven. Make sure to fully consider the length of the door and how much space it needs to fully open. A wall oven can be placed above countertop height so there’s no chance of blocking the walk pathway with the door. Another perk is that if you find the wall space for one oven, you almost always have space for a double wall oven, giving you more cooking and baking abilities.

Built-in appliances are your friend. With not as much open countertop space, you don’t want to overcrowd usable space with countertop appliances like microwaves and coffee makers. Built-in microwaves, microwave drawers, and over the range microwaves are the perfect fix. Invest in a built-in coffee system to free up countertop space, as well as add luxury to your kitchen design.

Built-in design


As another key element of the kitchen, choosing the right apartment-sized refrigerator also requires multi-dimensional thinking. The refrigerator may be an appliance that you wish to splurge available space on, depending on your personal preferences.

Liebherr Refrigeration CS 1360
Liebherr CS 1360 (PRNewsFoto/Liebherr Refrigeration)

French and side-by-side doors may not open fully in tight spaces, and having a separate refrigerator and freezer unit isn’t ideal as well, so it’s best to search for top and bottom mounted refrigerators. If you wish to find something compact, Liebherr is the way to go. Liebherr is renowned for their slim designs, innovative cooling technology, and energy-star efficiency. The gleaming stainless steel bodies with beveled edges are sure to gain plenty of compliments from guests.

For specialty refrigeration, there are several under-counter refrigerators and icemakers that you can choose from, but to conserve space, it might be best to store those appliances somewhere other than the kitchen. Consider creating a small bar area elsewhere in the apartment or outside on a balcony or patio.


Drawer Dishwasher

Staying clean is more pressing in small spaces since clutter can accumulate very quickly and noticeably. To keep the pile of dirty dishes away from guests’ eyes, a powerful but slim dishwasher is a must-have. Most models are a standard 24 inches, and since they are installed within the counters, you may not have any trouble finding a dishwasher that suits your needs. If you’d prefer something smaller, there are more compact 18 inch models available as well. The length and the angle of the door is another thing to consider with dishwashers. Dishwasher drawers are a different solution that eliminate the long opening doors and the constant bending at the waist to reach the bottom shelf.

Front-Loading Washer and Dryer

For a washer and dryer, stackable appliances are the way to go if your hookups are near an area with enough height space. Some connections may be tucked away in alcoves or closets, so accessibility becomes more of a factor. The amount of space available above and in front of the appliances will determine if you’re better off with a front or top-loading washer and dryer.

Outdoor Grill

Outdoor Living

If you have an available outdoor space such as a balcony or patio, then smart layout planning is necessary since you don’t have the same large space available as a traditional backyard. Some buildings will not allow grilling at all, while others only restrict gas grills. Find out what safety precautions you must adhere to, and find the right grill for you that follows those precautions. Freestanding models are the best way to go since they can be moved around and don’t require any sort of foundation.

Outdoor Beverage Center

Thirty inch models are most common but there are smaller models that you can consider as well. Charcoal grills are extremely commonplace and come in a variety of sizes.

Outdoor refrigeration, bartending, and entertaining appliances have a perfect home on balconies and patios. To maximize efficiency and space, consider models that are all-in-one inclusive. Ice makers and beverage centers are sure to be a statement piece for your outdoor gatherings.



Having a small living space doesn’t mean you have to live small. If you need any help finding the right appliance for you, then visit designerhomesurplus.com. For more news, tips, and recipes, Like Us On Facebook, Follow Us On Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter.


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