A combo kitchen is single, standalone unit that serves all your basic kitchen needs. A typical combo kitchen consists of a sink, mini refrigerator and stovetop range. Sometimes referred to as compact kitchens, combination kitchens, kitchenettes or all-in-ones, combo kitchens are available in a variety of configurations. Some models include freezers, ovens, electrical outlets, cabinets, built-in cutting boards and storage drawers.
A combo kitchen is a great solution when space is in short supply, such as in small apartments or guest houses. Other models are especially built for outdoor use, making them perfect for backyard barbecues and patio entertaining. Because combination kitchens are considerably more affordable than traditional kitchens, they also make practical substitutes during home renovations, especially when your budget is being stretched thin.
Let’s take a closer look at three common uses for combo kitchens, so you can make an informed decision as to whether one is right for you.
Combo Kitchens for Small Spaces
Combo kitchens offer affordability and flexibility in small living spaces, from tiny apartments to rustic cabins. Students, young professionals and city dwellers often find that a compact kitchen serves all their basic needs without sacrificing essential conveniences. To decide whether this solution is right for you, think about your eating habits in a typical week. How many meals do you cook? What sorts of recipes do you make most often? Do you prefer to use an oven or microwave? Unless you entertain for crowds, a combo kitchen serves most daily culinary needs. The advantages of cost savings and extra space are often worth small sacrifices in storage or extra appliances.
If you are buying a combo kitchen to save on space, it would be wise to carefully consider your needs. If you rarely cook but prepare many of your meals at home, look for units with a larger refrigerator and enough cabinet space for your groceries. Think about whether you require a freezer or oven, since not all combo kitchens have these. Also, decide how much counter space you require and whether you would need a microwave or coffee maker. Some combination kitchens only offer minimal space for food prep, but you can easily supplement your space with an added countertop kitchen cart.
Combo Kitchens for Outdoor Use
Outdoor combo kitchens are typically designed and used to improve the ambiance of your patio or pool area. These rugged units promise the conveniences of a modern kitchen, but in the luxury of the great outdoors. The water-tight design withstands rain and is suitable for seasonal use. However, it is recommended to store your outdoor kitchens inside during blistering freezes or long winter months. An outdoor combo kitchen makes an excellent accompaniment to your grill, as it expands your culinary options and adds the convenience of a kitchen without leaving your meat to burn.
Outdoor combination kitchens are built with entertaining in mind. They’re perfect for summer barbecues, alfresco dining or just those times when you want to spend time with your family and enjoy the beautiful weather. The designs emphasize small footprints and clever storage space. Because the units are not intended to be used as primary kitchens, many models forgo cabinet storage and sinks. Some offer grill tops instead of stove ranges, which are perfect for kabobs, burgers and hot dogs. Many also feature custom beverage refrigeration and slide-out cutting boards.
Combo Kitchens for Temporary Spaces
In temporary spaces such as guest houses and vacation homes, a full-sized kitchen is sometimes impractical and a waste of money. This is where the combo kitchen really shines.
With the stream-lined design, you can enjoy meals together during family vacations or give guests the luxury of a little culinary independence. Do not pay to install a full-sized kitchen, as these compact kitchens often do the job on a shoestring budget. Combination kitchens also offer you an affordable solution during transitional times, such as home remodeling, when your kitchen is not usable.
Temporary spaces like guest houses simply do not require the same amount of storage space as traditional kitchens typically would. Choose from combo kitchens that offer just enough storage for everyday essentials, including groceries, pantry items and dishes. If you plan to cook frequently, consider a model that includes an oven or freezer. In guest houses that have access to a full-sized kitchen, such extras are often unnecessary. If you are using a combo kitchen during home renovations, consider using creative storage solutions to expand your space, such as using a spare dresser or bookshelf to store extra pantry items.
Are Combo Kitchens Right For You?
Combo kitchens are a great solution when you are short on space or money or simply do not need a full-sized kitchen. Because these units streamline design to the bare essentials, think carefully about your space and cooking requirements before buying. An outdoor grill enthusiast has different needs than a young professional in a small apartment. Major storage considerations include counter space, cabinets and the size of the refrigerator. If you are relying on a combo kitchen as your primary kitchen, consider whether your cooking habits require either a freezer or an oven.
However, they’re not the best solution for everyone. before you spend a bunch of money on this type of kitchen, be sure to analyze your situation and consider the scenarios we listed above. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to better decide if a combo kitchen is right for you.