A mobile home kitchen design is very straightforward. It comes in the shape of two opposing walls, covered with cabinets facing each other, or in some cases a U-shape where 3 of the walls are filled with kitchen cabinets and appliances. The amount of space available in the middle and the size of the kitchen heavily depends on the model and size of the home.
Manufacturers don’t always use the most attractive materials. It generally isn’t one of the chief considerations when building a mobile home. Beauty falls far behind practicality and weight in importance. This means in most models, kitchen cabinets are made of simple plywood or laminated wood cabinets. This is also why mobile home kitchen remodeling is such a popular DIY project.
However, there are higher-end models with designer kitchens just as good as any you will find in a stick-built home. So, if that’s an important sticking point for you, you can search them out.
One of the most important stages of a kitchen remodel is to come up with ideas. Luckily for all of us, the internet is packed to the brim with examples of what others have done. Sites like Pinterest and mobile home owner’s blogs are great resources to get an idea of what you’re up against and what’s possible.
We will give you a head start by pointing out some great modifications you can make:
Change the layout
You can modify the actual layout of the home. Walls can be torn down, moved or built. Open plan kitchens are all the rage now and may require you to remove some walls. This type of kitchen is popular because it makes the home feel so much bigger and more inviting. This isn’t always possible though as most mobile homes have very simple layouts that are hard to alter. Especially older and smaller mobile homes.
We recommend always getting a professional opinion and contractor to do this for you. That’s because it’s very easy to undermine the structural integrity of the mobile home somehow during these process, even when adding walls to the kitchen instead of taking them out. The slightest damage to the structural integrity of the home can make it lose it’s HUD code adherence which will make it nearly impossible to finance in the future and severely affect its value.
Add a kitchen island
It’s hard to imagine a modern kitchen without an island countertop! It’s just such a convenient way to add more working space without doing extensive work. In fact, you can even purchase mobile kitchen islands which are even more versatile. You can use them to wheel out your dishes to the living or dining room, just like a high-class restaurant.
Most modern and good quality kitchen islands also come with very handy storage solutions cutlery, cookware, chopping boards, kitchen towels, and other kitchen utensils and tools. They also come in a wide variety of styles so you can find one that really matches your kitchen by shopping around a little.
Hanging pot rack
These have become really popular along with kitchen islands. Many people buy both and hang the rack right above the kitchen island for both convenience and aesthetic reasons. You get many different varieties and sizes that are meant to either be fixed to the wall or roof.
Although most of them tend to be very rustic-looking, you can find other more modern looking racks if you look around. They are very handy since they allow you to free up considerable storage space and because it’s just so much easier to find a specific pot or pan when they hang than when they are stacked in a cupboard.
Touch up or replace cabinet doors
As we have mentioned mobile homes don’t often come with the nicest cabinets. They are usually simple wooden or laminate wood cabinets without any type of finishing. One of the first things new owners do is either replace cabinets, repaint or refinish them, and replace their handles with nicer designs. In fact, we have a guide right here on how you can repaint your kitchen cabinets.
We don’t recommend you completely replace your cabinets unless you have no other option. You don’t see the insides that much anyway and new doors, a repaint, and a new surface should cover them up sufficiently. Even the racks themselves can be replaced with a little woodwork without ripping everything out.
Paneled cabinet ends are another worthwhile addition. They decorate cabinets further by covering the plain surfaces at the ends. They usually come in decorative, embossed designs and should be applied before you do any repainting for a consistent look.
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Fancy drawers and cabinets
If you do want to replace your drawers, you should be aware of all the fancy options that are available today. You might be surprised to learn what’s out there and to see how far we have come from normal static drawers.
One option is fully-extendable and soft-closing drawers. They are placed on special rails that let them slide out fully and stop you from banging them shut. This keeps them working longer and make them easier to use.
Another type of drawer is tiered drawers that can slide out together or independently with the bottom ones reaching out further than the top ones. Utensil drawers, appliances drawers, and trash can drawers are just some of the options. Here is a list of more awesome ideas by Houzz.
When it comes to those awkward corner cabinets that we never quite know what to do with, there are also some great options. Rotating corner cabinets are one effective solution. Think of it as a carousel that holds your kitchen utensils. It can rotate either way with doors facing inward from each side that meets at the corner.
As a place where you do a lot of fine work close to your fingers with extremely sharp objects, the kitchen needs excellent lighting. Although it might require some dreaded construction work, adding more windows is one way to do it. Another is to simply add more lights. We like how Scandinavian hanging loft lamps look in the kitchen.
Something that looks amazing and is equally as functional is under-cabinet lights. You fix them to the bottom of cabinets, below the eye line where the lights themselves can’t be seen. They’ll properly light up the working surface and look fantastic at night. This will also make an amazing pairing with those Scandinavian loft lamps we were talking about. Xenon lights look the nicest but can get very hot whilst LED lights are more expensive.
Painting or wall panels
Painting is always an effective, inexpensive, and easy (did we mention fun too?) way to change the appearance of any part of the home and the kitchen is no different! White is a very popular and timeless color for kitchens. A lot of times it is combined with accents done either in light yellow or blue.
Earthy colors also look fantastic and create a more intimate and rustic feel. Consider painting cabinets dark grey and installing wood or butcher block countertops. Faux wood or stone panels are an easy, inexpensive, and effective way to achieve a rustic country feel.
Though it may be tempting to get really creative, keep mind that you may need to resell your mobile home someday. It’s best to stick to simple and stylish colors. White always works well with details in other light colors or with dark surfaces. In fact, one thing that always looks amazing is dark-colored cabinets with light-colored marble surfaces.
We mention this as a modification because it isn’t the norm for by far the most home models. Open shelving is an alternative to cabinets where most of your cookery is on permanent display. If you invested in designer cookware, this might be for you. Some brands, such as Smeg and Le Creuset are just some examples of kitchen cookware that look too good to be left behind cupboard doors.
It doesn’t have to even be fancy, modern cookware. Old pots and pans, even rust-stained ones, can create an authentic rustic kitchen feel that is difficult to reproduce.
Open shelving helps create a sense of space although it can be a problem to keep clean. If you live in a dry or dusty area, your cookware can quickly become coated with a layer of dust.
Designer and smart appliances
As kitchen aesthetics have become all the more important, designer appliances have really taken off. It’s hard to imagine clunky machines such as dishwashers having designer looks but you will find many options at your local appliance store.
They can come in all kinds of styles, shapes, and sizes. You definitely don’t need to think of your kitchen appliance as a sore thumb sticking out in your designer kitchen. Almost all the leading brands now make designer appliances and you don’t have to look too hard to find some.
While you are shopping around, it’s also worth your time to start looking at all the “smart appliances” available right now. These appliances can sometimes be controlled by your phone or an app. It pays to buy appliances from the same brand to ensure compatibility and make your life easier.
Some even respond to ubiquitous computing devices such as Google Home or Amazon Echo. If you are a tech lover, you will find these gadgets not to be bank-breaking and add a whole lot of convenience to your daily life. You will feel like Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. Here is a list by PC Mag to help you get started.
Some things to consider:
First of all, you should start looking at what others have done online to get inspiration. Once you have a clear mental picture of what you want and need, you can move on to the following considerations. It doesn’t have to be 100% planned and you should leave some room to be flexible. You never know what you might see to change your mind later on!
Here are some final things you should consider when starting a kitchen remodel project:
- Budget: As you can see from all the options available, a kitchen design project can be either very simple or very extensive. You should figure out a budget beforehand and shop around so that you can get a feel for current prices and see if your budget is even possible. Keep a spreadsheet of products and prices so that you can easily keep track of your expenses.
- Plumbing and wiring: If you want to add things like a dishwasher, an extra sink, or any other electrical appliances, you should consider whether you have all the connections you need. You might need to install some more wiring, plumbing or electrical outlets. Always remember to add a few dollars to estimations or quoted prices, there could always be complications.
- Construction: If you do plan on opening up your kitchen or adding construction to it, you should definitely consult a professional. It’s so easy to violate HUD standards by undermining its structural integrity that will leave your home unsafe and reduce its value immensely. You should do comprehensive planning beforehand as this isn’t easy to undo and you should be sure that you know what you want.
Don’t let boring mobile home kitchen layouts get you down!
Well, that’s it! Even though your mobile home may have come with a pretty standard design, you can get the kitchen of your dreams. We hope that this short and sweet guide on how to modify your mobile home kitchen layout has helped get you started. We can’t stress the importance of forming a clear picture of what you want and need beforehand so that you stay within budget and scope and really get the kitchen you want and deserve.