What Is The Difference Between A Kitchen And A Kitchenette?

Who doesn’t want to have their dream apartment? With luxurious bedrooms, stunning living rooms, balconies, well-equipped kitchens, and baths. We all look for the perfect place to cave in. However, apartments these days can be downright costly. With the increasing number of tenants trying to move in, the real estate companies are making a fortune. 

But that’s not the point here. The point is to be certain of what you’re paying for. In these modern times, everything is pretty much shrinking. We’re all looking to save space by adopting minimal versions of our everyday essentials and save money in the process. Modern economic apartments can be a good example of it.

So you have to learn the differences to make sure the best use of your money. In this article, we’ll learn the differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette and find out the one that suits you the best. Also if you want to design a cool and effective kitchenette, Caesarstone can help you with some ideas.

Kitchen And Kitchenette – Brief Reintroduction

There’s not much left to say about a kitchen as we’re all familiar with it. The assembly of an oven, refrigerator, sink, countertops, shelves, and many other kitchen appliances. The word “Kitchen” stands for kitchen as a whole, the complete package. The area or space where you prepare delicious meals.

On the other hand, a “Kitchenette” is more or less a minimal version of a kitchen. By minimal, don’t think that everything in a kitchenette is miniature like in a dollhouse. It simply means that a kitchenette has only a handful of components, smaller in size in some cases. So only the kitchen essentials like an oven or a hot plate, a sink, a small countertop, shrunk shelves, and maybe a mini-refrigerator can be found in a kitchenette. 

The idea of Kitchenette first developed in the early 20th century. As more and more apartments started to rise, having large kitchens became a waste of space. So instead of a full-fledged kitchen, people started to like the idea of a small cooking area, sometimes combined with the dining area. 

As hotels and studio apartments grew in numbers, kitchenettes became a more practical solution. They’re also far easier to clean and maintain. So nowadays, most studio apartments and residential spaces with low occupancy adopt kitchenettes as they’re more economical and practical.

Differences Between A Kitchen And A Kitchenette

Although they serve the same purpose, several parameters can be used to point out the differences between a kitchen and a kitchenette.

Floor Space

This is pretty much the decisive factor. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a regular kitchen is larger and better equipped compared to a kitchenette. Whereas a kitchenette is a smaller version of a kitchen. According to the NYC Building Codes, any kitchen with space less than 80 square feet is to be denoted as a kitchenette. So modern apartment kitchens having 8’x8’ or 8’x6’ or even 10’x8’ floor dimensions are all kitchenettes.

As for a kitchen, there are no such specifications. So if your cooking area is spacious enough, more than 80 sq ft to be precise, it’s a regular kitchen.

On average, a residential kitchen takes up about 10-15% of the floor area. So in a 1000 sq ft floor plan, the kitchen should take up about 100-150 sq ft. So as you can guess, apartments having 800 sq ft or fewer floor areas should adopt a kitchenette. 


A kitchen is made up of many components. Everything related to cooking, baking, preparing snacks, cleaning dishes, etc are found in the kitchen. And as technology advances further, versatile appliances are making their way to the kitchen.

A traditional kitchen usually consists of a gas oven or a hot plate, one or two sinks, some countertops, refrigerators, hanging shelves, cupboards, plate rack, spoon and knife holders, chimney, etc. There are also a lot of complimentary appliances such as a toaster, blender, coffee maker, or other electronic devices. The problem is, a regular kitchen can accommodate a lot of appliances, but a kitchenette can only make space for a handful of components.

Typical kitchenettes contain some very essential components at best. Such as a gas or electric cooking facility, mini-refrigerator, sink, a few countertops, shelves, and a mini chimney in some cases. It’s more suitable for basic operations. If you want to use electronic appliances, it’ll be a bit difficult in a kitchenette.


Kitchens can be attached to the dining space or kept as a separate room. Since they have enough floor space, some prefer to keep it separate from the rest of the rooms to prevent smoke and fire hazards. In multistoried apartments, kitchens often have an attached balcony for ventilation and fire safety purposes. There’s often an attached storeroom with some spacious kitchens.

On the other hand, kitchenettes come with an open design. They’re attached to the dining space or the rest of the house as a cooking/baking corner, rather than an entire room. Kitchenettes don’t feature a balcony or storeroom. So storage and ventilation become an issue in these congested spaces.


Kitchenettes are hardly customizable. They’re already very compact, even with the minimum amount of features. So if you want to fit in a large refrigerator or another oven, it’ll be very troublesome. Kitchenettes hardly have space for new appliances as well. So with the limited amount of space, you have to approach carefully with a static floor plan. As you cannot customize very often 

Kitchens, however, are more upgradable and customizable. You can try out different cupboards, shelves, and countertops. Add another fridge or a gas burner. More importantly, you can rearrange the components and try different setups. A kitchenette won’t let you do that. 

Cleaning and Management

Comparatively, a kitchenette has fewer floor areas and components. So they’re easier to maintain and clean. This is a big advantage for busy people. You can single-handedly maintain your kitchenette without breaking a sweat. 

Kitchens are a whole different story though. You’ll need multiple hands to manage a kitchen and it takes a long time to properly tidy it up.


So, to sum it all up, kitchens are for family households with a moderate to large floor space. They can be a bit hard to manage, but they’re better equipped. But for a compact and minimal lifestyle, a kitchenette is more suitable. Also, see the Caesarstone kitchenette designs to get some really cool ideas. And consult your agent or planner to adopt the type that goes better with your lifestyle.

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