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Popular in Kitchens

Before and After Makeover: Small Kitchen Update

Without changing an inch of square footage, this small kitchen was remodeled into an open space that fits multiple cooks.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Small Wonder

      This Seattle kitchen was lacking room to move around, but a smart remodel gave the homeowners the space they needed without losing the historical touches they loved. Designer Brian Parker found several places to squeeze storage into the walls or under the countertop. The result is an open kitchen that has plenty of preparation, cooking, and serving capabilities.

    • U-Shaped Plan

      To get the most from the 13-X-11-foot layout, Parker settled on a U-shaped kitchen. He packed as much as he could into the small space by using both sides of the peninsula and tucking pull-outs into the walls around the kitchen.

    • Undercover Appliances

      An armoire-like built-in hides the refrigerator. Giving the appliances and cabinets matching fronts creates a uniform look throughout the kitchen that makes the space feel larger. Also, the refrigerator sits flush with the wall, another design element that eases the flow of traffic from room to room and around the peninsula.

    • On a Roll

      The previous pantry was a clunky, stacked-shelf closet. Parker replaced the old pantry with a pullout food file that has a recycling bin tucked underneath. The pullout pantry works like a filing cabinet, with each shelf holding a different food category. The shelves are labeled so helpers can easily find ingredients. Having everything visible so the homeowners know when it's time to restock is another benefit of the pantry.

    • Green Touches

      The pullout recycling bin below the pantry holds multiple bins for separating recyclables. Items are out of sight until it's time for curbside pickup.

    • Hidden Treasures

      The homeowners wanted an island, but the small space wouldn't allow it. To fill their need for extra work space, Parker decided on a peninsula. The peninsula features a prep sink on the end and a storage spot underneath for cleaning supplies and a compost pail.

    • Double the Pleasure

      The peninsula has access from both sides. The side facing into the room has undercounter freezer drawers and a cutting board that pulls out from either side. Having multiple access points allows the peninsula to serve double duty as a serving area when entertaining.

    • Energy Saver

      Two freezer drawers in the peninsula equip this spot to be a dessert bar or an extra prep station.

      Tips: Undercounter appliances drawers are any eco-friendly design choice. They save on energy lost from opening the larger refrigerator all the time.

    • Vintage Flair

      A mint-green range and vent hood recall the 1920s Coke bottle color scheme. The linoleum flooring also picks up the scheme. To continue the vintage theme, they designers choose subway tiles for the backsplash.

    • 10 of 17

      Fancy Fixtures

      An apron-front sink and antique-look faucet adds to the kitchen's vintage-feel. Double-hung windows above the sink have leaded-glass sashes. The windows bring in natural light, which is key to making a small space feel more open.

    • 11 of 17

      Detail Oriented

      Even the smallest details have a big impact in tight spaces. The brushed nickel pulls used on all of the cabinet-front appliances accentuate the kitchens vintage-meets-modern scheme.

    • 12 of 17

      All Natural

      Granite countertops are a popular choice for homeowners who like to cook. Natural stone is durable, water-resistant and scorch-proof. The green in this slab compliments the range and flooring colors.

    • 13 of 17

      Breakfast Area

      The homeowners wanted an eating space off the kitchen for enjoying quick meals. Rather than a banquette, they choose a more period-apt hutch. The hutch is made to look like an original built-in and adds another focal point to the space.

    • 14 of 17

      Nice Niche

      The hutch has glass doors for displaying dishes and other elements. Storage in the eating area includes a niche for a vintage rotary-dial phone. The curve of the phone niche mirrors the curve above the doorway leading into the dining room.

    • 15 of 17


      Next to the back door, this built-in miniature mudroom catches mail, messages, and keys. The fold-down bench is a perfect spot to sit and take off or put on shoes. Having a drop-off spot next to the door is essential in the rainy Seattle weather.

    • 16 of 17

      Clever Closet

      Parker turned a space-wasting coat closet into a slender envelope for slippers, boots, rain gear, and jackets. The roll-out shelves hold shoes and keep the homeowners from tracking mud through the house.

    • 17 of 17
      Next Slideshow Small Kitchen Before-and-Afters

      Small Kitchen Before-and-Afters

      These six kitchens all had two things in common: a small footprint and a serious smattering of eyesore features. Savvy remodeling updates and big doses of style yield mighty transformations, all while sticking to small proportions.
      Begin Slideshow »



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