Custom Touches for Small Kitchens

Add beauty and smart function to a small kitchen with these creative features.


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Glass-block backsplash
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Natural Light Backsplash

    A well-lit kitchen feels larger. Here, glass block used as a backsplash brings in an abundance of natural light while retaining privacy.

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Open-Shelf Storage Solution

    Boost storage and display space in a kitchen by capping off a run of cabinets with open shelves. These shelves face the adjoining breakfast room and offer a convenient spot for storing cookbooks. The shelf unit also rises slightly above the counter surface to help hide clutter.

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Over-the-Door Shelf

    Top a passageway between rooms with a wide ledge for display. This long shelf puts a colorful pottery collection on view and draws the eye upward, emphasizing the kitchen's tall ceiling.

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Get Organized with a Kitchen Island

    Island storage needn't be all enclosed. Open shelves and niches on this island provide easy access to items while adding color and metallic shine to the room.

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Kitchen Design Drama

    Bring architectural interest to a small kitchen with a creative treatment at the ceiling. In this kitchen, space above the cabinetry is shaped into a gracefully curved alcove that provides a dramatic backdrop for displaying a tureen.

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Countertop Creativity

    Details give a small kitchen stand-out style. Granite-look laminate countertops are a great start, and this ogee edge treatment adds understated elegance.

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Spice Rack in a Kitchen Cabinet

    Every inch counts when you're creating storage space in a small kitchen. This one-bottle-deep pullout cabinet is just right for storing spices and herbs within the food-preparation zone.

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Drawer Organization

    Designers favor equipping lower kitchen cabinets with drawers because you can see everything in them with one smooth motion. Adding drawer dividers, such as this one for silverware, helps keep items tidy.

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Cutting Board Convenience

    Ensure that a cutting board is always within easy reach by incorporating a pullout version into kitchen cabinetry. For added convenience, store knives in a drawer directly below the cutting board.

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Custom Flair for Kitchen Cabinets

    Create drama in a small kitchen by configuring one section of cabinetry to give it the look of a freestanding hutch. Painting this section a different color and adding a beaded-board backsplash and furniture feet enhances the illusion of a separate piece.

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Declutter with an Appliance Garage

    The less clutter on countertops, the more spacious your kitchen will appear. Create a storage space between upper and lower cabinets by adding doors, and use the cubby for hiding small appliances. Include an electrical outlet at the back of the cabinet for convenience.

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Baskets for Beauty

    Conceal clutter and get organized by using baskets for storing small items out of sight. This one occupies an open shelf in the base of a kitchen island, adding texture and style while serving as functional storage.

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Shelves for Storage and Display

    Open shelves and white cabinetry keep the look airy in this kitchen corner. White and clear-glass dishware creates a pretty display -- and is easily accessible.

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Creative Curves

    A curved cabinet eases the transition from dining area to kitchen. The raised counter hides countertop clutter from adjacent areas.

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Sleek Cabinets

    Inexpensive stock white cabinets mimic pricey European imports while enlarging the look of a small kitchen. Glossy black granite countertops and brushed aluminum pulls boost glamour and style.

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Glass-Front Cabinet Doors

    Because of their partially see-through quality, frosted-glass doors keep wall cabinets from imposing on the sense of space in a small kitchen.

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Extended Viewing

    A false wall behind pantry cabinets nudges the units forward, making a freestanding refrigerator look like an expensive built-in. Beside the fridge, built-in shelves provide easily accessible storage in an almost-hidden niche.

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Ceiling Drama

    Create instant architecture and volume in your small kitchen by opening up the ceiling and exposing beams. Painting everything white creates a clean, spacious feel.

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Wine Rack Storage Ideas

    Replace an enclosed cabinet above the refrigerator with a wine rack. Not into wine? The cubes can hold mineral-water, juice, or other bottles for a splash of color.

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Wire Storage Baskets

    Increase the storage capacity of kitchen cabinets by installing pullout wire organizers. The shelves shown here fit around plumbing beneath the sink, maximizing storage and bringing cabinet contents into the light.

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