Five Tips for Small Kitchens

What was once essentially a blank slate, this small kitchen received a dramatic transformation, full of design and remodeling lessons you can use in your own small space.


Without an appliance in sight, this small kitchen consisted of subfloors, a sink, and a few cupboards. Turning it into a working, stylish kitchen took vision and smart thinking.

Small-Kitchen Lesson No. 1: Borrow Space

The refrigerator in this makeover found a home inside a former closet. Recessing the appliance improves traffic flow.

Small-Kitchen Lesson No. 2: Be Storage-Smart

A pot rack, a wall-mount knife holder, and deep cabinet drawers make efficient use of limited storage space. Prioritize your kitchen gear and what you need to store in your kitchen. Keep the essential, everyday items close at hand, and relocate extras to an adjacent pantry or employ a freestanding storage unit, such as an armoire, in a nearby dining room or mudroom to help bear the storage load.

Small-Kitchen Lesson No. 3: Lighten the Look

Skipping upper cabinets in favor of shelves and new windows frees visual space and prevents the narrow space from feeling cramped.

Small-Kitchen Lesson No. 4: Configure Correctly

During the planning phase of a remodel, think about how you use the space, and plan accordingly. The layout is an important part of the overall design because it effects how you use the kitchen. Reconfiguring an existing layout might require extra money, but weigh the benefits with the costs. Spending a little more now to improve a layout will be worth it when your kitchen is done and you're no longer bumping into someone at the sink while you're cooking at the range. In this kitchen, the sink sat along the range wall and was moved to its current location, creating a cleanup zone along one wall and leaving the range wall strictly for prep. The range is also a step away from the refrigerator, which makes retrieving cooking ingredients easy.

Small-Kitchen Lesson No. 5: Be Consistent

Maintaining a color palette and theme from the kitchen to adjacent spaces will create visual continuity, which is a smart design move for any size of space, but helps small spaces feel polished and united. The eating area in this kitchen carries the same espresso, white, and yellow color palette from the work core of the kitchen, as well as the same modern-meets-natural aesthetic.

Style Points: About This Kitchen

Natural materials mix with modern lines to give this kitchen its style personality. Reclaimed hardwood flooring and a new back door warm up the kitchen, while espresso-stained cabinets and concrete countertops add substance. White walls and subway tiles contribute a clean look. The flowing lined pattern of the curtains adds an organic touch to the straight, geometric lines of the shelves, tile pattern, and counter profile.

 


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