Without gaining a single square foot, this kitchen was transformed thanks to an innovative remodeling job. The original L-shape layout in the 12x12-foot space was simply inefficient. Designer Mary Jane Pappas reconfigured the layout into a U shape within the same space, yielding counter space on three walls instead of two.
To make way for additional counter space, Pappas removed a corner banquette and widened the doorway to the dining room, making the dining room feel like an extension of the kitchen. Although the banquette provided a place to gather and eat, it wasn't functional for much else -- in a tight space, every element has to pull its weight, and a new hardworking counter-height bar does just that. It's a breakfast counter, prep area, buffet, and gathering spot all in one.
A new corner cabinet stands where the banquette had been. The angled unit adds another opportunity for storage without blocking the walkway around the breakfast bar.
The kitchen remodel introduced a handsome suite of storage upgrades. An open shelf above the sink displays servingware and kitchen collectibles. A small TV on a mounting bracket is tucked into a corner under an upper cabinet; it can be positioned to be viewable from almost any angle in the kitchen. Running cabinets to the ceiling made it possible to replace one kitchen window with two without sacrificing storage space.
An all-in-one range isn't always the most efficient option. Configured correctly, a separate cooktop and oven can be functional while making way for more counter space and storage. The cooktop in this kitchen has five burners and is wider than a typical all-in-one range. A standard-size oven in the adjacent cabinetry on the left leaves plenty of space for storage beneath the expansive cooktop.