Contemporary Galley Kitchen Makeover

Design a Modern Kitchen
Galley floor plan. Dim lighting. Maroon cabinets. What's a gal to do? Team up and get to work.

Girl Power

With the help of an inspired and creative contractor, the homeowner made big changes in her home's tiny kitchen.

DIY Tip: Ditch the single overhead light fixture in favor of pendants, track lighting, and task lamps. Use a mirror to bounce light around dark spaces.

The Problem

When the homeowner first laid eyes on her home, she fell in love with every room -- except the small kitchen. For less than $4,500, she now has a modern kitchen equally suited for hosting dinner parties and cozying up with her morning coffee.

The Solution: Tops on the homeowner's wish list: a fresh palette, a pretty window seat, and better lighting. She could live with existing neutral floor and countertops, so they stayed, freeing funds for more dramatic changes, such as tiled walls and an expanded entryway.

Stage 1: Dark & Dim

Bland walls and maroon cabinets fall short in the style department. But a bold streak of blue forecasts a bright future for this kitchen.

Stage 2: Perfect Palette

A new tile backsplash connects deep charcoal lower cabinets with crisp white uppers. The updated window seat adds needed storage.

Stage 3: True Blue

At first, the homeowner wondered if this hue was too much for a small room. When she saw the finished space, however, she knew it was a good choice.

Window Perch

The homeowner stuck to a strict black-and-white fabric palette, allowing these patterns to play nicely together. Long before the redo process began, she bought fabric from tag sales and discount stores, which saved big bucks for her budget.

DIY Tip: When it comes to curtains and pillows, think outside the bolt. Expand your search to bedsheets, designer remnants, and tea towels. Hem edges with wide ribbon.

Prep Area

Heavy cabinets above the stove made the kitchen feel claustrophobic, so they were removed and replaced with chic glass shelves. The new setup shows off the homeowner's bright kitchenware and grants easy access to essentials.

DIY Tip: Your local hardware store will cut the shelves to size. After they're attached, the glass disappears against the wall, making your collections pop.

Tile Tricks

The homeowner picked up inexpensive white subway tile at a home improvement center. Placing it an angle bolsters the kitchen's contemporary vibe.

Create a modern kitchen with clean lines and minimalist decor. The look isn't cold, it's simple and beautiful.

Elements of Modern Design

Discover how to create a modern kitchen in your home with these easy tips.

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