Ideas for Kitchen Space Savers

Buffet Style
These three small kitchens don't let their size stop them from being storage-packed and style-filled.

Small-Kitchen Smarts

While this kitchen bears impressive high ceilings, it lacks in footprint space. But remodeling the 11x9-foot kitchen using smart design tricks and thoughtful planning transformed the kitchen into a stylish and efficient space. Foregoing costly layout and structural changes kept the budget manageable.

Material & Color Choices

Ebony cabinets match the diagonally laid hardwood floors. Repeating colors gives the space a sense of continuity and provides visual flow. The homeowner used her remodel as a chance to reevaluate her storage. A large kitchen island replaced the old inefficient one and includes plenty of storage. The island top's deep overhang offers a place to tuck stools and plenty of surface area for eating and gathering.

Kitchen Cabinetry

Pneumatic door lifts on some of the upper cabinets allow easy access to spices and cooking oils. Including plenty of upper units utilizes the kitchen's vertical space, and the ebony stain plays up the sleek, modern aesthetic.

Visual Connection

Drawing on outdoor surroundings can enhance the room by visually connecting it to adjacent environments. This urban loft overlooks a river, which provided inspiration for the color palette and material choices. The upper cabinets are outfitted with industrial ribbed-glass inserts that mimic the ripples of the water and give the kitchen a light feel.

Kitchen Backsplash with Shimmer

Glass tiles on the backsplash reflect light and keep in step with the kitchen's view-inspired aesthetic. They also complement the kitchen's new quartz-surfacing countertops.

Kitchen Space Savers

Preserving the existing L-shape layout provided more budget to bring the kitchen's style up-to-date, as well as add efficient storage, such as a wine rack and larger island.

Impressive Small Kitchen

This 9x15-foot kitchen is full of space-expanding tricks: Floor-to-ceiling cabinets emphasize the room¿s height; painted a dark beige, the cabinets recede into the walls. Built-in appliances, pale countertops, and sleek open shelves further expand the room visually. Plus, the space impressively accommodates multiple cooks, a laundry area, and a TV.

Finding Space

Trolling for more elbowroom, the homeowner discovered some space squeezed behind the kitchen in a combination laundry room and mudroom with a door to the side yard. Toppling walls and eliminating the laundry area added roughly 5 feet to the kitchen's length and created a new home for the fridge. With the laundry room gone, a stacked washer and dryer hides behind tall doors near the refrigerator.

One-Wall Wonder

Next to the refrigerator, a stainless-steel countertop by the back door offers a perch for a purse and mail, as well as a TV, which is linked to the homeowner's computer system. A wireless keyboard stows in the cabinet below, beside controls for a whole-house music system

Move to the Front

Honed limestone surrounds the apron-front sink. Moving the sink forward left bonus storage space behind the faucet. The main prep area is a generous 4-foot stretch of butcher-block counter to the right of the sink. A trash pullout below the chopping zone catches scraps.

Baking Zone

The range wall offers another prep zone suited for baking. Flour and other baking ingredients nestle in a deep drawer on the left side of the range for easy access.

Style & Storage

Contemporary meets classic as stainless-steel shelves pair with subway tiles. Tins keep spices potent, and sturdy shelves store often used cooking tools.

Custom Look

A broad archway preserves the coziness of the original breakfast room while allowing guests to converse with the cook. In addition to sporting fresh functionality, the kitchen's look received an upgrade that combines classic cottage style with chunky steel hardware and straightedge countertops in limestone and butcher block.

Space-Smart Hub

This kitchen's central location within a busy home needed a little boost. Working within the existing 11x12-foot space, the homeowners added a fresh look and thanks to a small countertop extension, they added a casual eating peninsula. Replacing the old vent hood with an above-the-range microwave-vent unit frees valuable counter space. An inexpensive piece of stock cabinetry installed on its side above the microwave provides a place to conceal the vent pipe and electrical outlet. Painting the dark oak cabinets a fresh white immediately brightens the room. A soothing shade of green on the walls adds subtle color.

White & Cheery

A linen Roman shade trimmed with green ribbon helps maintain privacy from the walking path behind the home, and the trim adds a zing of color to the crisp white space. Stainless-steel appliances replaced the dated and mismatched white and black units. The metal finish on the appliances coordinates with the brushed-nickel faucet and cabinet hardware. A new stainless-steel undermount sink makes cleanup a snap.

Refrigerator Wall

Making the refrigerator wall more appealing required a little creativity using stock cabinets and shelves. A base cabinet topped with an upper cabinet makes a column of useful storage. One large shelf spanning the length of the niche creates a useful space for storing cookbooks and large servingware. The result is a boost of storage real estate, as well as the look of a pricey built-in refrigerator for a lot less.

Perfect Contrast

The existing backsplash was white, but the tile style looked dated and tired and was replaced with a trendy yet timeless white ceramic basket-weave tile, which complements the white painted cabinets and makes the room feel brighter and taller. Black engineered-granite countertops anchor the kitchen and add just the right amount of contrast.

Buffet Style

Extending the countertop an extra 14 inches over the peninsula allowed room for casual seating and linked the snack area with the adjacent buffet. Rearranging the existing cabinets and adding a few stock cabinet pieces created a custom look without the expense of replacing all the cabinets. Three upper cabinets on the breakfast room wall were moved to the floor and joined by an additional cabinet to make a stylish buffet. Floating shelves above add display space.

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