Savvy Small Kitchens
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Kitchen Dining Room
Decorate with Blue | Mix Materials- (Like everything but the chairs)- Blue and gray tones tie together the mix of metals and natural wood in this kitchen. Paint: Eider White (SW7014) by Sherwin-Williams; sherwin-williams.com. Cabinetry and blue wall paint: Stratton Blue (HC-142) by Benjamin Moore; benjaminmoore.com.
Mirrors Work Magic- A mirrored backsplash in this shabby-chic Manhattan apartment gives the illusion of more space. "The kitchen opens up to the living room on one side and the family room, where we eat and watch TV, on the other," says designer Faye Cone. "The idea was that it should be an extension of both these spaces."
French Fantasy Kitchen- This St. Louis house, a tiny 900 square feet, is a take on the Norman château; the galley kitchen is an example of big things that can be done with a little space. The diamond shapes & tones of golden parchment and golden taupe are adapted from an antique Gustavian sideboard. "The details are what it's all about. That's the fun part, because that's where the beauty lies. There are so many little things you can do to up the ante," says project designer Chris Welsh.
Small and Simple in California- This California bungalow keeps it simple, and so does its modest kitchen. The kitchen is really set up primarily for entertaining, with that big table as the buffet. "Then we found that table. It had been used by an artist and came with lots of scars, which is why no one ever has to worry about staining or cutting it. The built-in millwork and the surrounding cabinets are the same dark color we used throughout the house."
Small Texas Kitchen- "The kitchen is only about 16 x 16," designer Craig Schumacher says of the house he shares with partner Philip Kirk. They avoided an extensive kitchen remodel by painting existing cabinets & installing inexpensive black and white tile on counters and backsplashes. An extensive ironstone collection overflows from shelves to walls. Vintage jurors' chairs were picked up at assorted flea markets and antiques shops and stained ebony. The range is Jenn-Air.
Little Kitchen in Napa Valley- This small kitchen in a Napa Valley ranch cottage has open shelves, instead of upper cabinets, to give it an airy feel. The shelves and countertops are made of galvanized metal and the cabinetry is made from old fencing. Vintage truck springs, used as stools, were found at Artefact Design & Salvage. Designer and owner of the house Ken Fulk spotted the vintage industrial pendant lights at the Paris flea market.
A Truly Tiny Kitchen- This tiny New York City kitchen has a place for everything, says designer Stephanie Stokes. "After designing so many kitchens for other people, I knew exactly what I needed and what I wanted," she says. A mirrored backsplash, an electric cooktop that doubles as countertop, and simple cabinetry help give the illusion of grandeur.
Ina Garten's Kitchen- "Let's just say that when I bought this apartment, I told my husband we could just fix the kitchen, paint it white, & move in," she says. My architect Richard Lewis said, total gut job. We did a really streamlined kitchen with a cooktop, & huge drawers. A dishwasher, a refrigerator, & a Sub-Zero freezer are tucked beneath the countertop, made of a Belgian stone. The goosenecked faucet makes it easy to fill large pots, & polished nickel finish that looks like old silver.
High-Ceilinged Kitchen- Although this Saratoga Springs kitchen isn't big, it has a 10-foot ceiling. Designer Nancy Boszhardt thought it would be cozier with a "strong" ceiling that would minimize its verticality. Instead of using bead board, as she did in the rest of the house, she left the boards open and added old-fashioned fixtures.
Remember Your Favorite Things- A fondness for Italy influenced the color scheme and overall ambience. Reminders of the couple's Italian travels abound, especially in this part of the butler's pantry, which displays bottles of wine, a collection of corks, Italian dishware, and a painting from Tuscany. "Since wonderful food was certainly a part of those experiences, it seemed only natural to create an environment that inspired us in our culinary adventures," Christa says.
It's Okay to Mix & Match- The unfitted look includes a black cabinet for the refrigerator, a butcher-block table, and a built-in china cabinet original to the home. "I think it is important to have fun and mix it up," Christa says, "and not be afraid to do what you love rather than design what may appeal to a future buyer."
Count on Several Cooks- Though the compact layout is easy for one cook to navigate, others can help, thanks to well-spaced counters and appliances. "I love cooking in this kitchen," Christa says. "Everything is within five steps so it is very efficient. We have also had multiple cooks at work with no difficulty."
Claim Neighboring Space- Once a breakfast nook, a small area between the kitchen and dining room now serves as a butler's pantry. Christa and Kent treat it as their beverage bar, using the U-shape, sink-equipped prep and serving area to dole out anything from morning coffee and afternoon tea to evening wine and cocktails for parties. Christa says the little space is a big draw when company comes.
Add Punch with Color- Gold walls, parchment-color moldings, and a backsplash of beige subway tiles work with the marble counters and the contrasting painted-wood cabinetry finishes to create and earthy palette that is mostly subdued. Yet the scheme is punctuated by the boldness of black and energized by the play of patterns, such as the hypnotic design on the tile harlequin between the cooktop and hood. Open storage for pots and pans keeps the kitchen from looking crowded by cabinetry.
Be Satisfied with Small- Designer Christa Lineberger and her husband, architect Kent Lineberger, celebrate the smallness of their kitchen rather than denigrate it. Their update to the space preserves the kind of step-saving efficiency that eases cooking and the charming intimacy that suits their 1930s cottage-style home. "It certainly presents challenges to the proper function and adequate storage. The smaller space can reveal a more efficient design solution than a larger space allows."