Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Discoveries in a Small Kitchen in NYC

Chris Welsh, the designer, had to deal with this alcove kitchen. he used light colors and maximized the light he had with that one window.

That title kinda sounds like a romance novel possibly involving an interior designer. Oh well, I'm keeping it. As you all know, I have a mini kitchen. Seriously, everything is lined up on one wall and the tiles stretch literally less than a foot until it hits the parkay flooring which indicates the transition to the living room. I thought I'd share a few tips for maximizing your space here.

1: Efficiency. Everything must have a place. I have very little counter space so every little inch is precious. To maximize your cabinets, don't feel bad about stacking things more than you normally would. Get cute canisters, too, for silverware or large spoons and spatulas.

In this kitchen by Chad Eisner featured in House Beautiful, he used seeded glass in many of the cabinets which makes them feel lighter. I love the look of open rack shelves in kitchens but in a practical sense, I don't think it works so this is a great alternative.

This is one of my fave kitchens on the planet. It's small but look how well each space is used. Canisters for utensils, little cook book nooks, and custom cabinets. By Stephanie Stokes

2: Wall space. A good place to store things is on the wall. Use this space for a potrack, a magnetic knife strip, or a bulletin board.

These sleek racks are from Pottery Barn. I have my own little rattan spice rack but these are nice and don't take up a lot of space. HERE.

Living Etc. Vintage canisters and a handy wall mounted pot rack.

3: Junk Drawer=NO. I had to forget about having the all purpose junk drawer (the thought scares me anyway) for anything that didn't have a space. Everything MUST have a home so make a bulletin board like I mentioned above. You can tack up invitations, reminders, lists (yay, lists!) or just notes you like that make your day a little brighter.

Here is a cool DIY bulletin board you can make with old corks and a vintage frame. Plus, it has a kitchen vibe. From
Apartment Therapy HERE.

4: Color. I think you have two options here based on your space. If you have a narrow galley style kitchen you can paint it but make sure everything is the same color. If you have a monochromatic room, it makes it look bigger no matter what color you paint it (almost). I have a one walled kitchen so I painted everything a very pale yellow to bring light into the room.

Living etc. Sunny yellow kitchen. Make sure you don't use the wrong yellow though. Results could be shaky.

5: Mirrors. I don't LOVE mirrors as paneling but I've noticed a few designers using mirrors in kitchens to give the illusion of a bigger room. Here you can see it in the inset on the cabinets or the backsplash as in the one above by Stephanie Stokes


By Jonathan Berger.

You and I can have great kitchens and be gourmet cooks too even if we have small kitchens! If you have a large one, make sure it works and it isn't just a massive waste of space. Thoughts? Do you have any tips from your kitchen you'd like to share?

Alicia B.


Faith Sheridan said...

Alicia, this is a great share. Love all of them and have used mirror or back painted glass to add reflective element.
Just finished a kitchen w/o uppers and customized everything with pullouts. Keeps everything organized and close.

Eclectic said...

What fabulous kitchens! It is true that you don't necessarily need a lot of space, just creative design. Thanks for the inspiration!

home before dark said...

Really great, by that I mean workable, are efficient without unnecessary steps. The Stokes' kitchen is one of my favorites, too. I love mirror in kitchens because it makes it a glam night look and is easy to clean. In my kitchen redo, I am planning to mirror the walls and use a mirrored door (ala barn style) in order to use the space between the studs on the backside as a pantry. When I told my husband this the first time, the eyes rolled back in his head. He now thinks it will be cool. Looking forward to this. He is looking forward to my cooking again!


I so miss my junk drawer, too :-( But that yellow kitchen quickly cheered me up!
In fact, I always say that my little kitchen is practice for when I move to New York. Cheers to vertical storage!

Unknown said...

What a cute idea for a cork board! These kitchens are great. I definitely wish our kitchen had more drawers. We've got plenty of cabinets, but there's something to be said for the accessability of a drawer. Thanks for sharing!

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

Great post! We are just finishing our kitchen reno and it is a very small galley kitchen. We made a HUGE improvement by knocking out the old bulkhead which allowed for taller cabinets - and we went with white cabinets to make the space seem larger. Spiced it up with a black and white tile checkerboard floor, a beadboard ceiling, and a retro striped light fixture to give the white some character. Small spaces are great spaces!

Down Pillow said...

Great photos, as always :) Love the cabinets in the first pic - they're so unique & charming.

Alicia B. Designs said...

Thanks ya'll. I hope I helped and now I'm seeing mirror everywhere in kitchens!

Joseph said...

Wow, you really have some slick ideas here. The first one particularly would drive me nuts--because I'm six feet tall!--but it's a wonderful solution to a huge problem. I'm a cabinetmaker who is always surfing the Internet looking for new ideas, because when I do our kitchen, I do NOT want to do the same thing everyone else does. And, to make it even more of a challenge, our kitchen is very small, and we are not going to remodel the house to add to the space. At the moment I have no idea at all what I will do, but one fine day I hope to have a finished kitchen and lots of pictures to splash all over the Internet. In the meantime, ideas like the ones you've presented here help me a lot. And I thank you for sharing them with us.