Ways to Make a Small Space Kitchen Work

small space kitchen Ways to Make a Small Space Kitchen Work
Being a designer, I am always so intrigued by kitchens and baths when I am traveling or visiting homes. On my latest Manhattan vacation, I was lucky enough to stay with friends in their beautiful Upper East Side condo, where their kitchen served great function in the space allowed.
Now, here in Metro Detroit and probably most US areas, we strive for a huge kitchen space. While a large kitchen with an island can serve as a wow factor, sometimes it’s fun and important to see the details in the smaller spaces.
When designing and working in a small space every inch is significant; size, space, storage, function, and of course, a pleasing design. Often designing a smaller space can prove the most difficult so I always appreciate a small design that works so well.


In this privately owned condo, the cabinetry extends up to the ceiling making most of their vertical storage which is a must in small spaces. The glossy black granite on the countertops and flooring make a nice uniform appeal and the reflective effect it has within the kitchen actually makes the space open up and appear larger.
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The main focal point to me is the beautiful DCS range. She is lovely and you can certainly cook anything from frying an egg, bake a cake, roast a turkey or stir fry. The microwave hood above suits in saving countertop space by lifting it up.
I would suggest that if you place a microwave hood to carefully watch what cooking range goes underneath. This DCS is probably a bit too powerful to be underneath a microwave, IF you feel the inner chef come out and start using 3-4 burners at once. For the typical at home cook, it works OK. My symmetrical eye would have preferred to have the microwave centered over the range.
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Keeping everything in scale is important as well, for a great design. Choose ranges, refrigerators, etc that fit within your space and balance that with cabinetry for storage. What good would a 48″ wide refrigerator do you, if you have no countertop space?
In this design, the kitchen boasts beautiful, sleek appliances that fit perfectly in the space. Ideally I don’t want appliances next to each other but when there is limited length on wall space, it is OK, seen here; range next to dishwasher, next to sink cabinet.
Opposite side of sink/range wall is the refrigerator and pantry area. The refrigerator size is perfect for space but if I had designed this kitchen, I would have suggested two changes for this appliance; choose a true built-in refrigerator and choose a French door style. French doors (two butting doors) allow for smaller door swing and in a galley kitchen design, having one large refrigerator door swing open, hinders anyone from walking behind you.
A great design element they do have on this wall is the countertop next to the refrigerator. This allows for extra prep space, a landing spot for groceries, a serving buffet area as it opens to the dining room/living room space. By having their space open into other larger rooms it draws the eye out, again, making the space appear to stretch out.
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Another beautiful note in this kitchen design is the use of neutral tones seen in the stainless steel appliances, and the white cabinetry. My friends chose their own backsplash which offers a calming sea color tone in the glass tile application.
When living in a bustling city, it’s a lovely idea to keep colors calm, tranquil and peaceful for when you come home to exhale. I just loved the tile color and how its chic palette tied in their other elements.
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This was one kitchen that I felt worked perfectly in their space and their spectacular views of the city would make eating in, all the better!

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Timothy Dahl

Founder/EIC at Charles & Hudson
Timothy’s background includes stints at This Old House, ELLE DECOR, Metropolitan Home and Woman’s Day. His work has been published on Wired Design, Bob Vila, DIY Network, The Family Handyman and Popular Mechanics and he has been featured on the Martha Stewart radio show and as a speaker at the ALT Design Summit, K/BIS and the National Hardware Show.
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