Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Small Kitchen That Works

She loved her 1920s bungalow, but the poorly configured appliances and limited work areas caused her to cook most of her dinners in the microwave. By applying small-space solutions and choosing products that matched her budget, she gained all the ingredients of a successful kitchen makeover—and the seamless cottage style is like the sweet icing on the cake.

What She Did
THE CHALLENGE: The kitchen in this home was outdated and far less than functional. The homeowner had only 2 feet of countertop space and inadequate cabinetry.

THE SOLUTION: Moving the water heater from the kitchen to the attic freed up room for a pantry. The homeowner added floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and an extra workstation, gaining much more drawer and countertop space. She purchased new appliances, including a built-in dishwasher to replace the old portable model. Beaded-board paneling, wide trim and moulding, a farmhouse sink, seeded-glass cabinetry door fronts, and wooden countertops all contribute to the kitchen’s updated cottage style.

1 The farmhouse sink was a must-have splurge item for the homeowner, who wanted to retain the vintage charm of her cottage. The complementary
stainless faucet is simple and practical.

2 This freestanding range and a microwave/hood combination, both in a stainless-look finish, were placed together vertically for a more efficient food-preparation area.

1 Easy-to-use cup pulls on the cabinet drawers feature a streamlined shape and convey a vintage look.

2 The wooden butcher-block countertops have a penetrating oil finish. They require special maintenance, such as reapplying oil, but the longevity and beauty are well worth it.

3 An island wasn’t possible in this small kitchen, but a cabinetry workstation providing countertop space plus storage for cookware fulfills the same purpose. The cabinets’ smoky-blue glaze adds a splash of color in the otherwise white kitchen.

4 Seeded-glass cabinetry door fronts impart the feel of a country cottage. Open shelving helps the room seem casual and inviting.

Small-Space Strategies
  • Go vertical. Extend the cabinets up to the ceiling or crown moulding to use all available space.
  • Organize. Choose cabinets and drawers that offer organizational inserts, or add inserts to your existing cabinetry.
  • Consider the use. Think about what you use daily versus infrequently. Open shelving and clear-glass cabinetry door fronts make it easy to see everyday dishware. Upper cabinets are perfect for special china or rarely used appliances.
  • Color counts. While kitchens are all about function, choosing white or a light paint color makes a small space feel airier and larger.
  • Appliance options. This homeowner chose full-size appliances, but there are options for smaller, hardworking refrigerators or ranges.

1 A beverage cabinet above the refrigerator holds wines, ciders, and sodas fit for special occasions.
2 This stainless-look refrigerator has the sleek metal vibe but is less expensive and easier to clean than stainless steel.
3 A water heater once filled this space, which now serves as a pantry. A new, more efficient tankless water heater was installed in the attic.

How To Manage Your Budget
A kitchen remodel is a wonderful investment, but it also can be a large expense. A few simple guidelines will help you contain your cash flow.
  • Expect the unexpected. Figure out the maximum amount you can afford for your kitchen remodel, and then decrease that amount by 20% to determine your budget. You’ll have padding for the unplanned expenses that almost always occur.
  • Pick and choose. Decide what’s most important to you. Do you want new countertops but like your range? Then opt for the countertops of your choice,such as granite or butcher block, and pass on the new range. Alternately, cabinetry and countertops can siphon the bulk of your budget. If you’re okaywith the look of your kitchen but want the latest culinary technology, then replace all your appliances and simply paint your cabinets.
  • Stick to the plan. You can make small decisions that add up to a big expense. Take a step back before adding new items that weren’t in your original plan.


cabinets (KraftMaid, Whiteplains Square, white, special order)
seeded-glass doors (KraftMaid, Antiquity, special order)
workstation cabinets (KraftMaid, Briarwood Maple, Beaded, Wedgewood Glaze, special order)
hardware (Amerock, satin chrome; cup pulls, #150264†; oval knobs, #17094)
butcher-block countertops (special order††)
backsplash (KraftMaid, beaded-board paneling, white, special order)

refrigerator (Frigidaire, Silver Mist, Model FRS3LR5EM, #247886)
electric range (Frigidaire, Silver Mist, Model FEFL68GM, #7003)
microwave/hood combo (Frigidaire, Silver Mist, Model FMV158FM, #180278)
dishwasher (Frigidaire, Silver Mist, Model FDB1050REM, #226379)
gas tankless water heater (Bosch, AquaStar, Model 1600H, special order)

tile (12-inch-square, Portobello, Ibiza, #121141)
biscuit-colored grout

farmhouse sink (Barclay Products Limited, Fire Clay, Model FS30, white, special order)
faucet (Peerless, Brilliance Stainless, #100363)
garbage disposal (InSinkErator, Evolution SpaceSaver, #240439)

6 recessed lights
4 under-cabinet lights
pendant fixture (1-light, Kichler, antique pewter, #166107)

walls (Valspar Signature Colors, Earth Elements, Swoosh EE2046B, satin)
crown moulding and trim (Valspar Ultra Premium, Anthem White 7006-24, semi-gloss)
ceiling (Valspar Ultra Premium, Anthem White 7006-24, flat)

crown moulding (45/8-inch, primed white)
baseboard and window casing (41/4-inch, primed white)
beaded-board ceiling (3/16-inch, primed white, #29469)

shelf brackets (5- x 8-inch, pine, #64387)
utensil hooks (#58448)
stand mixer (KitchenAid, white, #213829)

* Does not include labor costs or applicable taxes, which vary by market.
** Does not include lead time for special-order materials.
Selection varies by market.
††Availability varies by market.

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