9 Ways We Made The Most Of Our Small Kitchen

9 Ways We Made The Most Of Our Small Kitchen

“We simply couldn’t work out why you weren’t tearing out the kitchen.”

That’s what one among our contractor’s guys stated to us proper as we moved in final 12 months. I understood his confusion. We had been redoing flooring, transferring doorways, vaulting ceilings, and so on – however we left the small outdated kitchen comparatively untouched – full with mauve laminate counter tops. You may see what I imply in this put up.

However to know us is to know that we strongly favor to reside with an expensive-to-renovate room like a kitchen first, simply so we don’t rush into spending main cash on large everlasting modifications that we would later remorse or want that we thought by somewhat longer. So we spent the final 16 months debating varied large concepts for this room, all whereas peppering in some easy smaller updates to get a really feel for the way they assist enhance the house and what we would need for our extra long-term plan.

Closer View Of Beachy Kitchen From Sitting Area With Dining Table And Built In Pantry

table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

Over the previous 16 months, we debated including extra cabinetry in varied spots, later realized that we had an opportunity so as to add a pleasant large pantry with a built-in fridge on your complete stair wall (extra on that in a second), and likewise debated closing off a window – or a minimum of half of it – to accommodate a rest room off of our bed room… that we later realized can be a lot smarter in a totally completely different place (extra on that right here).

Not solely did we land on a higher spot for our ensuite rest room, we now have a a lot better concept for that facet kitchen window and the porch that it overlooks – so we’re sharing that in a while on this put up too. In brief: sixteen months of slowly including in a bunch of cheap updates (portray the cupboards, including new {hardware}, hanging some cabinets and artwork, rearranging the desk and sitting space till they felt proper, and so on) gave us loads of time to visualise varied issues and make the kitchen extra environment friendly and practical for us – all whereas permitting us to avoid wasting up for a number of of the extra main long-term updates.

We’ll get into our large plans on this put up (as a result of the excellent news is that we predict we’re getting ready to confidently making some greater, extra everlasting renovations to the house!) – however I additionally wish to take you thru a number of the current updates which have helped us benefit from our modestly sized kitchen… a lot of which we haven’t even proven you but right here on the weblog. However first…

A Fast Video Tour

Let’s kick issues off with a video of your complete house. A bit of walk-about feels a lot extra such as you’re within the house than 1,000 images, so click on play (no have to have sound on, there’s no narration) to get a a lot better concept of how the entire room seems & feels:

Observe: You may as well watch this video on YouTube.

Okay, and now let’s get into the 9 updates that we’ve slowly labored in over the previous few months.

Including A Constructed-In Pantry

The largest enchancment we’ve made recently is including a built-in floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard that created SO MUCH STORAGE that we didn’t have earlier than. Beforehand we solely had 7 kitchen cupboards (right here’s how we organized them) which is why we relied so closely on some freestanding Ikea Fjalkinge shelves to carry all of our meals, serving ware, and even instruments.

It labored properly sufficient within the brief time period, however we needed one thing deeper and rather more practical for the lengthy haul. So over the summer season, we ordered two large Ikea cupboards – one tall pantry cupboard and one over-the-fridge cupboard – and a few facet panel items to make it occur. Working with Ikea cupboards is outdated hat for us by now, however you possibly can learn our suggestions and tips for putting in them should you’re new to it.

Ikea Kitchen Pantry In Progress With Frame Built And Doors Still Off

When you construct all of them in, they appear actually crisp and polished – they usually include all kinds of inserts and choices (for instance, the pantry cupboard might have cupboards or drawers on the underside, and so on. We determined to maintain this space of cabinetry easy (flat fronted and white) slightly than portray them mauve to match the opposite cupboards since they go all the best way to the ceiling and we thought that facet of the room would possibly really feel heavy and out of steadiness with the remainder of the room. However we did set up these matching knobs to tie them to the prevailing kitchen (right here’s the right way to shortly set up new {hardware}).

Not solely was it a giant aesthetic enchancment (particularly having the fridge in-built!) it was a HUGE practical enchancment that earned us tons of additional storage. Virtually greater than we knew what to do with! We even ran an extension twine to place our microwave in there and get it off our counter (bear in mind to go away your pantry door open for air flow when it’s working should you retailer yours in a closed cupboard or “equipment storage”).

Ikea Kitchen Built-In Pantry With Doors Open to Show Shelf Organization With Baskets

storage bins | microwave | hardware

There’s not a lot magic to the group in right here. Sherry simply used some storage baskets that we already needed to wrangle classes of issues like: baking stuff, chips, snack luggage, nutritional vitamins, and so on. We use the highest for much less accessed stuff, like our s’mores provide caddy, and “backstock” meals, like additional cereal. We additionally crammed the within of the doorways with favourite household images (a lot of which we had taped up in our outdated mudroom cupboards at our final home). I promise they’re much less blurry in actual life 😉

Close Up Shot Of Pantry Shelves With Baskets And Microwave

We selected the Ikea pantry cupboard that had drawers on the underside as a result of we love having drawers on a decrease cupboard. It capabilities equally to the freestanding Fjalkinge items the place we used to retailer our meals, however these drawers are deeper and taller. I can’t underscore how rather more storage we now have now that we’ve added this (don’t neglect the large cupboard over the fridge that we gained too!).

Ikea Built-In Pantry With Lower Drawers Open to Show Walking Space

Including this pantry cupboard additionally allowed us so as to add one different little bit of comfort and performance too…

Wall-Mounting A Spice Rack

Beforehand all of our spices had been in one of many Fjalkinge shelving units, a number of steps from the range and cooking space the place we would have liked them most. Ideally, they might’ve been within the skinny drawer proper subsequent to the range, however alas, it was too slim to suit greater than 3 or 4 spice jars without delay.

So we ordered this wall-mounted spice rack and secured it to the facet of the pantry (it’s magnetic so it could stick proper to the facet of a fridge, however it additionally comes with screws to hold it when you have a facet panel like ours). We additionally ordered a set of matching spice jars (that include pages of simple-looking labels) and now all the pieces is correct inside attain of the range and requires zero fishing round in a drawer.

You may see it additionally holds a roll of paper towels, in order that was one other factor we had been in a position to get off the countertop. Between that and the microwave being gone, we felt like we gained plenty of house up there!

Beefing Up The Floating Cabinets

The following couple of enhancements are extra visible than practical, however had been nonetheless actually useful in making the room really feel prefer it’s inching nearer to the ultimate end result that we’re going for. The unique “floating” wooden cabinets had been a fast and soiled DIY that we did shortly after we moved in with wooden leftover from our laundry closet shelving. We had all the time deliberate to switch them with somebody extra everlasting, it simply took us over a 12 months to take action!

The new shelves are from Pottery Barn they usually’re good & chunky, and really floating (in contrast to the outdated ones that had been held up by some brackets that we strategically obscured by the gadgets on the cabinets). We lucked out that these cabinets got here premade in each 48″ and 36″ lengths, because the window isn’t centered on that wall.

Straight View Of Beach Kitchen With Pink Mauve Cabinets And Floating Shelves

table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | hardware | water filter

They’re deep and durable sufficient to carry our largest plates, so they stunning a lot checked each field we had for them. They had been additionally tremendous simple to put in. 5 stars. Extremely suggest. Undecided why we waited so lengthy to make the change.

Mauve Painted Kitchen Cabinets With View Through Window And Open Shelves

sconces | floating shelves | hardware | table | chairs | wall shelf | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

And proper above the cabinets, you possibly can see our different “visible” enchancment

Hanging Wall-Mounted Sconces

We’ve all the time needed some sconces above the floating cabinets however we weren’t trying ahead to the difficulty of an electrician tearing up the partitions – particularly if we’re not doing a full-fledged reno but (we now have 8 ceiling lights on this room, so we’re not precisely hurting for illumination). So we determined to hold some ornamental sconces (sure, they’re purely ornamental at this level – as a result of they’re actually sans wiring) simply to verify we preferred the look & placement earlier than getting them hardwired (which we’ll doubtless do after we add the backsplash).

Beachy Kitchen With Mauve Pink Cabinets And Wood Floating Shelves With Mid Century Modern Lights

We used the mid-century sconces we designed within the brass + white combo to tie in the entire brass and white components all through our home. We simply screwed the included mounting brace proper into the drywall, since there’s no fixture field there at the moment. The wires are nonetheless properly capped and tied up inside, so we are able to get them wired ultimately, however for now they’re serving to us work out the place/if we wish one thing everlasting there in the long term.

Additionally, if we ever wish to really “flip them on,” we purchased these rechargeable battery-powered light bulbs that activate as quickly as you screw them in – no wiring wanted in any respect. They’re designed as a back-up mild supply in case of an influence outage, however they work properly on this utility too!

Hiding Ugly Stuff Outdoors With A Window Field

We’re spoiled with plenty of fairly views in our home, however this view out the window above the sink in all probability ranks on the backside of the checklist. Other than our rest room window (which is frosted), this one is fortunately the one one that appears instantly into the fence…

Closer View Of Beachy Kitchen From Sitting Area With Dining Table And Built In Pantry

table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

… and we made the view even worse when our pool was being put in as a result of the one place the pool tools could possibly be positioned was proper exterior this window. Our generator, A/C unit, and fuel meter are already on the market, so it was a pure place for all of the ugly issues to congregate. It simply didn’t make the view whereas doing dishes any higher. So, like we’ve executed earlier than right here and right here, we improved the view with vegetation.

View Through Kitchen Window With Window Box And Tropical Plants

We simply hung a window field exterior and crammed it with foxtail ferns and inchplants (they’re the purple ones), which totally block the underside few inches of the window, which is the place we might see all that ugly tools again there on the bottom. When doubtful… put a plant on it. Or twenty.

Eradicating The Backsplash

Earlier than you suppose “why would you ever take away a backsplash” or “wait, what backsplash?” let me make clear – I’m speaking in regards to the 4′ piece of matching laminate that prolonged up from the again of the counter tops. You may see it within the photograph under, together with the outdated cabinets.

You in all probability don’t even discover it a lot in these images, however having it out makes the kitchen really feel somewhat extra streamlined and fashionable (and it’s not like we didn’t have range splatters always hitting above that tiny “backsplash” anyway – we simply wipe down the wall they usually come proper off. As for the way we bought the backsplash out, Sherry simply smiled at me once I walked out the door to run errands after which pried it off and patched/smoothed/painted the drywall behind it whereas I used to be gone. She loves a giant reveal like that. Our eventual plans are to tile this complete again wall to the ceiling, so now we’re one step nearer. Additionally I really like a undertaking that magically occurs once I’m gone.

Beachy Kitchen With Mauve Pink Cabinets And Wood Floating Shelves With Mid Century Modern Lights

Eradicating it did depart a small hole behind the counter tops, however we predict we’ll simply seize a small piece of trim and paint it to match the counters and shove it again there. It’s not large enough to lose meals or spoons in it or something (and it’ll ultimately be crammed by an actual tile backsplash at which level we’ll additionally get new counters) however simply so we don’t have a bizarre little crumb valley, the wooden trim piece might be a pleasant (literal) stopgap.

Making Plans For A Door

As I stated, all of those upgrades and tweaks are inching us nearer to creating some greater, extra everlasting modifications to this house. One in every of which is changing this facet window with a door. I do know, you didn’t see that coming. We didn’t both till we lived right here for some time!

Mauve Painted Kitchen Cabinets With View Through Window And Open Shelves

table | chairs | sconces | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

That is a type of modifications we by no means would’ve thought of off the bat (particularly as a result of we initially deliberate so as to add a rest room that hooked up to our bed room in that spot – extra on why that plan modified right here). Proper exterior that window is a coated facet porch that we realized over time can be SO NICE to have entry to from the kitchen.

  • It could give us a direct entrance to the kitchen for unloading groceries (our most well-liked parking house is correct on the market so it could be rather more environment friendly than our longer present route).
  • With higher entry to that porch, we’d lastly have a handy spot for a grill that we might use proper off of the kitchen (we didn’t desire a grill on our entrance porch, however love the thought of 1 on a hidden facet porch).
  • It could let much more mild into the kitchen.
  • It results in a fenced in space the place Burger could be set free (proper now he makes use of the entrance door, which isn’t a fenced space – however this facet porch is throughout the fence that encirles our hearth pit space as properly)
  • Talking of which, we’d have a door that results in our hearth pit as a substitute of all the time utilizing the doorways in our bed room – which feels good for after we entertain and don’t need everybody to need to traipse by our room (one other approach to get to it’s to stroll out our entrance door, stroll left for some time exterior, and undergo the fence to enter it, however this might be rather more direct).

Sherry has whipped up somewhat Photoshop motion to point out you what we imply. Flawless, no?

Photoshop Rendering Of Doorway In Place Of Mauve Cabinets And One Window

The one draw back to the plan is that we lose about 18″ of cupboard house (after we issue within the house that we achieve within the nook, which is at the moment blocked by the cabs that run alongside the wall the place the door will go). See that house to the best of the dishwasher? That’ll develop into a freed up good extensive decrease cupboard with a drawer above it (26″ extensive)- so we achieve that. However we lose the little peninsula of cupboards that’s at the moment blocking it, which is 44″ extensive (therefore my calculation that we lose 18″ total).

Straight View Of Beach Kitchen With Pink Mauve Cabinets And Floating Shelves

table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

We weighed the professionals and cons and have determined it’s nonetheless value going for it – particularly as a result of we gained a lot storage after we added our pantry cupboard. And to try it out, we’ve simply stopped utilizing that complete run of cabinetry for the final a number of weeks to verify can do with out them (simply emptied them out and stated: “we’ll see how this goes”). To date, it feels completely superb to lose them perpetually so as to achieve all of the bulleted execs that we listed above. Once more, that’s why we like to reside with issues earlier than making any large choices. Observe: it actually could be argued that extra cabinetry is healthier for resale than including a door, however we’re making this transformation as a result of it really works higher for our household (in different phrases: resale shmesale).

Maintaining Extra Shelf Storage

After transferring the Fjalkinge cabinets, we realized we nonetheless beloved having our bowls and cups and glasses on the wall by the eating desk. Enter this CB2 ladder shelf, stage proper (we simply took off the underside two cabinets and it nests proper in with our similarly glossy white table like they had been all the time meant to be collectively).

Vertical View Of Walking Space To Beachy Kitchen With Wood Furniture And Mauve Cabinets

coffee table | rug | table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

This shelf had been upstairs, however it was displaced by the 2 Fjalkinge bookcases that we moved up there (which appear to be they had been all the time meant to reside up there). Right here’s the place Sherry would clap her palms and say “Store. Your. Home. And. Strive. New. Preparations. What’s the worst that might occur?!”

chandelier | bookshelves | desk | desk chair | sofa | similar rug

The peak of the shelf is sweet because it balances the peak of the home windows (and the longer term door!) and since we now have some artwork hanging within the sitting space and above the kitchen cabinets, it’s good to have a show spot/practical storage right here versus simply one other framed piece of artwork.

White CB2 Breakfast Table Against White Wall Shelf With Bowls And Cups

Sherry’s fast shelf-styling tip is so as to add somewhat plant or some artwork if issues look too sterile – and a tray might help include like gadgets and make them really feel much less jumbled (all of our white mugs get stacked in ours).

Detail View Of CB2 Floating Ladder Bookcase With Kitchenware On It

Whereas we’re right here, let’s hold spinning across the room and discuss our sitting space that’s adjoining to the kitchen.

Superb-Tuning The Sitting Space

That is has been one of many hardest areas to determine for us in the home because it wanted to do rather a lot in somewhat space. Again in January, we confirmed you the way we maximized it with a comfortable loveseat, some cozy chairs, and a hardworking storage coffee table.

Beach Kitchen Seating Area With Loveseat Chairs And Painting

table | chairs | wall shelf | floor lamp | chairs | coffee table | loveseat | pillow

All of these components are nonetheless the identical, however they’ve gotten a bit extra respiration room now that the large Fjalkinge cabinets are upstairs. We had some neighbors over just lately and that is the place the 4 of us frolicked all night time whereas the children performed upstairs. I do know it could look somewhat tight in photos, however in particular person it’s completely cozy (I feel the video does a greater job of displaying you the way this room feels in actual life – so attempt to watch that should you haven’t but).

View Of Kitchen Sitting Area With Door And Window Out To Front Yard

chairs | coffee table | loveseat | pillows | rug

The principle factor we’ve modified is that I constructed a custom-sized four-cube cubby proper subsequent to the door that completely suits towards the facet of the loveseat’s armrest and provides us a spot to retailer our on a regular basis footwear and plenty of the opposite stuff we seize on the best way out the door (like facemasks, sunscreen, an umbrella, and so on).

So it really works remarkably properly as a “lobby” of kinds, since we’ve bought footwear within the cubby and jackets & backpacks held on the again of the laundry closet’s double-doors (you possibly can see the within of our laundry closet right here – though that was earlier than the children had been again at school, so now simply image jackets & backpacks on the inside door hooks).

Entry Zone Of Kitchen With Sitting Area And Breakfast Table

chairs | coffee table | loveseat | pillows | rug

It feels prefer it took us some time to determine the move on this room (I feel there have been one thing like 10+ furnishings preparations on this entrance sitting space earlier than we figured issues out), however we’re actually pleasantly stunned by how properly it really works. I even let Sherry have a “advised you so” second just lately as a result of I had my doubts throughout a few of our earlier structure makes an attempt, however we hang around right here each morning with the children earlier than college and use it anytime associates drop in and even for studying on lazy weekends. It felt like we’d by no means have a cushty seating space on this spot, and now it will get extra use than the sofa upstairs! #nevergiveup

View Towards Stairs And Back Hallway Of House With Lots Of Plants And Frames

coffee table | rug | small table in hallway | cabinet hardware

A Few Fast Earlier than & Afters

That is the kitchen because it regarded after we purchased our home:

And right here we at the moment are:

Closer View Of Beachy Kitchen From Sitting Area With Dining Table And Built In Pantry

table | chairs | sconces | pendant | floating shelves | wall shelf | hardware | cupboard coloration: SW Artsy Pink

Going through the opposite approach, right here is the earlier than:

And now:

View Towards Sitting Area With White Modern Dining Table And Wood Chairs

chairs | coffee table | loveseat | pillows | rug

In order that’s the present state of our kitchen. Functionally it really works very well for us and the structure is lastly beginning to “click on” for us too. That’s why we really feel like we’re lastly getting nearer to creating some extra dramatic modifications, like including that new door and upgrading that again wall of cupboards, getting new counters, and including that backsplash to the ceiling. I can’t even inform you how a lot we’re trying ahead to a sink that’s greater than 5″ deep. That’s going to be the icing on the cake.

We’ve even ordered some pattern backsplash tiles and labored out the brand new cupboards we wish to order. Undecided about counters but, however one factor we’re sure of is an excellent deep stainless single bowl sink (after MANY kitchen renos, it’ll simply all the time be our favourite). I feel your complete “actual reno” stage of this kitchen might be round 5K complete (together with the brand new door to the facet porch, new cupboards, new counters, a brand new sink and tap, and a full wall of backsplash tile) in order that’s one different perk to the gradual evolution in the direction of a completed product… and a smaller kitchen with out tons of recent cupboards to need to buy!

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