Compact Kitchens

Utilizing smaller spaces
These tips might help make the most of available kitchen space:
If there's room, bring in a chest or small cabinet for a convenient desk area.
To maximize space in a small kitchen, choose white paint, distressed finishes or light wood, such as maple, to keep a small area as open as possible. Minimize countertop accessories to avoid visual clutter. Leave windows uncovered, if possible.
Built-ins sized to specific needs, such as space for a portable television or microwave oven, are a must in a compact kitchen.
For simple freshening up, paint the walls or cabinets for an instant update.
For new countertops and flooring, common choices are laminate, solid-surface material, tile and granite. To stretch your budget, combine two different materials. For example, granite is durable, but granite tile is lower in cost.
Energize a plain tile backsplash and counter with decorative tiles and insets.
Rule of thumb: Darker wood surfaces make a room look cozier, and white and light surfaces make the space seem larger.
For a clean, unified look, pair commercial-quality stainless steel countertops with stainless steel appliances. Visual warmth can be added with accessories such as pottery and textured baskets.
When the family and friends want to gather around the kitchen, lack of seating might be a problem. Here are some alternatives: An L-shaped banquette makes the most of a nook area.
A lunch counter area with small chair seating makes the most of a space-starved area. Even a tiny bistro table and chairs provides extra breakfast and lunch seating. Pull-up stools around a center work island offer space for snackers.

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