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In The Design Studio: Small Kitchens

by RestonNow.com Sponsor June 3, 2016 at 1:15 pm 4 Comments



This is a sponsored post by Anna Gibson, owner of AKG Design Studio and an award-winning, certified kitchen and bathroom designer. AKG Design Studio is a boutique design firm specializing in kitchen, bathroom designs and cabinetry sales. Contact her at 571-989-2541 or [email protected], and check out her work on Houzz; Pinterest; Facebook; and Twitter.

There are many reasons a small kitchen might be preferable for homeowners — from downsizing to apartment living to buying a vacation cottage. In Reston, the high-priced market and lots of townhouses means some of us have smaller kitchens by circumstance rather than by choice.

The good news is that industry professionals have responded to the trend to live smaller with plenty of efficient, stylish options. Here are my suggestions to add storage to a small kitchen without sacrificing on design.

Narrow Your Appliances

Getting that dream kitchen, even in a small space, is still possible. Select high-end appliances with a minimal footprint that fit perfectly into your space. A tall, narrow refrigerator can give you the same amount of space as a traditional sized one.

Slim refrigerator/Credit: Liebherr / Meile You don’t have to sacrifice functionality either. Two appliances I like are a Liebherr CS136 24-inch, counter-depth, bottom-freezer refrigerator and a Miele slimline dishwasher. These have all the regular features of a mainstream model with a fantastic built-in look.

Think Outside the “Cabinet” Box

A trendy and dramatic option which opens up a space is floating shelves. Metal shelving will modernFloating shelves/Credit: Photo Credit Waypoint Living Spaces ize a space, while reclaimed wood works for a variety of styles, from industrial to farmhouse. A transitional kitchen might place open shelves only on one wall.

Those not yet ready to say goodbye to privacy can choose from a variety of glass-fronted doors, from mullions for a traditional look to the more modern open-frame.

Think Inside the “Cabinet” Box

Inside cabinets/Photo Credit: Decora cabinets To get storage in a smaller kitchen, every inch must be utilized. I have fallen in love with Rev-a-Shelf — a revolutionary, customizable cabinetry system that creatively stores everything from utensils to small skillets.

My favorite options are their double-tiered cutlery divider and their 24-inch deep cabinet with a rollout function, which makes that dreaded above-the-fridge space finally usable. You can spend hours browsing their range of Lazy Susan options alone!

Go Big on Design

Big scale tile/Photo credit HGTV.COMA small space doesn’t automatically call for small tile. Actually, larger tile can make a space appear larger.

Pair an expansive 12″ x 24″ floor tile with 3″ x 6″ subway tile on the backsplash; smooth, reflective tile with minimal grout lines will downplay the size and highlight the beauty of your tile.

Another trend returning to the kitchen is wallpaper. Choose a large-scale pattern to fill the space and a background that contrasts with your cabinet color.

Don’t Give Up on Your Island Dream

Worried you can’t have that dream kitchen island? Think again. According to Graeme Wilson of LWK Kitchens in London, “most kitchen companies offer options … tailored to suit a specific design and the space it is intended for.”

Narrow kitchen islandI recommend a table-like island with one lower shelf for an uncluttered look in a galley kitchen. Bulkier islands on wheels can be moved out of the way when you don’t need the extra space.

Maybe you didn’t choose to live with your small kitchen — the tough market in our town means some of us have had to sacrifice on square footage — but I hope you’ve gained stylish ideas to elevate the functionality and efficiency of your kitchen, no matter the size.

Don’t wait for a change in fate; turn the kitchen you have now into the one of your dreams.

Got a design question? Email us at [email protected] or tweet @akgdesignstudio and we’ll post it on our next blog!

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  • John Higgins

    Anna, thanks for this article. Wishing you much success with the Design Studio.

  • Anna Gibson

    Thank you! Always happy to hear from the readers.

  • Jennifer

    Great post Anna! But I’m wondering if maybe you can help think up some ideas for me. I recently purchased a condo in Reston, with a typical Reston kitchen layout (small galley-style). I inherited the previous owner’s full renovations – only 2 years old. A full renovation isn’t really practical for me, and while there isn’t anything WRONG with it, it’s not exactly my taste or style, and there are a few things that don’t really work for ME. Do you have any hints or advice on how to modify a relatively new renovation to accommodate my own style?

    • Anna AKG

      This is a great question! If the cabinets are in great shape, as they seem to be in your case,it will be relatively easy to have them painted! This can be done as a DIY project or a good carpenter can strip the doors and give it a color that works better with your style. Replacing just the doors (depends on your budget, but still very cost effective) can take your kitchen from old school arches to contemporary shaker style. Another item that can be easily changed is the hardware! just make sure that sizes match. Take a look at the Backsplash, if you don’t have any right now, try one of those fun easy to install glue on backsplash tiles. http://tinyurl.com/zkn4c6g an easy way to add your own style and splash of color. Or if you got the DIY skills go for the real tile backsplash with some bold color to make the kitchen pop. Last but not least, changing the wall colors, easy, pick a fun color that match your style and personality and have some fun. We are always happy to recommend the wonderful vendors we work if you need any assistance.


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