Finished TINY Kitchen - Please Don't Laugh :)

belaseaJune 26, 2010

Okay, so we didn't have much to work wish as we couldn't expand, but here is our finished kitchen. As our contractor said, "wow, you really made a functional kitchen when this is smaller than a walk-in closet!".

Before: note only one upper cabinet for dishes and food, the oven stopped working a couple of years ago. Everything had to be cooked on the stovetop as we saved for the remodel.


Pull out spice rack, cutting board and added recessed shelves

Added a pantry:

Moved the sink & widened the pass through window:

Hid the dishwasher:

Custom made cabinets, in Benjamin Moore Ivory White

We added a pull out spice rack, and cutting board. Not sure why people don't have the pull out cutting boards anymore, but it went with our 1906 San Francisco house and provided us with more counter space when needed.

Counter - Labrador Blue, leather finish (we used a remnant).

Floor - cork by Durodesign, aqua color in Barriga pattern

Bosch appliances, with integrated dishwasher

Sink - Ticor

Grohe faucet - europlus II

Soap Dispenser - rohl

Cabinet Hardware: alno

Paint - walls BM Seattle Mist, ceiling & trim: BM Ivory White

Thank you for all of the support & help from everyone here!!! Learned a lot and so enjoy all of the posts!

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Looks great! Good job! It's nice to see people doing great things with small spaces as well!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:53PM
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I think it's lovely! You obviously put alot of care into it. I have a tiny galley kitchen's hard to do when you have very little space. Nicely done!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:53PM
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Looks nice!

Yes, not the square feet some folks on this board have, but you're using every inch of it to the fullest to get a functional kitchen. I'll bet you're glad to get a pantry and the new storage, and the cabinets are gorgeous.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 12:58PM
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Hey, no laughing here! That looks live you've done a really great job! Sometimes the smallest jobs, the ones with tiny spaces and tiny budgets, are the ones to be proudest of. They take a lot of work and compromise.

Where our picture of the pantry with the door open so we can peek inside??? And where does the other door go?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:06PM
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Well done! It is charming and I love that built in under the window!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:09PM
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Definitely not laughing. You did a great job and made some very wise decisions to improve your kitchen! I LOVE the inset shelves and the pull out spice rack must be a great help, too. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:10PM
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AWESOME JOB!! It looks beautiful! :))

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:13PM
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Fantastic use of space.
Now where did you get the pull out cutting board? I want
one in my kitchen. It would go perfect above my pull
out trash....

I also love the seattle mist bm paint on the walls.
The Alno hardware on your cabinets matches perfectly.
I have the same applainces. I love that I can put those
heavy grates into the dishwasher, and the light on the
microwave is bright. I am sure you like it too.

Cute Kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:29PM
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Thank you for all the positive comments - everyone has been so kind and helpful.

janet - the pantry is wonderful! Going from basically two cabinets to many has been wonderful. We can finally store food in the kitchen!

morgne - thank you, the inside of the pantry is shelves, need to take a pic. The other door is our back door that goes out to our tiny backyard.

sabji & rhome - thanks for the complements on the recessed shelves, they were our contractor's idea and then we played with blue tape to get the layout. We didn't use a designer for our kitchen, as it just seemed too small.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:29PM
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It looks great! Love the built in under the window! Also love the pull out cutting board. We have one in our current kitchen, kinda wishing I'd have one in the new kitchen, I'm going to miss it! It's a great thing to have when you need a little extra landing place in a small kitchen with little counter space. Love your cork floor, too!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:30PM
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Boxerpup - Thank you! We used every inch, we don't have one filler. I'm not looking forward to ever changing out the appliances ;). I didn't know that we could put the grates in the dishwasher, that's great!
We asked the cabinetmaker to make the pull out cutting board. My husband and I were talking and wondering why people don't have them anymore, and then we asked the cabinetmaker if he could make one for us. I probably won't actually cut on the cutting board, but it sure is nice to use as extra counter space when cooking.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 1:48PM
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Oh, well done!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 2:37PM
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Very nicely done with the space you had to work with. Clever idea of the recessed shelves under the window. Love the countertop colors. Functional and pretty at the same time.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:06PM
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Great use of space and it looks terrific, too!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:16PM
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Lovely remodel, excellent use of space! One of the best kitchens I ever had wasn't much larger than yours - it's amazing what you can do with ingenuity.

Congratulations on a job very well done!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:37PM
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I love it! The cabinets are beautiful. I have always wanted custom cabinets. Nice job!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:42PM
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Wow! That is so impressive. Lovely finishing details, smart use of space - what could be better?

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 3:58PM
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Wow...great job, love your efficiency. Tiny is good in your case. :-)

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:25PM
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It looks great! I love the paint color you choose!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:27PM
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Your kitchen is such a nice space now. I know you must love being in it now. Love the white cabinets with your paint color and the granite is beautiful. It looks great in the picture so it must be wonderful in person. Yes little space but what you did with it was amazing. There are a lot of talented people on this site, you are definitely one of them realizing what you could do and doing it. Congratulations!!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 4:58PM
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Congratulations on a great finished product! I especially love the recessed shelving. Great color choices too. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:11PM
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Belasea: So glad to see that inset board! Your style of "cutting board" is known as a "breadboard" in my part of the country. To be a real breadboard, it has to be fitted into its own custom slot in the upper part of a lower cupboard and it has to tolerate real pressure from rolling pin on dough or cleaver pounding on meat. It's a wonderful thing: a general work surface, a cutting surface and/or a surface for rolling out dough, a tabletop for one person sitting on a stool, a "plunk space" for groceries or dirty dishes. During my own visits to kitchen vendors about their offerings I found that two nation-wide companies did not carry breadboards at all, only carrying a little detached cutting board mounted supposedly for convenience in a drawer-like frame inside a cupboard; one vendor offered a true "bread board" (in a relatively narrow width) only in its high-end cupboardry line. One salesman actually told me that the younger generation doesn't really cook and doesn't understand breadboards. He used the word "lazy" in the same discussion.

In our old kitchen, we had two; the rule was that only flour and dough were allowed at one breadboard, which was nearly a yard wide. Breadboard and onions, garlic, and meat were never allowed on it. The latter substances were allowed on a smaller breadboard which was positioned between the stove and the refrigerator. Besides being our major chopping surface, it was my valuable companion, esp. when I was loading and unloading the refrig.; my DH pounded meat on it so much that he dug through the surface top and bottom and we had to buy a replacement one, which was almost as shabby as the earlier one when we finally demolished the kitchen this spring. My consolation: I have four planned for my new kitchen. Two will be allowed to have garlic and onions and meat touch their surfaces.

Please don't be apologetic about your little kitchen--you'd be surprised to know how many lurkers and posters are like you. I have taken the liberty of linking your thread to the Modest and Quirky thread. Thanks so much for posting and for making the photos!--F.

Here is a link that might be useful: Modest and quirky thread

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 6:40PM
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You did a wonderful job, it's great! One advantage of your small kitchen is you get to use that beautiful granite remnant and save your budget for other details like the dishwasher.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Florantha, you're absolutely right - it was called a breadboard when I was a kid! It's been so long that I forgot! I love the thread that you started about quirky and modest spaces. It's what made me feel more comfortable posting our kitchen. Can't wait to see your new kitchen!

You all are very kind. You should know that we had help picking out the paint colors. We hired a color consultant online - Maria Killam - for a 30 minute phone consulation. She helped me pick out the wall color to go with the floors and the right color of white for the cabinets & trim. I'm not sure we would have been able to do it without her help, it was well worth the phone consultation, especially since we didn't have a KD.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 7:34PM
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Awesome kitchen! I am using the Labradorite as well, called Bora Bora by Walker Zanger. The stone is gorgeous and honestly the pictures do not do it justice! Very nice and tasteful kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2010 at 9:51PM
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That's cool that you hired Maria Killiam...I read her blog and she really knows her stuff it seems.

Ditto with all the above comments. Nothing to laugh about... Very impressed!


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Wow, what an elegant , efficient, gorgeous kitchen!

Utilization of space is superb. Congratulation! The stone is fabulous...

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 1:30AM
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That's an astounding use of space - anybody can have a WOW kitchen when they have a kitchen big enough to park a Clydesdal in. The teeny ones are the challenge.

Where is that dishwasher? I want to see it and the pantry opened up.

Have you sent photos to Maria?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:40AM
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The finished kitchen is terrific. You made some wonderful choices and a very creative use of limited space. On the other thread I wanted to ask you about the paint color but you've answered it here. The Seattle Mist is great with your other choices. You are to be congratulated for all your hard work. I think you should post your kitchen in the Finished Kitchen Blog so others can quickly find it under the small kitchen category and be used for inspiration.

Thanks again for posting the finished product.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 8:01AM
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Mick Mick

How fun! I think it is fabulous! I love that you were able to maximize space.

I also would like to peek inside your pantry!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:31AM
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Nothing to laugh at. You did a BEAUTIFUL job with your space! It really looks nice, functional and very put together. Love the flow of everything. I think it looks visually bigger than the original! KUDOS TO YOU!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 9:54AM
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Oh my goodness, who would laugh. It looks wonderful. I love all of your choices. Great job!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 10:05AM
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A triumph of ingenuity and taste over myriad cliches about "proper" kitchen size. Bravissima!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:07AM
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How nice to wake up to all of the nice comments! I really appreciate all of the kind words. The kitchen is much more functional now. The few things that really help are the undermount sink. We can actually put things down around the sink and while it's a small amount of space it helps in this kitchen. We didn't know that 6" cabinet could be made with a spice pull out. We had a 4 inch recess in the wall to push the fridge back to make it more counterdepth.
We stole some dead space from the adjacent room for the pantry. It was an akward closet where the space wasn't very usable because we couldn't easily access the space.

Here is a picture of the pantry open. The pantry is deeper on the right side vs. the left due to the angle of the wall on the other side. We really have our contractor to thank for making it come out so well.

The right side of this closet use to be open, but we closed it off for the pantry.

Here is the dishwasher:

Thank you again - I sure learned a lot from everyone here, asked a lot of questions and received many answers that helped put this kitchen together. I hope to pay it all forward.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 12:02PM
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lazygardens - I forgot to mention, yes, I sent Maria the link to this thread so she could see the finished pictures. I must admit, I wasn't sure how a phone consultation would work, but it was pretty cool. I uploaded pictures of the kitchen and other rooms in the house, the samples of the floor & cabinet color, and then she had a BM deck and I borrowed one from a local hardware store and we had our phone consultation. Worked like a charm!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 12:08PM
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Love your inset shelf under the window and pullout cutting board. Those two touches alone probably make cooking and prepping so much more pleasant. What a wonderful little gem of a kitchen! And talking about gems, that countertop is yummy!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 7:23PM
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I love it! It looks very contemporary and I love the niche under the window. It's an A+. :)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 8:32AM
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I think creating a beautiful and highly functional small kitchen requires far more thought and creativity than a big one and your's is wonderful!

(And many city apartment dwellers would drool at the space you've made!)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:48AM
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You kitchen is lovely and your improvements are vast! I know what you mean about laughing. I drool over the size (space and budget) of many of the kitchens here. I would LOVE one myself, but had to limit my budget in lieu of other priorities. Even so, I'm finding myself 'kitchen poor' finance-wise. I'm sure I will ask folks not to laugh at my reveal as well. I know that my taste, situation and priorities are different than the mainstream.

In any case, you've done a wonderful job. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:12AM
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I agree with Sara that creating a functional and pretty space from a smaller area requires much more thought and creativity--you have done something wonderful with what you had and that is amazing! I am so impressed and I too love the BM color and the other colors you chose.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 11:18AM
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It is such a cute and amazing space! First, it is very cleverly designed (take for instance the built-in underneath the window) and furthermore, it successfully creates an impression of speciousness thanks to the choice of materials.

Definitely a wonderful space and I am glad I stopped by to take a look!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 12:49AM
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Very cool ... I would feel very at home there. Where does the pass-through lead? (you probably said, but I kind of skimmed) I bet it's helpful. And I'm not laughing ... I have a pretty big kitchen, but I wish I only had to clean yours. ;-)

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:09AM
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I think you did a great job with your space. I wish you only happiness in your new kitchen!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 1:58AM
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Congratulations! Your kitchen is beautiful! It reminds me of the kitchen in my old NYC apartment. Love your cabinets, your gorgeous granite and how you made such efficient use of your space. It must be so nice to cook in there now! Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 9:52PM
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jem199, I can relate to having other priorities. We had to wait a long time as we made other repairs and saved. I know what you mean too about the other kitchens here... I saw a kitchen last night that was to drool over! I think what I confirmed is how nice everyone is here for all of the nice comments and respecting all of our differences. :). I can't wait to see your finished kitchen!!

segbrown - the passthrough is to the living/dining area. The whole house is pretty small - only 850 sq. feet., compact as I would say! When it was first built, it was only 300 sq. ft. It was built only 6 months after the San Francisco earthquake. I wonder if it even had a kitchen originally!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 11:23PM
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beleasa, you have done a fantastic job with such a small space. You must be thrilled having so much more efficiency in your space, which is planned out so well. You have a nice new kitchen.

Adding to the breadboard conversation, we use that term too, but I am not sure if it's a part of the region we are in (Seattle) or if it comes from my roots (the midwest), but my grandparents, parents, in-laws, and childhood home all each have one or more and they are all used constantly. Such spacesavers!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 12:37AM
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We had a breadboard in the old kitchen, but I didn't like it. Too low for me.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 1:51AM
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What a wonderful transformation. Nothing to laugh about. I love your countertop and the built in shelves under the window. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 9:37PM
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You've done a terrific job with your modest space!
There are many others with small spaces. May I add your kitchen to the Finished Kitchens Blog so others can use your kitchen as their inspiration kitchen?
Please either indicate your permission here or send me an email:
Then, at your leisure, please submit the FKB Category Checklist so I can categorize your kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: FKB Category Checklist

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:28PM
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Great use of space. Really nice.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 9:45PM
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I'm not laughing at all. In fact, I'm sending you a serious high five on the fabulous job you have done with your space. Take a bow and enjoy!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:33PM
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I think it's wonderful. I find well designed tiny spaces very inspirational. And it looks so much more functional than the old space. I especially like the inset shelf unit under the window and the new pantry. And I'm glad to see the microwave moved from on top of the fridge. If I had that, I'd burn myself for sure!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:24AM
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Stunning! Love it! You did a great job.

Did you go with an 18" dishwasher, hard to tell from pics. If so, how do you like it?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 7:35AM
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Thanks for all of the kind comments. The small kitchen is working out well and we're sure grateful to GW!

Thanks, Starpooh, it would be great if our pictures could help someone else with a small kitchen. I just completed the form.

ArlosMom- yes, it was not good having the micro on the fridge. Not a good idea at all. Luckily, we didn't get burned, but we had some close calls. The OTR microwave is working out much better now.

Debelli - we have the Bosch 18" Integra Dishwasher. Wow, it is quite! We can't even tell it's on unless it's draining water - what a huge improvement. We're super happy with it. We're a small household, and it's perfect for our situation.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 1:01AM
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Great pics+great kitchen--nothing to apologize for. And now I feel like the kitchen I'm about to remodel (1926 Portland)is huge. Thanks Florantha for solving a little dilemma I was having--a pull out board will be my breakfast bar.I want a spot where I can watch the backyard. I was almost willing to lose some cabinet depth for this but now I've got my cake and will eat it too. (But I am too lazy to bake it myself.)

Here is a link that might be useful: read, listen, share

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 5:20PM
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That looks awesome! I love the recessed shelf. My husband just put up our tile backsplash and then we realized we could have done a similar recessed spot. But hopefully we can save the idea and do something like that when we move to bathroom renovation. I think your kitchen looks really sophisticated, comfortable, and functional! The spice rack is so cool - spices are so small but they can take up a lot of space and can make a surface look cluttered, so that storage is key. Our kitchen is very small, but I look on the bright side - we need fewer tiles, less paint, etc! Our almost-done kitchen looks like some people's "before" pictures - but we did what we could with what we had. I'm going to check out that finished kitchens blog. Thanks for the inspiration!

    Bookmark   July 4, 2010 at 8:29PM
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