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Compact Kitchen Remodel: Taking Advantage Of All Available Space

13 July 2011

Compact Kitchen Remodel: 
Taking Advantage Of All Available Space
submitted by A Sense of Design

OK...now this kitchen was seriously ugly when we first moved in, needless to say it was one of the first things I did...and in a hurry. Luckily I was fairly organised and the day we moved in I had the removalist in the morning and about 4 trades turn up in the afternoon to start quoting!!!

I was determined that I would plan this kitchen carefully, it is compact and important to get right. So although I was pushing to get my new kitchen installed quickly I took the time to make sure that the storage worked and the layout was as ergonomic as possible.

It needed to be fully custom built as I wanted to take advantage of all the available space. A more cost effective kitchen would have been to use standard size cabinets. Because I am tall I also wanted the bench height to be a little higher than normal (this is the opportunity to get what you want for once, when you are having a kitchen designed for especially for you).

The original kitchen was a galley kitchen with an opening each end. I decided to close off the far end (to create a space for the large freestanding stove) and enlarge the opening leading into the living room. The window in the kitchen was too high and impractical, so it was replaced with a larger window in keeping with the rest of the house.

Some things to consider when you are planning your new kitchen...

  • Make sure that you have a cupboard close to the dishwasher to unstack the dishes so you are not trekking across the kitchen.
  • Plenty of bench space can never be over-rated.
  • Consider how you and your family use your kitchen, you may want a bench for the kids to sit up at if room allows or you may chose to have an extra small sink for the prep area. Every family has their own way of operating.
  • A microwave should always be considered as a built in, we all have one so plan for it to be either built in like an oven or in a cupboard....never on a bench top.
  • Good lighting is important, especially in the prep area and stove area, make sure that it is considered at the planning stage.
  • Have an appliance cupboard (or 2), toasters, kettles etc are used regularly so have them in an easily accessible cupboard where they are plugged in always ready for use and not on show! I have two, one side has kettle and coffee maker with jars of teas, coffee and sugar on the shelf above and cups on the next shelf. The other cupboard has a toaster and blender with bread box above and then glasses above that.
  • A good exhaust fan over the stove is a must...make sure that you choose one that is not too noisy and if possible can be ducted outside.
  • Bench tops - mine is marble on one side and timber on the other, both fairly high maintenance, which I am prepared to do but you might prefer to use a quartz stone top (man made stone). The many different brands available now are all more or less the same but they are a great practical surface.
Well on with the photos...I hope there aren't too many!!!

YES...it had to go

Ahhh....that's better, the new enlarged doorway
This room makes me smile everytime I see it

Here is one of my appliance cupboards with steel mesh to allow for airflow

Friends who watch over my cooking!

I painted this a long time ago but it still looks good...well I think so anyway!

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Kathy C. July 13, 2011 at 8:04 AM  

Wow! What a transformation. Seriously sitting here with my mouth hanging open. I love it!

banclothing July 13, 2011 at 8:22 AM  

Beautiful! I am also very tall and find working on regular counter height makes my back hurt. One day I might get the custom kitchen of my dreams. I love the timber you used and that the counter comes out for the sink/dishwasher. Fantastic!

Kristen July 13, 2011 at 9:21 AM  

I love that you moved the stove to the end of the kitchen - I imagine trying to cook over the stove in the original spot would have allowed only one person in the kitchen cooking at a time. It looks like you can fit so many more in there now! Oh, and I'm madly in love with your little cooking friends.

Turning a House into a Home

Shelia July 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM  

Just gorgeous! I love it and it's so bright and beautiful!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

laxsupermom July 13, 2011 at 10:08 AM  

What a gorgeous makeover! Thanks for sharing and introducing us to an awesome blog.

Tanya Anurag July 13, 2011 at 11:21 AM  

The transformation is fantastic! The huge wall clock and the little show pieces have added to the beauty of the kitchen. The chimney looks so classy!!

Pamma July 13, 2011 at 1:50 PM  

Wow...just beautiful. Love that you opened up that doorway and how everything gradually points toward that beautiful stove. Really love it!

Bliss Designs July 13, 2011 at 7:28 PM  

I'm speechless! I'm Speechless! Someone here is a genius! Please come to fix my kitchen.

Rhiannon July 14, 2011 at 1:56 PM  

beautiful! you have done a great job at creating an airy and large space (i love the before and after, i had to double check back to make sure it was the same space!)

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