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September 3, 2007 / Ann Porter, CKD

Design Idea for Small Kitchens

If you don’t like your kitchen you are not going to want to spend time in it.
So what do you do when your number one complaint is that the kitchen feels enclosed?

Here are two pictures that show how to open up a small galley-style kitchen.

The first picture shows how removing the wall cabinets and soffit from one side and adding accent lighting on artwork makes the room feel much wider.

kitchen one  

This next picture takes the same concept a step further by removing the upper area of the wall completely creating an island.  This is obviously the more expensive option since you might need to install a beam to support the ceiling in addition to the plumbing and electrical work required but the difference is significant.

kitchen two

Both scenarios would require a pantry or the ability to store less frequently used items nearby.

The second scenario provides more options in color choices as demonstrated by the navy walls that would never be attempted in an enclosed kitchen.  The ability to add seating to the back of the island could eliminate the typical breakfast nook table providing a place to add storage cabinetry or build a pantry.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Sue / Apr 18 2008 10:01 pm

    I really like the top plan, but not the second one, at all.

  2. Kitchen Plans / Aug 19 2008 12:42 pm

    The first kitchen looks waaaay too narrow to me. Is there even 36″ in front of that fridge?

    I much prefer the second plan.

    Great blog, enjoy the free e book and keep up the great work.

  3. Steve / Sep 16 2008 4:45 pm

    Good tips and beautiful pictures.

  4. Replacement Windows Seattle / Dec 9 2008 1:25 am

    I like the second pics view better than the first. Second pics has more space and with the windows and patio door windows really opens up the setting.

  5. Kitchen / Dec 17 2008 8:18 am

    Thanks for the post. I could spend a lot of time looking at these beautiful kitchens – my favorite room in a house!


  6. marjorie / Jan 6 2009 11:11 am

    I like that the top pictures shows that a small kitchen does not have to be cluttered and that you don’t need upper cabinets on every wall that is not occupied by a window.

  7. Granite Countertops / May 11 2009 12:55 pm

    I think the White marble or Super White granite countertop used in the bottom photo offer a great compliment to any kitchen. Nice job with such a small space.

  8. HD Wallpapers / Jun 9 2009 11:11 am

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  9. Leslie Bonner / Jun 30 2009 12:59 pm

    Wow, I love the top kitchen. I have a galley kitchen which we are getting ready to remodel. The challenge is that we are already so limited in storage that removing the top cabinets would really open things up, but then where do I put everything?

  10. Stagingworks / Jul 31 2009 8:27 am

    Ann..thanks for sharing such thoughtful ideas to tailor the kitchen. Everybody needs to read this post i thought. It will make them say the same as I do to you. From Vacant Home Staging

  11. Mike / Aug 25 2009 6:30 pm

    The bottom kitchen is definitely more practical. Kitchen layouts are really important, especially where space is at a premium.

  12. Tom Shannon / Sep 22 2009 5:00 pm

    On the first kitchen I’d be tempted to see if there was any possible way to move the refridge back into the wall cavity by pulling out some 2×4’s. (replace with a structurally sound header of course).

  13. Bob / Apr 23 2010 2:46 pm

    just remember never put the fridg across the oven, or they will bump!

  14. Replacement Windows Tacoma / Sep 27 2010 8:50 pm

    The second photo shows a more open floor plan. I would prefer a Garden Window with a Patio Door, not a French Door.

  15. Johnny / Oct 18 2010 9:30 am

    The kitchens look great. The light natural colors of the kitchen cabinets gave them a more open look.

  16. Billy Coen / Dec 30 2010 1:30 pm

    I loved the pictures. I thought the second picture looked the best. I would have preferred however if it was possible to have the sink and dishwasher not directly opposite the stove. These are the busiest areas of the kitchen. I understand that it looks better having the stove and hood central on the countertop run. It would depend on how busy the kitchen is and which is most important.

  17. indianagraniteexpert / Mar 11 2012 12:34 pm

    Both kitchens look very nice. well done…I love your articles !

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