Our 100-Square-Foot Kitchen series profiles kitchens that measure about 100 square feet, one of the most common kitchen sizes in the U.S., according to Houzz data.
Architect Lauren Rubin says the original cramped kitchen in this pre-World War II apartment in New York was so sad-looking that anything she did to it would have made it better. Still, that didn’t keep her from making sure the new design received lots of love and attention. She took square footage from a nearby dining nook to slightly expand the room, freeing up space to create an L-shaped layout and recess a new refrigerator. Next, she employed design tricks she’s learned working in small New York City spaces to visually expand the room and give it a feeling of lightness.
Kitchen at a Glance
Location: Hudson Heights neighborhood of New York City
Who lives here: A family of four
Size: About 72 square feet (6.5 square meters); 10 feet 10 inches by 6 feet 8 inches (new kitchen)
Designer: Lauren Rubin Architecture
BEFORE: The existing galley layout lacked counter space, storage, adequate lighting and style. Rubin removed the arch and half wall to encroach several feet into the dining area, seen in the foreground. This still left the homeowners plenty of room for their dining table.
AFTER: Adding length to the space allowed Rubin to remove cabinets to create an L-shaped layout with more counter space and a wider middle walkway. Extending the kitchen into the dining area allowed Rubin to add the recessed fridge on the right and a cabinet with a countertop and microwave drawer to the left of the range.
Standard upper cabinets typically hang 18 inches above a counter. Rubin chose to hang these 22 inches up to create more openness. “I find for small kitchens hanging cabinets 18 inches above a countertop makes things feel small and congested,” she says. “You lose some storage, but it’s important to make those small spaces feel as light and airy as possible.”
Rubin and the homeowners splurged on the custom cabinets, which Rubin designed and had a woodworker build, as she does for most kitchens. “Pre-manufactured cabinets, you’re stuck with their dimensions,” she says. “Here, every inch is taken into account. There are no filler panels.”
Customizable inserts maximize storage in every drawer and cabinet. Pullouts beneath the sink hold garbage and recycling bins. The microwave drawer helps keep the counter clear. “Most clients would rather lose a drawer than have a microwave on the counter or hanging below a cabinet,” she says.
A new pantry around the corner from the refrigerator stores food and small appliances, such as a toaster oven and juicer.
Custom open shelves provide space to charge phones, store spices and cups and display art and plants. Rubin had the woodworker who built the cabinets create the sets of white and gray floating shelves. “That way they match perfectly,” she says. “Everything happens in the same shop with the same can of paint.”
Taking the tile to the ceiling gives a sense of brightness and height, despite the fact that the ceiling was dropped slightly to accommodate new recessed LED lights. “Good, even light in a kitchen is worth dropping the ceiling versus keeping it high and having just a light fixture,” Rubin says.
To enhance the light further, she chose the whitest countertop she could find. She went with engineered quartz for its even color and durability. “For anyone who’s a cook or wine drinker I won’t put marble down,” she says. Some homeowners find marble counters difficult to keep free of stains and other damage.
Next to the sink, the paneling that covers the dishwasher prevents too much stainless steel from breaking up the flow of the lower cabinets.
Stained oak floors replaced the checkered vinyl, and they match the floors in the adjacent dining and living spaces, creating cohesiveness.
Lower cabinet paint: Worsted, Farrow & Ball; upper cabinet paint: Chantilly Lace, Benjamin Moore; ceiling paint: Super White, matte finish, Benjamin Moore; wall paint: Wimborne White, Farrow & Ball; lights: Contrast Lighting; microwave: Sharp; range: Wolf; hardware: Richard Watson
Looking toward the kitchen from the living room, you can see the double-door pantry around the corner from the refrigerator and get a sense of the more open interaction with the dining and living spaces. “It’s a compact kitchen, but you never feel that way,” Rubin says.
I recently showed what a cute little blue house would look like in three different exterior color palettes. This week, we look at a handful of palettes on a recently renovated ranch-style home in Austin, Texas. The homeowner wanted to make her house stand out against a sea of white and tan homes in the neighborhood, and having a bold-hued front door was also of upmost importance. Check out four renderings of potential palettes, as well as the final, winning scheme.
Crunched for space, the residents of these homes—mostly under 1,000 square feet—have the same ideas: look upward and compartmentalize. Lofted sleeping areas, closets, and reading nooks are among the smart space-saving solutions.
Compact spaces are so cool because they usually have a very smart design behind the decoration. It’s always about how to make it more comfortable, as less boring as possible and super practical, of course. We’ve spotted this apartment on Decoholic and we thought of showing you how small apartments have an elegant something going on. In this particular case, it’s the black and white chromatic that makes it so interesting, without stealing its cheerfulness. Uncluttered and on different heights (the kitchen is upper than the living room without putting a pair of doors and a hallway but a symbolic pair of stairs) the apartment is quite nice and easy to explore.
To save space, doors have been eliminated. The boundary between the kitchen and the office, for example is made through a different type of flooring. Despite its reduced surface, the apartment has a big and comfortable bedroom. Because sleep and rest are very important for both your mood and skin, right?! The closet is masked and it sits right behind the bed, spreading on an entire wall (the “my clothes don’t fit in here” problem was, as you see, easily solved). Neat and stylish, the apartment is an interesting choice for those who seek their own small space to fit in. (Guran)
Guran, Raphaelle. “Black And White Contemporary Apartment Smartly Designed.” Freshome. N.p., 29 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. <http://freshome.com/2013/03/29/black-and-white-contemporary-apartment-smartly-designed/>.
This is YAK01, a residence that can be found in Bangkok, Thailand. It was a project by AA-D architects and it was finished in 2013. The project area is 500 square meters and the house was designed for a small family. It occupies almost the entire land and, even though the usable space is limited, the residence definitely doesn’t seem small and the rooms are not tiny.
The client’s request was a house that would have a modern design with sun shades and rain protection, like a cozy where everyone can feel comfortable. But the client also wanted a large greenery area that the whole family could enjoy and this raised a problem. The space was limited and it would have been almost impossible to respond to all the requests. So the solution the architect found after many hours of planning was to cantilever half of the house over the ground floor area.
The internal structure and layout were also carefully thought through. The bathrooms, the service areas, the storage spaces and the staircases were also designed to serve as buffer zones. They absorb the heat and they also provide privacy for the main rooms. The north side of the residence has a huge glass wall that lets in natural light. The swimming pool was placed parallel to the house and this way it draws cool air into the house. It’s fair to say that this is a smartly-designed home.
Ganea , Simona. “Small family home with a bold yet simple design.” Homedit.com. N.p., 18 Mar 2013. Web. Web. 18 Mar. 2013. <http://www.homedit.com/small-family-home-with-a-bold-yet-simple-design/>.
RVDM Architects have designed the Aradas House in Aveiro, Portugal.
“Aradas House by RVDM Architects.” Contemporist. N.p., 23 July 2012. Web. Web. 23 Jul. 2012. <http://www.contemporist.com/2012/07/23/aradas-house-by-rvdm-architects/>.