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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Very small 72 sq ft kitchen needs redesign for better efficiency

dmtradewindNovember 13, 2012
I want to redesign small kitchen for more effectiveness. I own 900 sq ft condo and market values are currently challenged. I want to keep costs down so as too recoup expense when I put on market. Galley is 9ft by 8ft wide. I was thinking of moving stove to sink location and installing microwave hood overhead in place of cabinets. Sink to corner at an angle,fridge where stove is. Update to all new stainless appliances and glass tile backsplash. Granite counter tops, add upper cabinetry. HELP! I need advise please. Debbie- Makaha, Hawaii
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Since you said you want to keep expense down, I wouldn't recommend moving plumbing. Is your stove gas or electric? Because you will have to move the gas line and possibly electrical as well. I can see your dilemma. I would hate to have the stove directly across from the fridge. I'd almost say it would be cheaper to change the island, so that you can move the stove to the middle or closer to the other end and have counter around the stove and leave the sink alone. Unless you have plumbing easily accessible to the island. I love your idea, but it sounds very expensive. Just depends on how much you want to spend. Are you planning on putting some kind of wall up if you move the fridge to where the stove is, so that people aren't looking at the back of the fridge?
4 Likes    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:11PM
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Your kitchen is so cute. I like the layout. I would not change it. You probably never use the refrig at the same time you are opening the oven. I would get a cabinet above your refrig, the same as the kitchen cabinets if you can or close in color. Next, I think I would use open shelves for nice dishes, nice glasses on the green wall. Wish I could see the whole wall. I would take down the pot rack, it adds visual clutter to a small kitchen and I would paint the whole kitchen green, it is a pretty color and the dark paint color overpowers it. Add bar stools under the counter for extra seating and when your budget permits, buy stainless appliances and a new countertop in the creme/beige/brown family. I wish I could see the rest of the room with the green wall. Also, I would take down the pictures on top of the cabinets. Makes it look like they are stuffed up there. Also, maybe get stainless knobs for the cabinets. Also, on the wall outside the kitchen, you can add a console table but not too deep and it can store extra things inside or in baskets underneath and the top can be used as a buffet. Overall, I like it but just with a few tweaks, it can be amazing. Good luck.
3 Likes    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:35PM
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Currently, you have your face to the room when cooking for company. I agree with cronaugh about moving the fridge... It really doesn't work because of the open counter. You already have maximum cabinets except for adding something over the fridge. I think potential buyers will care more about kitchen storage, so you could do custom cabinets to use every square inch of space efficiently. If you have a gas stove, I wouldn't recommend a microwave hood because the back burners become almost useless. It's a tough "room" but in only 72 sq ft it's a very efficient kitchen. Euro-appliance sizes could squeeze a few inches here and there, but you might not get the significant investment back.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Pick out your fridge first. You'll have to accommodate the size of it. Get rid of the island get a rolling bakers table with under-storage so it can face different directions depending on what your doing. I agree moving plumbing would be expensive. Evaluate what you use your kitchen for and what you need in it and what you don't. Good luck!
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:12PM
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Lianne McMahan
Hmmmm.... I know that given your desire to keep expenses down, this is probably not the best answer as it will require new plumbing... but I would change the appliance layout. Do you have a dishwasher? I don't see one.
I like your idea of putting the range where the sink is now, with a microwave over (if the range is electric). New upper cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, and over the fridge as well.
Instead of kitty-cornering the sink, place it in the peninsula with room for a dishwasher besides. Add a raised counterbar on the far side to shield the work surface from view.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:23PM
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Paul Kuehl
I agree with dementad, potential buyers are going to look for storage. So my suggestion would be to switch the fridge and sink. The plumbing cost would be small because you are staying on the same wall. Then I would horseshoe the cabinets around the wall into the island moving the stove to the center and maybe using an counter top stove. This way you could utilize the corners with a lazy susan. Upper cabinets could start on top of the fridge and wrap around the wall also. Maybe coming around over the stove, but I think it is important to leave that open to give the feel of the kitchen being bigger then it is.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:50PM
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My questions are 1) Do you want update the kitchen, (and make it more efficient while you are at it), or do you want your kitchen to be more efficient? 2) If you want your kitchen to be more efficient, what is inefficient about it at the moment?

If you just want it to look nicer, paint the cabinets grey or dark plumb, and the green wall the same lovely plumb as the the walls and bingo - you're colour coordinated and you don't need trendy new appliances.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 6:52PM
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I would paint the pink/rose walls white. Add white cabinets up to ceiling with glass panes, move sink to center of counter facing your room. Move refrig to the right of where sink is now. Stove and microwave on green wall.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:06PM
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Becky Drury
I wouldn't spend the money moving the appliances. If you want to update you could change to stainless frig that is cabinet depth to give more floor space and the stove could be changed to stainless but use one that has no back on it. Mine is Jenn Air and sits flush with the cabinet and still has down draft. Stainless handles and maybe a new counter top would open up the kitchen but not cost as much. Remove the small knick knacks and have one really nice focal point on the wall. Take down the pots and pans, it won't feel as closed in. Also extend the green into the entire kitchen. It's really a great space for the amount of footage.
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:07PM
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DesignAnts LLC
I think you should remove the useless sheetrock wall behind the cabinets under the countertop. Give your self 5 more inches on the kitchen side. I like your idea about moving the stove to the wall side. But I would leave the fridge where it is or get under cabinet freezer and under cabinet fridge that would free you up to move the sink and dishwasher to the peninsula side. also you could have glass door wall cabinets above on either side of the microwave.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:08PM
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Charlene OBrien
Change the paint to a colour that will make it look larger too - that colour is overpowering for such a small space.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:18PM
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Look at the picture of the kitchen done by Lisa Frederick in the small kitchen photos. It is perfect for your space.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:23PM
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Diana Rogus
I agree with everything tennis anyone said!
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 7:44PM
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Hedy Nagel
I agree about swapping the location of the sink and stove. Then add cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling in place of your current ones, and add one above the refrigerator also. Where you have you current island, make it into a 2 level one, with the higher side hding the stuff in the kitchen. You can then pull higher bar stools up to the countertop of the island for eating space.
    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:40PM
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Is there a wall behind the stove? Anyone know??? I see no dishwasher or microwave... More pics from different angles would be helpful...
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:28AM
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Don't get into moving fixtures ... it's expensive and you won't gain enough usability to warrant the expense.Go for more storage and colors that don't jump out and shriek at you.

Keep the colors light ... pale cabinets, glittery pale backsplash, minimal movement in the counters. Consider the other solid slab materials, not just granite, because they are easier to find uniform pale colors in. One of the grey/white marble look-alikes would be lovely.

Move the cabinets all the way to the ceiling, and replace the doors with glass doors (frosted or clear). Paint the insides of the cabinets a pale color.

Add a cabinet over the refrigerator, also to the ceiling.

Add a shallow shelf (1/2 the depth of the cabinets) or a bar under the cabinets to hang things on (IKEA has good ones)

Do a killer backsplash behind the sink - you have a small area and might find a small batch of tile that's on sale. Think pale and glittering, like glass mosaic or subway tiles. Run the tiles vertically if you use subways. No accent stripes, no dots, just a wall of glittering pale glass.

Install under cabinet lighting on the sink wall and one pendant over the peninsula.

If you want a hood over the cooktop, (if you can install it without running up the bills too high), use the suspended kind with a metal pipe and a small flare at the bottom. It will interrupt the view the least.
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 4:31AM
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I agree with everything Becky D. said, that is what I would do if that were my kitchen. However if you are planning on staying there for a long time then you should get estimates from professionals. When you get estimates from professionals they offer so much advice and you decide on what you want to do. I WOULD NOT move plumbing and appliances to improve for resale value and if you are not staying put, it's so costly. I just redid my kitchen and knocked out a wall, put in hardwood floors, granite counter tops, new stainless steel appliances and I got 5 estimates...it truly educated me and allowed me to make the best decisions and figure out my budget. Also, we aren't planning on moving so I wanted to live in a house that had the kitchen of my dreams.
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:10AM
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Perfect solution to your dilemma. This is EXACTLY the layout you need-(pic #1). I suggest a waterfall counter and GORGEOUS granite backsplash and cabinets which are accessible on either side of the island... Hope this is helpful---Good Luck!
1 Like    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:30AM
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I suggest painting the cabinets white, changing wall cabinets to taller ones with glass in the doors plus adding a cabinet over the fridge. Some say stainless is on its way out. Moving appliances does increase the costs but could be worth it. Is your range vented at all now? Is that up to current building codes? If not, buyers might want that changed as a condition of the purchase.
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 6:44AM
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Think U shape.
white kitchen · More Info
2 Likes    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 7:10AM
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Taylor Carl
Moving appliances is going to cost you some money, especially plumbing and gas lines. I couldn't tell in your photos if you had a dishwasher or not, but I would highly recommend one. I also wasn't sure if there was some sort of wall behind your current range. I would create a pony wall along that entire wall. This will allow you to do some raised seating. If you go with this option, you can place a microwave below the counter.
7 Likes    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 8:32AM
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The idea by Taylor Carl is fantastic. I also extended the cabinet above the refrigirator in my house to be flush with the front of the fridge. This gives you much more space in that cabinet and you can access it without using a chair or a ladder. You can add vertical spacers to store all of your baking sheets.
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:00PM
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eggplant kitchen · More Info


kitchen · More Info

Contemporary Townhouse Kitchen · More Info

I love the layout from Taylor Carl, including the raised bar.

Mix up your cabinets. Ikea has great ideas, choose 3 different styles of fronts. I have a farmhouse with small kitchen and have four different fronts. Orange, gray, white and a country pine. I love it.

Consider adding a floor to ceiling bookcase/cabinet facing hallway and losing 12-14 inches in counter space. It will further divide the kitchen from the rest of the space and provide more storage.
Contemporary high rise · More Info

Feldman Architecture · More Info

Brettkelly Residence, Oakland, CA · More Info

Use that back wall for storage also. With the stove moved over, you could hang a china rack.
My white Scandinavian home. Splash of colors. Old & new. Always in change. · More Info
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:44PM
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To keep costs down I would limit movement of any pipes - gas or water - The stainless appliances would be great and make a modern look but most importantly I would add a new countertop - a double level counter which can retain the work space you need and 'hide' the counters to allow you to add a bit more storage (canisters etc) on the counter without compromising tidiness. The second level would allow another eating surface and even allow your guest to feel like they are 'in the kitchen' with you even though its too small for two - this might add to resale if there are children - I also like the idea of a cabinet over the fridge and even more than this I would consider using some of the funds you would have used to move pipes and add a ceiling mounted cabinet over the countertop that could house some of those skillets and pans - you could add pendants to hang down from the cabinet to add some lighting and this would give you again a break between the two rooms but your new counter top would allow you to still incorporate company into the dinner preparation.
    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 5:57PM
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