To rethink a small but hardworking kitchen in Washington, D.C., designer Melissa Cooley carefully measured every nook for places where she could incorporate space-saving solutions. The results of her efforts paid off in a still-small kitchen that now has a creative mix of open and closed cabinetry with enough storage to rival a kitchen twice its size.
Before: Pale pine cabinetry felt dated to the homeowners, and didn’t match other tones throughout the house.
“After” photos by Stacy Zarin Goldberg Photograph
After: Cooley used about 75 percent of the existing layout but moved a few appliances around. The window and light fixtures stayed where they were, and Cooley gave the room a completely new, contemporary look. She upgraded the range and hood to create more of a statement and focal point on the rear wall.
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Cooley measured the homeowners’ pots, pans, cookie trays, wine bottles, cereal boxes, mops and brooms to create detailed storage. She chose cherry stained cabinetry that complemented other warm, dark tones found elsewhere in the home. Porcelain tile with a stone look replaced the previous wood floor to break up the tiring wood-on-wood look.
Before: The couple previously used a metal rack to store cookbooks, oils and wine bottles, a system that tended to put clutter on display.
After: Closed cabinets surround the fridge, to the left of which is a mix of open shelves, drawers and a wine rack.
Open cabinets to the right of the range keep cookbooks within reach.
“The 1900s house lends itself to a very tasteful, traditional style,” Cooley says. Warm bronze hues in a crackled tile backsplash above the range complement the warm cherrywood tones.
An integrated hutch-like piece near the kitchen has a grand, hardworking, elegant look you’d see in larger spaces. This nook, with opaque glass cabinets and a small bar, lets the owners display featured wines, charge their phones and conceal mountains of china for a less cluttered look.