In my previous blog post you saw the exterior transformation of this cottage. This time I want to share what took place on the inside, beginning with the kitchen. Even though it's a small space, we still wanted to give the kitchen anything and everything a guest could ever need. With the right layout and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful kitchen regardless of square footage....you just have to maximize every inch!
When redesigning a space you cannot simply walk around and start removing walls and expect this to make the space better. I think its best to remove walls if it helps clean things up. This means you have to consider what will be going into the space. Previously two narrow walls came in from either side to enclose the kitchen. The kitchen footprint remained exactly the same, but we were able to achieve a lot by removing a single wall. We removed the wall by the front door but left the other so that the fridge would be hidden from the living space. This allowed the light from the kitchen windows to flood into the living space and the light from the living room can now brighten the kitchen!
We decided to use Ikea® cabinetry for the kitchen. Their kitchen cabinets are some of the best around. Not only are they affordable, they also come with a 25 year warranty. We chose simple white shaker style cabinets to keep a clean fresh feeling. You can download the software from their site to design your kitchen from home, however I still would recommend that you go into a store and map it out there. Their staff makes the design process go by ten times faster! They will also help to ensure that you get all the parts you need. It’s a great way to see your kitchen come to life on paper before making any purchases. These are stock cabinets, so I was able to pick everything up the day I made the purchase. Along with the help of my handyman we assembled them and installed everything over a weekend. Ikea offers installation for an additional fee, which I would recommend. Assembling these cabinets was not a particularly pleasant experience.
Since this is a small studio we did not see the need to have an oven. We got a simple stainless steel four top electric burner. This way there was no need to run a gas line. We used a stainless steel under mount sink. I prefer under mount sinks because it gives the kitchen a seamless look as well as making kitchen clean up easier. Though a stainless steel refrigerator would be nice, the previously existing refrigerator was in good condition and the right size for the space. This will be an easy upgrade down the line.
Getting a Custom Look
The counters are really where I was able to customize the kitchen. You can buy your counter tops at Ikea as well. I decided to get them at a granite and tile supplier in San Jose instead. This allowed me to get a higher quality slab of granite for a better price. Since the kitchen has an angled wall, the cabinets don’t fit the space exactly. I had the granite cut so that it extended past the cabinetry and all the way to the wall. I then had shelves cut from extra cabinetry pieces (that I purchased from Ikea® to match the kitchen cabinets). The shelves were mounted below in the dead space. Now when you look at the kitchen every last inch is utilized. We also purchased all the hardware from Pottery Barn®. Ikea has hardware as well, but if you don’t see what you like, get them elsewhere. These have a nice heavy weight giving the kitchen a more expensive look.
We decided that durability was of the utmost importance in the cottage. Mimicking the dark hard wood floors found in the main house was not an option. Luckily we found these great affordable tile pieces meant to give the hard wood affect. We used a dark grout to minimize the tile look and staggered the pieces as you would when laying down a wood floor. These floors are not only great to look at, but very easy to clean and maintain
Whatever your space, regardless of how big or small, make it work for you!