Making a Small Kitchen Work Smart


My kitchen has an issue. It has no natural daylight - UGH! My main goals have been to find some way to allow more daylight into the room or to brighten it up somehow, some way and to create more storage. The storage initiative has been much more fruitful!  But let's back up a little.  The day I moved in, the kitchen had 5 cabinets, a 5 foot length of countertop broken up by the kitchen sink, four doorways and a single light fixture, a 60 watt ceiling fan!  No joke, the deconstruction phase began 2 days after I moved in.



I went straight to Home Depot and bought cabinets, countertops, a new sink and faucet, new lights and a new range and range hood.  I created a galley plan  because it is the simplest and least expensive design for a DIY.

Come on in and take a look!



I  knocked two holes between the studs on the wall between my kitchen and mudroom - yay a room with a view!!




I moved my Ikea Markor sideboard into the kitchen for more storage and counter space.  I bought two Ikea kitchen carts as well - a godsend during the renovations!!!  

Can you say TOO MUCH WOOD?!  The space was so dark with all the wood and black - never start a renovation the moment you move in!!!!

So I painted my sideboard and added a shelf over it.


Then I started painting everything white - the walls, the furniture, the shelves.


Dog in lower left hand corner, a bit nervous of getting painted too!

I hung a pot rack on the wall beside my stove.  It gave me loads of hanging space.



Then I found the chalkboard paint was sucking the light out of my kitchen, so I painted it out and added a task lamp:



 I built a mirror frame from 1x4 planks and put it up on my shelf to reflect more light into the space.


The lights I bought for over the sink weren't cutting it, so I installed new ones.  MUCH better!


I bought some inexpensive brackets from Ikea and used reclaimed wood to make more shelves on the wall opposite my sideboard.



And then I built my own pantry cabinet because I needed a custom size to fit the space beside the sideboard.  It is a work in progress so this is a a photo of it in its half-finished, half painted, half the shelves installed, missing door beautiful self.  If you don't like it please don't tell me!  I love this cabinet.  How do you like my shutter doors???


These shutters have been kicking around for years.  I have no idea where they came from originally, I'm just thrilled I could finally put them to use.


So I'm still working away on the natural daylight deal.  I have two or three more ideas up my sleeve but you'll have to stay tuned for the reveals!  

Have a great week!


39 comments:

  1. You've done a fabulous job and I love it!! I love to see what people do with small rooms, so this is a source of inspiration for me and, I'm sure, many others. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  2. I LOVE your kitchen! We're going to be redoing ours in the next couple years and yours is a great inspiration for small rooms! It's hard to get ideas sometimes because so many designs are catered to big homes and big rooms. Thank you for sharing this. You have a beautiful home!

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  3. Your kitchen is lovely and I really like how you have added so much personality with the shelves, chalkboard wall etc. I'm very inspired by the new pantry you are building. The extra storage space must be great too. We need to come up with some kind of free standing simple cabinet for a broom closet. There is no where in our kitchen for brooms or a swiffer. Happy Canads Day, Anne!

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  4. I love the chalkboard and your drawings on it. It's artsy and eclectic.

    I like the cupboard you built with the blue shutters and how it is open on the bottom.

    I have a metal rooster in my kitchen too!

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  5. Oh no, I love that cabinet and the shutters!! So many space saving ideas, way to think outside the box!! ~ Amy

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  6. Anne it is wonderful. You've made great use of the space!! nice work on that cabinet!!

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  7. You're just that way, aren't you? Building, creating, painting, amazing! Kitchen is wonderful!!! Did you paint ALL the cabinets white?

    XO
    ~K

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  8. Anne, You are a wonder gal, what can't you do? Constantly amazed at all the projects you take on by yourself, you should be very proud of all your accomplishments.
    I guess if you're alone and want things you have to learn how to do them or do without. So glad you have so much pluck and just go for it. Will look forward always to seeing what you're doing and making. It's such a pleasure to subscribe to your blog, keep up the good work. Happy Summer

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    1. I need to save your comment for those days when I feel uninspired... Thank you for your sweet words! xox

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  9. You are really good at these renovation projects and making your house into a home. Everything looks wonderful. I don't know if reading about all of your wonderful projects is helping me or not. (LOL) As soon as I see one of your new projects, my mind immediately kicks into gear. You know, I have wanted a "new" front door and after reading about your painted door in another post, I ran out and got samples from Lowe's. I told myself that as soon as I finish my craft space, I have earned the right to change my front door. :-)

    p.s. Happy Canada Day!

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  10. Amazing how you have made so much storage in your kitchen. Just when I think you are taking it easy, you post another project. That cabinet is awesome, even in it's unfinished state. I am looking forward your post on how you made it.

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  11. Anne I love the cabinet and those shutter doors are darling! Your attitude is fabulous, can't wait to see how you built the cabinets.

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    1. Thanks Di! What a sweet thing to say!

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  12. Step away from the dog!
    Bliss

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  13. I think your cabinet is fabulous. I can't nail two boards together so everything you do looks awesome to me :)

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    1. Aww thanks Betsy! You're too kind xox

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  14. All your hard work is paying off. I love your new cabinet already.

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  15. Anne, you are fantastic and so talented, what can't you do??? You just take a chance on anything and it turns out great!! Now be nice and don't paint the poor dog LOL!

    Cynthia

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  16. Is there anything you can't do?? I love this cabinet you are working on and will be watching for the finale! What did you put in those two windows above the sink? Is it wrought iron or something? I like it!

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  17. You go girl! I love the addition of the pantry. Cant wait to see it and how you finish it off. I gotta know did you finally open the jig? ;)

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  18. Wow! You improved the room a lot with all the white you added. And I can't believe you built that cabinet yourself. Great job.

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  19. Looks like love in progress my dear friend <3 Happy Canada Day to you!

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  20. Anne, I love your house. I could never do the carpentry work but you go girl!

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  21. Another great job Anne ... especially love the chalk board and the cute drawing.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z.

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  22. How great is that cabinet Anne!...another wonderful piece that you have created...your kitchen has certainly come a long way since the beginning...you have a beautiful kitchen Anne due to your labors of love!!...In a former home, we had a room that did not have much natural light...we installed a Solatube and it was wonderful!

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  23. Looks beautiful, Anne! You really brightened up the space! Have a great week!

    ~Abby =)

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  24. Fantastic! What a great job. I love the cabinet with the shutters.

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  25. Hi Anne, Your cabinet is fantastic! Love the paint transformations you do. Thanks for your lovely blog.

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  26. I love the shelving you put in your kitchen! I just moved into an apartment and the kitchen is so small I have no where to put everything. But I have a huge empty wall. Did you make the shelves or purchase them from somewhere? Your kitchen is fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Brittany! I bought the brackets at Ikea (dirt cheap!) and I had the wood kicking around. I just cut it to size, but the wood shelves at Ikea are dirt cheap too. Home Depot has brackets and wood shelves, but they're way more expensive than Ikea.

      Go for it! and if you have questions about the install, email me!

      xox

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  27. You did such a great job of brightening up the space. My favorite piece is the sideboard!

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  28. SO AMAZING pics:) your blog Is really great.

    Check out my new post and have a great weekend dear:)

    LOVE Maria from inredningsvis.se
    (Sweden)

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  29. That cabinet looks beautiful Anne! Your kitchen looks great too, thanks for the tour!

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  30. Wow, Anne - so many great ideas in 1 space! That old kitchen didn't stand a chance once you moved in. And I'm sure you'll be having more light in there very soon. The house knows better than to mess with you!

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  31. I love your kitchen ideas... and that they are uniquely yours. Cookie cutter kitchens are pretty boring.

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  32. Fantastic ideas and looks so fresh! Pinning!

    Thanks so much for linking up at the party,
    <3 Christina @ I Gotta Create!

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  33. I love your painted cabinet -- very pretty! I would love to get one like yours for my kitchen. Like your kitchen, my home's kitchen is on the small side! Love what you did to your kitchen!

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  34. I love how you made flowers grow up through the cubbies. So clever!

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