Paul S. Barthelemy
Distinguished by two parallel counters separated by an aisle, the American kitchen can have a bad reputation. This is mainly due to its narrowness – the layout of the kitchen is pretty much always reserved for small spaces and can even be cut into a real
hallway, but we promise you can make it an incredibly functional and efficient one. The first thing is to change your mindset: with all your kitchen appliances and storage at your fingertips, there’s a reason kitchen kitchens are so popular. (No need to run around the island to get to the ladder to get the blender down!) Plus, these layouts almost always fit standard appliance sizes, so they’re easy to retrofit and redecorate. Ahead, get inspired by 15 kitchen kitchens from the designer portfolios we love and jot down your favorite kitchen kitchen design ideas to try in your own home.
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Be bold with paint and wallpaper
Give personality to a small office kitchen by choosing a cheerful and unexpected color for your cabinets (design Anna Spiro choose coral and lime green here), and use a fun wallpaper above the backsplash. Neither paint nor wallpaper take up space, but they add a lot of fun. Spiro opted for a marble countertop and backsplash material to clad it.
Integrated proportional furniture
Nanette Brown extended the backsplash to all the walls for a jewelry box effect in this open plan kitchen in Manhattan. Because the room is so cramped, she opted for a slimmer dining table and bench that won’t eat into the way when not in use.
Add Shelves to the Back Wall
In this Tamsin Johnson-designer kitchen, polished concrete materials, architectural lighting, and edgy artwork make the small space pop. Floating shelves on the back wall allow for display moment and also take advantage of all possible vertical space.
Mix metals and add plants and sell points
This American kitchen designed by Corinne Mathern brings us to two big ideas. One: Adding a little touch of greenery will enliven any space, no matter how small. Two: Don’t forget to think about the basics, like the location of the outlet, when renovating a kitchen. Covered in an attractive bronze switch plate that speaks to the mixed metals in all six fixtures and conveniently tucked into a corner of a counter, it’s a great example to follow.
Install smart work lighting
Zellige tiles sparkle in this small galley kitchen designed by studio informs. A common complaint about kitchen layout is the lack of task lighting, but here’s a workaround! Install task lighting under your cabinets to brighten up your prep space.
Soften the room with fabric
We love the old-fashioned scullery look here from VOL Kitchens, and it’s also packed with clever design tricks. First of all, if you’re worried that so many closed cabinets will look bulky, but still want to hide unsightly essentials, try installing a rod and hanging a curtain above your cabinets. ; the fabric leaves a softer impression. And second, experiment with interesting paint and hardware color combinations!
Choose a trendy hood and stove
A wire hood and bold blue range bring personality to this room while everything else is kept simple and traditional for a nice balance in this kitchen designed by Interiors by Cameron Ruppert.
Throw a runner down the aisle
Ferrarini Co. decided to focus on incorporating some really nice details – lighting, hardware, shelving and materials – to make this galley kitchen stand out. The design team has doubled down on its stylish selections, like cabinetry in Farrow & Ball Off Black, which embraces the smaller footprint. Combined with white walls, the dark color does not swallow all the light. A runner is also always a good call in a galley kitchen, for comfort.
Avoid blocking light with cabinets
In this modern farmhouse kitchen designed by Andrew Flesher, several surprising choices that work very well (what do they say about high risk? The lower cabinets are actually drawers, and they bounce all the natural light thanks to a finish very glossy white (you could get something similar with an IKEA hack.) And instead of covering the wall with cabinets, he decided to keep the windows, which gives the small room an ethereal glow.
Replace a wall with a rolling counter
To save space on the worktop, the designer of this small American kitchen has customized a movable oblique bar door. When you need to get in and out, you can easily roll it around, but it also separates the kitchen from the living room.
Swap a solid door for glass variants
In this kitchen by Balsamo Antiques and Interior Design, tall glass interior doors create the illusion of a much larger space, and the black lacquer paint is a testament to embracing darker, cozier spaces instead of forcing them to look big and bright with interiors completely white. While modern in many ways, open shelving features antiques from the occupant’s travels for a timeless look.
Create a partial separation with glass partitions
Crosby Studios used glass interiors to frame a small breakfast nook off of an open plan kitchen. This makes the eat-in kitchen a bit larger and more distinct since it separates the cooking and dining areas, but the transparent archway ensures that the two spaces can still share light.
Other types of cabinets
In this kitchen designed by Shawn Henderson, the white brick backsplash allows for a more modern and fresh vibe as opposed to the industrial and darker presence of the unpainted bricks. The combination of enclosed and exposed upper storage keeps the small space from feeling claustrophobic.
Designate Heather Hilliard added color to this open-plan kitchen with buttercream painted walls and pops of turquoise blue upholstery on the throw pillows and curtain trim. If you don’t need the extra counter space, consider creating a breakfast nook in the back corner under the window. (Bonus: company for the cook!)
Add extra counter space with an end table
One of the biggest drawbacks of a galley kitchen is that you usually can’t fit into an island. But in this kitchen, a small freestanding work table is positioned at the end of the hallway for a little extra counter space. Pull out stool to use as a casual dining bar as well.
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