My view of smaller kitchens…..

Single bowl for Small Kitchens!

Single bowl for Small Kitchens!

Since I get a lot of feedback on posts about small, even tiny kitchens, here are 5 more tips:

1- ADD A COUNTER You’d be surprised how useful 18-24 inches can be in countertop space. Either have a kitchen dealer design and order a 2 X 2 or 3 X 2 island in a painted or stained furniture finish (which, of course if your kitchen is tiny, you will put up against a wall or against the side of one of your existing cabinets, even if it “floats” into an adjoining room)

2- COOK IN STAGES Think about it this way …. all the cooking shows you love to watch show the chef standing in one place, facing the camera, with all the measured ingredients already measured out, ready to put it all together for the viewer. Most restaurant people will want their cooks to stay confined to a prep area that’s basically a “station” with an appliance and very little counterspace. I have a small kitchen myself, and like to prepare the ingredients perhaps the nite before, clean up…and then before dinner the next day, only use a bowl or pan and few utensils to finish preparing the meal. It helps!

3- BUY THE CABINET ADD-ONS Here are just a few….foil and towel roll accessories you can attach to the insides of cabinet doors; wire inserts to make one of your cabinets store things vertically; a pot/pan hanging wall rack (get those everyday pans out of the cabinets) Make a trip to a local Bed Bath&Beyond and you’ll be surprised at the organizers available (even if you only have 6 cabinets!!!)

4- DON’T STORE ANYTHING ON TOP OF YOUR COUNTERS Or keep it to a minimum. Case in point: I used to think I HAD to have a full blender, but realized those little handheld blenders work great and is much easier to store in a drawer.

5- KEEP EVERYTHING WHITE & STAINLESS This, my friends, will make it look larger. Trust me.

More to come on small kitchens.

Luv ya

Kitchen Designer Notebook

Shown above: Design Craft cabinets which prices out for the moderate budget.

A kitchen with a combination of painted and stained cabinetry

Do you need some kitchen design tips? Here are a few more for you to “collect” for your own notebook.

A) If you have a “dark” kitchen, a reasonable update would be to paint your walls in a neutral, and then splash the sink wall area with color by adding a fabric valance at the window and glass doors on all the wall cabinets. Call a qualified lighting designer (it’s worth the 40-80$ for an hour of their time!) to give you an effective kitchen lighting scheme. I would also consider replacing your countertops to a lighter color of quartz or high-def surface.

B) Consider new accessory inserts for your cabinet drawers to clean up the clutter on your countertops. Rev-A-Shelf has some custom fitted inserts that are very clever and do the trick.

C) The kitchen sink is really important in a kitchen remodel. I am getting more homeowners asking for something other than stainless steel sinks (but remember, stainless is an extremely sanitary material!) Consider Blanco Silgranite II sinks, made of rock-hard granite.
Available in a palette of seven on-trend colors designed to coordinate with a range of warm and cool toned countertops, SILGRANIT II offers a great option for your kitchen renovation.

D) On trend: Combining painted and stained cabinets for those homeowners who have stained woodwork casings and baseboards all over their house. There is always the question with my clients on how far to take the kitchen remodel since the rest of their house has 20 or 30 year-old trim throughout the house. An easy fix is painting all the woodwork white, but another option would be to actually “add” a header to the ceiling to break the kitchen from adjoining rooms visually. This option can let the paint/stain combination stand on its own in the kitchen.

More of my notes will arrive in a future blog. Happy remodeling!

Deb’s Ugly Kitchen Contest … more prizes

Win the Kitchen Design by entering Deb's Ugly Kitchen Contest

Win the Kitchen Design by entering Deb’s Ugly Kitchen Contest

Here are 5 reasons to admit your kitchen is ugly, outdated, and needs help!

  1. If you win my contest, I’ll be able to give you a headstart in remodeling the most important room in your house. I will assess your present kitchen space (and surrounding rooms), make recommendations, field measure and give you “layered” drawings of several possibilities for your kitchen. The design will include a blueprint, mechanical layout, cabinet/counter space plan, detailed elevations and sketches along with an interior design color analysis. I will also include your first budget analysis (everyone has a budget!) and when you are ready, you will be able to get exact estimates on your future kitchen renovation.
  2. More prizes! Now I will offer various gift certificates to products and services needed for your future kitchen remodel. Just think of the possibilities…new counters, new faucets, new appliances, new cabinets, new flooring, new backsplashes, new hardware, new paint, new sink…
  3. Savvy solutions to cramped kitchens. That’s a reason all by itself to enter your existing kitchen into Deb’s Ugly Kitchen Contest!
  4. Why spend more than you have to?If you get your kitchen “designed” ahead of time, your budget, even if its low, will become very realistic and manageable for your future project. Trust me. I’ve been designing people’s kitchens for a long, long time. The planning ahead process should take some time.
  5. Future Return on Investment … I guarantee it. Here’s my email to send 3 digital photos of your existing, outdated, cramped and ugly kitchens:

Vintage in the Kitchen

Vintage collectibles can accessorize your kitchen!

Do you love your “vintage finds”? How about those salvage warehouses filled with antiques and architectural items? The kitchen and eating areas are perfect to display and use the things you love. Here are a few fun hints on creating your new kitchen with a historical or vintagy look:


Bring your imagination to a yard sale or estate sale, and even online sites when searching for salvaged or reclaimed antique items. Vintage finds can create an entirely new dimension in your kitchen. Consider antique panels for covering appliances and look for old brackets, hardware, mismatched silverware and canisters. Check out Columbus Architectural Salvage.


If remodeling your kitchen (or building new), consider making the kitchen sink area a focal point with a farmhouse style or apron front sink. Salvaged sinks are being collected and can be found in online warehouses such as This Old Tub and Sink.


Sue Patterson, Interior Designer/Kitchen Designer at Studio 76 likes displaying a homeowners collectibles or sentimental pieces. “One of my customers had a lot of old cookie cutters that had been handed down from her mother. I suggested that she make shadow boxes to display them in and then hang on a nearby wall.” Open shelves instead of a wall cabinet is also an option.

There is a very unique shoppe run by 2 sisters in Helena, Ohio called The Summer Kitchen Interiors  You will find so many local artisan items and “vintage” seems to be one of their most popular themes.

Have fun!

Vintage Kitchen Design