Small Size, Big Surprise

2016 Gold Design Award Winner: Kitchen under $50,000

September 02, 2016
surprise

Photos: courtesy Jacob Harr

Thompson Remodeling, Grand Rapids, Mich.

In a nutshell: The cramped 10-by-15-foot kitchen that featured four doorways into other rooms functioned more like a hallway, with a few appliances thrown in for good measure. A peninsula caused major traffic jams between kitchen, basement, and living room. The homeowners sought a greater sense of space, more storage, and an aesthetic that offers pops of color to bring interest to the room.

Challenges: The biggest obstacle in the compact space was working around the four doorways, one of which leads to the basement. The overall kitchen size couldn’t increase, so the designers needed to maximize every square inch.

Solutions: The team knew they wanted to relocate the refrigerator—previously tucked into a corner—to a place where it could be surrounded by cabinetry. That’s when they came up with the ingenious idea of building a pantry on one side of the fridge and concealing the entry to the basement on the other side by making it look like a continuation of the cabinetry.  

The peninsula was removed and replaced with a moveable island cart. By using tall cabinets and relocating appliances, the team made room for a dishwasher, which didn’t exist in the old kitchen. Amidst the white and gray cabinets and stainless steel appliances, splashes of indigo blue on the walls and in glass knobs provide pops of color.

The aesthetic of the home was preserved in the remodeled space by installing 2¼-inch hardwood oak flooring and building up the crown molding and baseboard height.

See the full list of winning entries here.

About the Author


About the Author


David Weissman is associate editor for Professional Remodeler. dweissman@sgcmail.com

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