A proper amount of kitchen cabinets, quality appliances and durable materials are all important things to consider when renovating your kitchen, but if they’re combined into an efficient workspace, you won’t be getting the most out of your remodel. Be sure your kitchen’s busiest areas, like the sink, stove and refrigerator are positioned for a smooth flow for cooks and others. Kitchen designers often refer to this as the kitchen “work triangle.” For the kitchen work triangle to work, you should be able to walk, not hike, between the refrigerator, the sink and the stove. Here’s more on that.
If a door into the garden is not possible, put a garden in your kitchen. Create an area in front of a sunny window or have a garden window installed. Garden windows extend out, giving you a wide ledge to set plants on and more window area to let the sunlight in. They vary in price from around $800 to $7,000, depending on the size and style. Another good option is a dedicated corner with an AeroGarden.

Since dimensions are diminutive, you may be able to afford a beautiful tumbled marble that can give you a touch of the outdoors. Of course, marble can be really cold and hard underfoot, but the impact may be worth it to you. Or try cork, which is the number one flooring used in industrial kitchens in the United States. You’ll have to make sure it’s properly sealed (water can make it expand), but it’s a beautiful choice. And you can feel smug about using a politically correct "green" flooring.
Pendants lights are a great idea—but in a small kitchen, keep these lights light and airy (believe it or not, it is possible to weigh down your kitchen with large, heavy pendants). These Koshi wood and chrome pendants from AXO Lighting are a prime example of how to effectively use pendant lights in a small space. The lights are wrapped in dark wenge finish bamboo lampshades for a fresher feeling.
Face it, in a small space you can’t have a kitchen that is a jack-of-all-trades — accommodating schoolwork, mail, laundry, recipe hunting and cooking duties. Unless you don’t cook at all (in which case, feel free to store your out-of-season clothes in the kitchen cabinets!), the small kitchen’s main chore is meal prep. So focus first on function, making sure you have the appliances and work areas you need. You may be able to save a bit of space by using scaled-down or innovative appliances, including refrigerator and freezer drawers and pint-sized microwaves, stoves (some with just two burners) and single sinks. The function is there, without all the square footage! If workspace is at a premium, consider a small-scale island or a counter-topped cart that can be rolled away into a closet when not in use.
Think about how you can function without a working kitchen. Utilize small appliances and keep your pantry stocked with nonperishable grab-and-go items. Use biodegradable plates, cups, and utensils since you won’t have a working dishwasher. Take advantage of a grill or outdoor cooking area if you have one. You may also want to consider eating out with family or friends more often. Being prepared ahead of time will greatly alleviate any stress you may have without a functioning kitchen during the remodel.
As seen on HGTV's House Hunters Renovation, homeowners Dax and Ashley Rohrer remodeled the entire interior of the home in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, installing hardwood flooring throughout, and opening up the kitchen to the dining area and living room by removing a low wall. Concrete countertops provide a simple surface that contrasts well with the olive green tile backsplash, and a farmhouse sink and lots of cabinets add functionality. (after)

In the galley kitchen of a bohemian family home, the kitchen's range and microwave are by Wolf, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the custom hood is by Vent-a-Hood and the countertop is Calacatta Gold marble. Hans Wegner chairs, purchased at auction, accompany a table by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach. The vintage pendant light is by Max Ingrand for FontanaArte.


With thousands of online home listings at your fingertips, it’s easy to compare your home to the latest and greatest in kitchen trends. But that doesn’t mean that every buyer is expecting a brand-new kitchen. If you don’t want to go through the headache, time and expense of a minor or major kitchen remodel and there’s nothing functionally wrong with your kitchen, selling without remodeling first might be your best bet.
In the galley kitchen of a bohemian family home, the kitchen's range and microwave are by Wolf, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the custom hood is by Vent-a-Hood and the countertop is Calacatta Gold marble. Hans Wegner chairs, purchased at auction, accompany a table by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach. The vintage pendant light is by Max Ingrand for FontanaArte.
Professional kitchen designers charge $100 to $200 per hour. Though the NKBA suggests four percent of your budget will go to design fees, this shoots up to closer to 10 percent when you hire a certified professional on-site. If you get advice or an in-home consultation from a materials and design store, it will certainly stay in the range of a $100 to $800 flat fee. However, homeowners report paying $3,500 to $18,500 for certified professionals and independent services. At this rate, you might expect such services as:
You can begin planning for your kitchen remodel by knowing a rough estimate of where your money will be spent. For a full kitchen renovation, 1/3 of your budget will go to cabinetry, 1/3 will be spent on installation, and the remaining 1/3 is allocated to finishing touches. Finishing touches could be appliances, lighting, faucets, sinks, plumbing, backsplash, countertops, or flooring. Keeping these in mind, you’ll be able to balance your budget and more easily plan your project. For additional details on the cost of remodeling a kitchen, please visit our cost guide.

Plan ahead and determine whether you need to upgrade your electrical board to accommodate a new refrigerator or oven -- which can be $1,000. You may also need to move outlets and fixtures to accommodate a new layout. Plus, you may have outdated outlets that need replacement -- adding $175 to your total. Have an electrician on hand to guide you through the process and be ready to spend about 5 percent of your total on electrical work. 
"The kitchen is another example of applying real design ingenuity to small dimensions," Refinery29 founder Christine Barberich says of her Brooklyn Heights space. "My husband found the best appliances he could that were all smaller in scale, so nothing felt out of proportion. I love the XO relief tiles that create the white backsplash. They’re just fun because you might not notice the pattern until you’re up close. We had the concrete countertop made in Bay Ridge by this three-generation family of concrete designers. We loved the idea of having this major industrial moment right in the middle of the apartment and it really does serve as an entertaining area, workspace for cooking, or flower arranging. It’s unexpected in its brutalist vibe against the white backdrop and softer, colored details."
Building a budget should be your number one concern when planning a kitchen remodel. It determines how much you can accomplish, the materials available, how much professional help you’ll need, and what the final product will look like, among other aspects. If you don't plan appropriately, there's a good chance that you will find yourself in debt by the end of the project or left with a half-finished space after the funds run out.
Maintaining your existing plumbing is an excellent way to reduce costs. You can still invest in new appliances, sinks and faucets as long as you install them in the current plumbing positions. If your remodeling design requires the installation of new pipes or you're changing your kitchen's floor plan, be prepared to pay a plumber for labor and the necessary plumbing parts.
In the galley kitchen of a bohemian family home, the kitchen's range and microwave are by Wolf, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the custom hood is by Vent-a-Hood and the countertop is Calacatta Gold marble. Hans Wegner chairs, purchased at auction, accompany a table by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach. The vintage pendant light is by Max Ingrand for FontanaArte.

The rate to update a small kitchen is between $5,000 and $20,000, depending on what you install, repair or upgrade. For this room, small is defined as 70 square feet or smaller. You'll have limited options for a project of this size. It's important to set your budget and plan for some DIY work to save time and money. Here are some recommendations for keeping expenses low:
One of the simplest ways of "expanding" a kitchen is incorporating glass, which lets you see through the objects, thereby enhancing the feeling of spaciousness or what designers call "negative space." Try a glass counter or tabletop, or glass door cabinets. Glass kitchen doors, to the outside world or to the next room, can also visually expand the space. There is even highly reflective glass tile that can give your kitchen sparkle. Mirrors, in a backsplash or strategically placed around the room, also lighten up the look.
• Use incandescent lighting (which is more yellowish) underneath the upper cabinets shining down on the countertops. Ceiling incandescent spot lighting, when directed at the cabinetry, will increase the shadowing of the space and give the area greater visual movement through light and dark contrast as opposed to cabinetry simply shown in the cold blue of fluorescent lighting.
For the average, medium-sized kitchen remodel, $20,000 to $50,000 is a reasonable starting point for your budget. Your remodeling budget will depend on things like: where you live, home value, product selection and project scope. Do you want to gut your whole kitchen, including moving walls and relocating utilities? It will be costlier than simply replacing appliances and cabinets in the existing layout.
Designer Kathie Chrisicos updated this Manhattan high-rise kitchen using a soft color palette in green and white to suggest a delicate and airy sensibility. The soft greenish-blue tones on the Roman shade, backsplash and countertop add just the right hint of color to the beautiful white cabinetry. Stainless steel appliances complete the room's serene and elegant design.
Within each category of materials, price depends on quality. Seamless materials, such as Corian and granite, tend to be more durable, but are generally more expensive. Formica and concrete tend to be cheaper but add less value. Tile can be pretty, but you can expect quite a bit of maintenance down the road and regular grout cleaning. Countertop materials include:

With this popular idea, you can have one or two trash bag holders under your kitchen sink. The photo makes the DIY becomes self-explanatory. And if you want to save your energy for something else you can get a $9 wall mount holder from Amazon that will work the same as this idea. In fact, with this item you can have a hanging trash bag holder under your cabinet.
Sure, we now know how to increase the visual size of a small kitchen, from layout and design to color. But consider this: When decorating a smaller space I’ve often found it’s not necessary to increase the size of the room through interior design. The reason: by going with the existing architecture of the small area, you can often create a wonderful well-designed cozy space. So instead of using tricks to enlarge the space, maybe you want to embrace it just the way it is. Instead of going light or sleek, maybe you go country cozy. Perhaps you make sure there is a little nook where you can sit with a visitor knee-to-knee. Or choose a dark, rich color that creates a sophisticated feeling — and use accessories that emphasize that look. The kitchen is small, yes; but it sure is sexy.
Minor remodels aim to preserve the kitchen’s existing footprint while refreshing its overall appearance and usability. The significant changes are usually budget-friendly fixes like painting the walls, adding new flooring and buying energy-efficient appliances, since the customer isn’t selecting top-of-the-line materials or products. Cabinetry is often a lofty expense, but minor remodels opt for money-saving measures like refacing the existing cabinets or selecting entry-level cabinets, which are mass-produced and ready-to-install.
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