One of my favorite challenges to overcome is decorating a small space. I love figuring out how to make a small space functional yet fun to look at. When we rehabbed my sister in law”s kitchen we spent some time making it functional. Kris (my sis in law) in the end was actually excited to cook in her kitchen. Dane (my bro-in-law) said he would be excited to spend time there. Before, it was chaotic and overwhelming and they didn”t like to be in there.
The hubs made it my job to overhaul the flip house kitchen. If you have not seen the before and after pics click here. When you flip a house you have to be neutral and you have to do what needs to be done first and foremost. You have to choose what you are going to do based on what the value of the home will be and of course your budget. This is hard for me. I am fine with neutral but I want to give it full function! The point of a flip is to make money and make a great home for people to make their own. Your job is to focus on the “must dos” The must dos in the house were the following: renovate the kitchen, new drywall, new heater, install central air, new water heater, new bathrooms, new windows, new roof, and new floors. Any embellishments were not in the budget. Those will be up to the new owner. (but hey….all the major costs of the home are DONE until they need to be done again in like 15-20 years) The people who move in can focus their moolah on embellishments of changing it from neutral to their “flava”! All that being said, as I was painting the cabinets I was constantly thinking of what I would do in here. So I thought I would share them with you. It”s probably selfish because it fills the need for me to embellish the room without actually embellishing it. Maybe the future owner will find this blog and it will help…OR, even better, maybe you have a similar space that you could take some ideas from. Okay, here are some pics of the way the kitchen is now. I am going to do this mood board based on the way it is now.
Lets start with the eating area. See this blank space on the wall. I would fill it with cabinet to wall shelves from the floor up. The reason why I chose shelves is because the lower cabinets are a little longer than the upper cabinets. There would be an awkward space from the countertop up if you got a bookshelf. The measurement of the wall was a weird anyway. I chose shelves so you could center them, maximize space, not have to custom build a book-case, and look more cohesive. Here is a sketch I made. (Please excuse my art…I don”t draw very well)
This is where the sketch would go.
I would personally buy wood shelves and paint it. If you don”t want to paint it you could go to Lowes or Home Depot and get the long white shelving and cut it to size. You also need about 4 brackets per shelf. Make sure they have a corner support like this one. You can find nicer looking ones but make sure they are not bendable. They need to be sturdy. You could get this one for more modern. You also want to space the brackets out in the same place. Get some strong toggle bolts if you have to screw in drywall. They make them hold 300 Lbs! (you don”t need that one..but may 175 LBS)
Do you see what this wall could do for this kitchen?! It takes a lot of what was in your cabinet and on your countertops out to make room for lots more. Here is a break down of what I see on these shelves. Really, it”s up to what you have in your kitchen. Here are some examples.
Here is how I would organize the cabinet space. I would break this kitchen down to two sides:
I would put these things on the countertops:
- Coffee Pot (on the food side)
- Knife block (next to Stove)
- Toaster oven with butcher block cutting board on top next to knife block OR butcher block cutting board with fruit bowl on top
- Cool drying rack next to sink.
- Canisters with flour and sugar on foodside (next to coffee pot)
- Paper towel rack inside sink cabinet door.
Okay, See this awkward section of the kitchen.
I have two thoughts for this space.
- When you change the countertops extend it to the end and put legs on the end to make part of the countertop a desk.
- Add a white small table/desk that can serve as extra serving space and desk area. (pay bills, write grocery lists)
Here is a sketch (p.s. the things on the shelf can be baskets or canisters)
The dimensions of my drawing are wrong so the baskets wouldn”t be that close to the pot rack. Most people will come in from the back door (thru the laundry room into the kitchen.) That laundry room is small so it will be full of entryway and laundry storage. The house needs a place to put in-going and out-going mail, keys and you could even put a charger on that shelf.
Alright….here are some items I would place in the kitchen
Here is the breakdown
- Basket: I see two on the floor under the first shelf. It”s from Ikea (Nasum Chest) but I wouldn”t travel that far (unless there is one near) I have seen these at Target and Wal-Mart. You could go high-end with pottery barn. Instead of doing a basket you can DIY a fabric plastic bin like I did here.
- Canvas Large Baskets: Wal-Mart, Mainstays. I see these going on the second shelf
- Shade: It”s from Lowes, Style Selections. Since the house is small and the living room is right there in a open space. I think its good to have some cohesion. These are for both the windows.
- Wine Rack: This is from Pier 1. You can stack two if you want. I used it the East Nashville Rehab. I am not a wine drinker but I could see water bottles or olive oil bottles if you don”t drink wine.
- Table: From Target. It seats four but opens up and seats 6. I chose black to compliment the black in the living room moodboard.
- Bench: This is from Target. I am thinking two on both sides of the table. The space is too small for a huge table and this table only allows four chairs in the small position. There is not much storage for the extra chairs? The solution is to use benches. They seat two so they could be used when the table is extended, but fit the table in its smallest size. It also makes the table look less crammed.
- Parsons Chair: This one is leather from Full Furnishings. You can also get them slipcovered for easy washing. These are to go on both ends. In a small space like this you sometimes need chairs to serve two purposes. I thought it would be nice to have a nicer chair because when you have your Superbowl party more guests can have seating in the living room….just pull in these nice chairs from the kitchen. Now your living room seats 6. I also see these on craigslist all the time. You could reupholster your own.
- Rug: I chose green because there is green in the living room. I chose stripes because of the living room striped curtains. I found this online at Design Retreat. Pretty reasonable. Or you could paint a canvas drop cloth. I plan to do that in my laundry room soon. Here is a good tutorial. Way cheaper. I would put a smaller rug in similar colors in front of the sink cabinet.
- Fabric: This is to make Curtains. There is also teal in the living room mood board. If you don”t know how to sew. Use heat bond and clip it. This is for the window by the table. This fabric is way too expensive for me. I found it at Spoonflower. I went to a local fabric warehouse today and found tons of fabric with patterns this color for $7.99 a yard (FM Fabrics for those locals reading)
- Stool: Found this at Barstools USA. Not a bad price. I would probably buy one a Walmart and paint it.
- Pot rack: I found this at Amazon. Not a bad price for $31.00
- Drop Leaf Table: This is the desk for the awkward space. Its Muddus from Ikea. I would travel for this one because it”s the only one I found that was the perfect size…plus it folds out. I would put the fold against the wall when I daily use it as a desk, but at Thanksgiving pull that sucker out for a kid table or a serving buffet.
- The Subway Art: I would flank two of these on either side of the window by the table. These are so popular but they are expensive. This is a pic of one I made on my computer. It will cost me 10.00 to print and probably 10.00 to frame (I am going to modge podge it onto wood.) I can”t wait to show you!
Other “embellishments” you could do:
- Mustard Yellow Accents in bowls/towels.
- Maybe change the light to a drum shade light. is a blog that diys a good one. I would make the one for this kitchen a little wider and shorter.
- If I were to change the countertops I would change them to butcher block. This house is selling for $99,000. It”s max value is probably $130,00 in an excellent market. You don”t want to go too high-end here. You wont get your return. I would travel to Ikea for this one.
Hope this helps you!
Here is what the kitchen looked before we got in there splattered some paint on the wall.