Photo: Ngoc Minh Ngo, Design by John Oetgen; Courtesy of Scot Meacham Wood (headshot)
Q: "I have a tiny kitchen. How do I organize the room and make it seem like there's more space, while still giving it personality? —Betty G.
A: Betty, there are a lot of ways for you to go here with the design. So, let's just start at the very beginning and try to make your "kitchen life" a bit better.
When it comes to organizing your kitchen, you're going to have to get a bit ruthless with this — and edit. Are there kitchen gadgets that you rarely or never use? I think we all fall prey to the gadget wall at our favorite kitchen store and come home with lemon reamers and french rolling pins that we're never going to use. So edit, and then edit some more. Once you get down to the necessary items, start to separate the items you use every day from the appliances and gadgets that you could put in "deep storage." You may need to keep that antique turkey platter, but, you don't need it right at hand when you only use it once or twice. Basically, make sure you have your day-to-day items at hand, but, keep things tight.
As far as decor goes, once you've cleared out some space, you can have a little fun. As I often say when decorating small spaces — the good news is that a small, significant detail will have a huge impact. Beefing up some of the architectural details like crown and/or base molding will certainly give the room a boost! A fresh coat of paint on your cabinets, or even new drawer pulls and knobs will do wonders to the space. If you want to amp up the style quotient in your kitchen, think about painting your cabinets bright barn-red or an azure blue, or consider installing a great wallpaper. Or since there's never much wall space in a kitchen, you can always wallpaper the ceiling.
I love this charming kitchen from John Ortgen. The color story is fairly tight — with creams and butter-yellows — and look at those great moldings! The addition of the wallpapered ceiling and the charming wall-mounted shelves really make the place sing for its supper.
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