Gourmet Kitchen Remodel

Designer Karen Needler shares her story of a small kitchen remodel featuring pro-quality appliances and floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.
White Kitchen With Black Countertops

White Kitchen With Black Countertops

Smart black countertops and a stainless steel range break up the sea of white in this grand kitchen. Cabinets reach all the way to the ceiling to maximize storage space.

From: Karen Needler

By: Chelsey Bowen

When designer Karen Needler started on this 68-square-foot kitchen remodel, she knew space was going to be an issue.

With smart storage solutions, small-scale appliances and a striking white color palette, Karen was able to give the homeowners the gourmet kitchen of their dreams.

Describe the homeowners' wish list.

The clients requested "timeless elegance." They wanted a gourmet kitchen in their vacation home, a pied-à-terre boasting treetop views of Lake Michigan in Chicago that looked like it was always a part of the 1929 vintage building.

Small Space Gourmet Kitchen

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Before: Outdated Kitchen

The tiny kitchen is completely out-of-date. The standard-size fridge takes up too much room, and the appliances are in desperate need of an upgrade.

From: Karen Needler

After: Chef's Kitchen

To create a gourmet kitchen, designer Karen Needler installs a pro-quality stainless steel range and stove. Floor-to-ceiling cabinetry takes advantage of the height of the space and provides plenty of storage.

From: Karen Needler

Easy-Access Cabinetry

To help with the tight quarters of the kitchen, doors are installed on both sides for easy access to the pots and pans.

From: Karen Needler

Smart Storage

Taking advantage of every nook and cranny, Needler installs a narrow spice rack beside the stove. The stainless steel stove is pro-quality and features a 24-inch range.

From: Karen Needler

Classic Tile

To brighten the kitchen, 2"x4" white subway tiles line the backsplash and walls. Black countertops provide the perfect contrast to the white cabinetry.

From: Karen Needler

Easy Cleanup

Though tiny, the kitchen doesn't lack any amenities. A small dishwasher is installed next to the sink for easy cleanup. A vintage faucet is reconditioned and then wall-mounted to allow for a larger sink.

From: Karen Needler

Small Fridge Solution

Since the space is only 68 square feet, there isn't room for a typical refrigerator. Needler installs refrigerator/freezer drawers into the nine-inch-deep service hallway cabinetry. The 24-inch-deep paneled unit sits into the wall and closet behind.

From: Karen Needler

Open Display

Glass cabinet doors help to open up the small kitchen and allow the homeowners to display pretty dishes and cups.

From: Karen Needler
Tags: 
  1. china cabinet

Light It Up

Updated lighting brightens the kitchen, adding a contemporary touch to the space with a stainless steel finish.

From: Karen Needler

What were the homeowners' design problems?

With only 68 square feet, a place for the refrigerator posed an issue. We decided to flush a combination fridge/freezer drawer into the nine-inch-deep service hallway cabinetry. The 24-inch-deep paneled unit sits into the wall and closet behind. There is room for a second fridge down the hall in the storage closet.

What was your biggest obstacle in this space?

The biggest obstacle was just that: an obstacle. A concrete post ran through the center of the unit (the bumped-out corner left of the sink) supporting the building and preventing us from opening or moving walls within the space. Working within the extra-small 68-square-foot kitchen, we removed the dropped ceiling, taking the stacked cabinetry to the ceiling.

What lessons did you learn?

Bigger is not always better. Working within only 68 square feet did pose its challenges, but with some creative problem-solving, we were able to deliver a fully functional gourmet kitchen. Now, I look forward to designing small spaces. It gives us such an opportunity to splurge.

How does the end result match up with your original vision?

We are used to seeing challenging spaces, but this one took the cake. In the end, the extra time and planning that was given to the details of the design means this kitchen, within its original footprint, lives up to our clients' expectations of a gourmet kitchen with timeless elegance.

What are the "hidden gems"?

Side doors on corner cabinetry make for easy access, while the vintage faucet was reconditioned and wall mounted, allowing for a larger sink. The backsplash and walls are lined with 2"x4" subway tile, making the room look bigger. Everything is scaled to the room, including a 24-inch pro range and an 18-inch dishwasher.

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Karen Needler

CONTACT ME
The Coveted Kitchen
www.covetedkitchen.com/ 13655 Irma Lee Court #130 Lake Forest, IL 60045 224-513-5042