For Manhattan culinary star Michael Lomonaco, a small kitchen with aged appliances, press-board cabinets and warped floors was the perfect clean slate on which to design a masterpiece space fit for a first-class chef. Read on to see how he maximizes his workspace and get inspiration for your own kitchen update.
Michael's plan for the 7-by-10 foot galley kitchen was simple: use every available space efficiently, without changing the basic layout. So he moved the sink faucet into the corner and the microwave to over the range -- the only configuration changes he made -- freeing up counter space for food prep.
Takeaway Tip: If you don't have a big budget to remodel, don't worry -- using existing space smartly will make your kitchen seem a lot bigger than it really is.
Warm cherry cabinets complement rustic mocha granite countertops while maintaining the kitchen's city chic. The long horizontal pulls on lower drawers not only match their cabinet cousins, but also provide dishtowel hanging space.
Takeaway Tip: Using complementary finishes and hardware lends a sense of unity to any small space.
Deep drawers for pots-and-pans drawers keep cumbersome cookware out of sight -- each one can hold up to 150 pounds.
Takeaway Tip: Utilizing drawer space is a great way to get your cookware organized. Also try wall-mounted pot racks to maximize vertical space.
"In a commercial kitchen you learn to keep things tidy with cooking tools stored out of sight," says Michael. By organizing utensils and tools in a drawer outfitted with cutlery dividers, the counter stays clutter-free.
Takeaway Tip: Unnecessary clutter makes small spaces seem even smaller. Get little essentials out-of-sight, and your kitchen will feel bigger and airier.
Just like Manhattan skyscrapers, this city kitchen must go higher to fit more -- the cabinets reach right up to the 8-foot ceiling -- so accessing these hard-to-reach storage areas means a folding stepladder.
Takeaway Tip: In tight spaces, it pays to use as much wall space as you can. No tall cabinets to reach? Try adding rows of open shelving instead.
When not needed for added height, the ladder stashes behind a toekick panel.
Takeaway Tip: Keeping tools and appliances stowed when not in use is key to making a small kitchen live large.
What looks like an ordinary cherry-panel wall turns out to be a pull-out pantry. The 15-inch-wide, floor-to-ceiling shelving allows for ample space and easy access while maintaining the kitchen's streamlined look.
Takeaway Tip: Maximize unused nooks and crannies by enclosing them for more storage.