Be clever with your cabinets. Use every spare inch in a small kitchen by building recessed shelves where feasible. Here they surround an integrated refrigerator. With this design solution wall space that’s too skinny or awkwardly shaped for extra cabinets can still be used to hold frequently used items. In this kitchen it also helps open up the room and leads the eye to an appealing feature. The other clever feature in this kitchen is the cookbook niche above the door – another neat storage trick that doesn’t take up too much room. Ask a builder if one can be carved out from an existing wall.
Assign dedicated storage areas. Kitchen clutter can easily accrue so it makes sense to assign different cupboards a specific purpose and stick to it. And dedicate a few minutes every couple of weeks to returning stray plastic lids or pot covers to their homes and sweeping out spilled spices and coffee grounds – it really will make a difference in how pleasurable (and easy) your kitchen is to use day to day.
If you're doing tile or stone floors work on picking those materials at the same time as cabinets backsplash and countertops. The relationships among these materials is critical. It's tough to mix different types of stone and tile unless you want your kitchen to look like a showroom.
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Soapstone Kitchen Counters. Often used in laboratories for its resistance to stains chemicals and bacteria soapstone is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. At $80 to $100 per square foot installed it might be on the more expensive side but it can be a lifetime investment.
Boldly veined stone countertops can either make you stop and gaze in admiration or have the opposite effect and overwhelm your eyes. In general the bolder the veining on your counters the less drama you’ll want to add elsewhere. This waterfall counter (with the material wrapped down the sides) is relatively muted but the large gray veins still bring enough character without any daring colors or other statement features.
Tile Kitchen Counters. One of the more affordable counter choices (starting at $30 per square foot installed) ceramic or stone tile is incredibly durable and one of the few DIY countertop options. Maintenance can be difficult with all that grout but choosing a durable and dark grout can make things easier.