small & sweet: top 5 tips for a tiny kitchen

From the inspiration files, this kitchen featured in House Beautiful years ago is timeless—a favorite example of how to use small space wisely and do it up beautifully. No doubt, there's a lot going on here, but for covering so many functions this sweet little space still feels totally relaxed and effortlessly stylish.

Everything has its place. You've still got your work triangle, with little more than a step between the compact range, farmhouse sink on the right, and refrigerator drawers on the left. Keeping the fridge low frees up counter space and makes a kitchen feel more like a comfortable room and less like a workspace dominated by appliances.

Open shelving is brilliant here; no upper cabinets means no heaviness imposing on the space. Instead the tiny square footage gains breathing room with floating shelves to display all the pretty stuff: stacks of plates, glasses, pitchers, leaning platters. Add to what I call tableware and servingware art actual art and you have a recipe for great design. I love art in the kitchen. After all, this is a room that deserves decoration as much as any other. And the mirror above the range? Perfection. It reflects and expands—a great design trick for any small space. And thus, a tight kitchen that most would envision as entirely uncomfortable is anything but—it's a completely inviting, sophisticated room.

Top 5 tips for a small kitchen:
1. Use small-scale appliances. Get an undercounter fridge. Choose the 30" range instead of the 36".
2. Ditch the upper cabinets. Open up the room with floating shelves.
3. Organize. Group glasses, cups, plates, and pitchers together.
4. Keep it light. Soft colors on cabinets and countertops keep the eye moving and expand the space.
5. Don't forget to decorate! Lean platters and trays, add framed pictures and canvases, hang a mirror.

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