Tiny Kitchen is Packed with Storage and Function

There’s a lot to be learned by studying what designers do in the small spaces of New York City apartments. This micro kitchen packs a lot of style and function in space that is less than 6’ x 7 ‘6”. That’s less than 53 square feet. Whew. The kitchen was part of a total renovation of a one bedroom apartment in a 1928 Art Deco building that took the space down to the studs. It was well worth it though. Lifestyle Space Design of New York City was the designer on this inventive project. Let’s look at some of the details that make this small-footprint kitchen work.

Waypoint's style 610 in painted maple

Photo compliments of Lifestyle Space Design of New York City

Flip up wall cabinets are used above the refrigerator and the combination convection/speed cooker/microwave because they put the doors up and out of the way. A definite plus in a small space. By the way, one of the secrets of making a compact area work is to have as many things as possible do double duty. Just as the oven provides several functions in one unit, the snack bar also acts a work area. It can be set up for a buffet too.

A full refrigerator/freezer is almost unheard of in small New York City apartments but by selecting a slim unit, it works. A petite glass cooktop provides the necessary burners and there’s a small sink. Even though the room is scaled down as it has to be, the designer still made room for decorative elements. A tall molding treatment finishes off the top of the wall cabinets, a trio of pendant lights adds glam to the snack area, an interesting backsplash tile was used and graceful corbels trim off the wall cabinets facing the living space. Beauty and function all in one tiny space. You have to love it!

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Vanity Meets a Customer Request and Features an Interesting Valance

Waypoint's style 610D in painted maple

Photo compliments of WrightBuilt Inc. Style: Waypoint's 610D.



This vanity area was part of an update to an original 1940s bathroom…in pink! I love homes of that vintage for their charm and solid construction. Often these homes stayed in the same family for generations, unlike today where, on average, people move every 5 years.

These older homes really shine when a talented hand gets involved with the renovation. Such is the case with this bathroom designed by WrightBuilt Inc. of Grass Valley CA. The homeowners had one special request when it came to the vanity area: the wife wanted a tri-view mirror with good lighting so she could do her own hair. With a series of four mirrored cabinets joined together the doors open to show the back of the head beautifully.

One of the things I found interesting was the valance area above the mirrors which features crown molding and a tall board that matches the painted cabinetry and backs the light fixtures. It’s a detail you don’t often see in a bathroom and just the right kind of thing that looks great in an older home.

Countertops are Torquay by Cambria which continues the light, bright theme is this bathroom.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Elegant Dining Room Built-ins Feature Fireplace

Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Cream Glaze

Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Cream Glaze. Photo compliments of Allhouse Kitchens.

Practical, functional, beautiful, creative and wow-factor are words that came to mind when I first saw this dining room designed by All House Kitchens of Keyport NJ! The homeowners recently moved into a smaller house and wanted to personalize it. And personality is just what was delivered.

The focal point is the flush-mount fireplace that was placed high enough to enjoy while dining as well as from the adjoining room. Surrounded by granite, it’s a work of art. The wainscoting to the left sets the tone for beautifully detailed mill work of the built-in cabinetry. The glass doors with mullions make the cabinets look like they were always there, don’t they? The tall cabinets on either side are flush with the base cabinets, balance the whole unit and provide storage for more utilitarian items.

And the beautiful painted cabinets look….. just stunning against the hardwood floors.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Ten Interesting Things about this Great Before & After Kitchen

Before photo


Sadly outdated cabinets were just the beginning of what was wrong with this kitchen. So many things needed to be corrected and Dream Kitchens Inc. of Highland Park IL had the ideas and skills to make the necessary changes. From moving appliances to adding an island, improvements are everywhere. Just the change from the dated melamine cabinets to Waypoint’s style 420 in Maple Cognac made a huge difference but check out all the changes:

Waypoint's style 420 in Maple Cognac

AFTER Photo compliments of Dream Kitchens Inc. of Highland Park IL

  1. The new refrigerator location evens out the counter space to the right of the range and left of the sink. The work space to the right of the range was very skimpy. Especially for someone who really cooks. In addition, the new design has the cabinet above the refrigerator flush with the front of the appliance. This makes for a much better balance and and easier to reach cabinet.
  2. Locating the microwave next to the refrigerator helps minimize the depth of the microwave as well as the cabinet that holds it. Yet it’s  handy to the main cooking area and the table for warming up food.
  3. The soffit (area between the top of the wall cabinets and ceiling) was removed and taller wall cabinets were installed to increase storage.
  4. A lighted open shelf over the window was added.
  5. Moving the cabinets away from the window allows more natural light into the room.
  6. Layered lighting makes this room livable. Recessed lights are combined with pendant lights over the island and table. Combined with the light in the hood and over the sink makes for an excellent lighting plan.
  7. A narrow light rail molding also conceals under cabinet lighting.
  8. A clever island design has an angled cabinet making for easy traffic flow.
  9. Placing the table tight to the island conserves floor space but can be pulled away to allow for one more chair to be added for extra seating.
  10. I love the fact that the beautiful chairs from the original kitchen were reused!

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Tall Storage Makes Bathrooms Extra Livable

Nothing beats having all the toiletries needed right at hand in the bathroom. And today we have lots and lots of them it seems. Even if there is just one person using the space regularly. When there are two…the amount of toothpastes, makeup, hair care products and deodorants seems to multiply before our eyes.

The designers of these vanity areas chose tall units to solve storage challenges.They’re not all alike but they meet the needs of the homeowners and would be a dream to have in any home.

Waypoint's Style 420 Maple Cognac

Waypoint's Style 420 Maple Cognac. Photo compliments of Kitchen & Bath Design Center of Ft. Collins CO.

Colorado design firm Kitchen & Bath Design Center of Ft. Collins created this vanity area (above) with stacked wall cabinets dividing double basins. The center base section is bumped out to allow for deeper wall cabinets which means more storage. Note the decorative molding between stacked cabinets. The Mirrors are framed to match the cabinetry and towel rings are right at hand (pardon the pun) for both users.

Waypoint's style 730S in Cherry Java

Waypoint's style 730S in Cherry Java. Photo compliments of Plumberry Designs of Florham Park, NJ.

Another double sink divided with tall storage (above) has the short cabinet on the top and a sit down area make up area in the middle. This contemporary vanity in Cherry Java, style 730S was designed by Plumberry Designs Inc. of Florham Park, NJ at the request of their clients who wanted a more organized bathroom space as their children reached their teen years. I especially like the back splash detail as it becomes a pedestal for the tower and that dark outlets were chosen to blend with the cabinetry. The three-piece top molding becomes the top treatment of the  mirrors…nice detail!

Waypoint's style 650 Cherry Java

Waypoint's style 650 Cherry Java. Photo compliments of Blink Appliance & Kitchens of Lynwood,IL

Another take on tall storage in the bathroom is shown in this design (above) by Blink Appliance and Kitchens of Lynwood, IL.  Here they used double-door utility cabinets on either side of the single bowl vanity with lots of drawer space in between. The utility cabinets provide abundant storage and the full height mosaic tile back splash is the perfect background for the simple but elegant  round mirror.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces

Before and After Beverage Center

One of the best ways to really ‘see’ a room is to take a picture of it. The camera is way more honest with what it sees than is the human eye. The BEFORE picture (below) of this beverage center shows a wall of base cabinets and an island in desperate need of upgrading.

BEFORE photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC

BEFORE photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC

The remodeled beverage center is just part of a whole-house remodel. It updated a 1990 Florida home creating a more upscale feel to fit the neighborhood. More storage and cabinet organization options were all high on the must-have list.  Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC was able to make those dreams come true.

Waypoint's style 610D in Maple Hazelnut Glaze and Cherry Java

AFTER photo compliments of Zelmar Kitchen Designs & More, LLC. Cabinets: Waypoint's style 620D.

Many improvements were made to the old space:

  • Tall open storage shows off the homeowner’s collection of wines and spirits.
  • The change from a straight wall with a skimpy island to a ‘U’ shape configuration more than doubled the storage and counter surface.
  • More space meant more room for helpful appliances.
  • The two-tone cabinetry is an up to date combination of Maple Hazelnut Glaze base cabinets and  dark stained wall cabinets.

Even the sleeker bar stools make a better finished project.

Connie Edwards CKD, CBD, Waypoint Living Spaces