Small Kitchen, Big Style & Storage

Published: June 10, 2024
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At 11-feet by 10-feet, the U-shape small kitchen in this home suited the scale of the 2,250-square-foot house, as well as the lifestyle of its residents, who found the compact space easy to work in. Still, there was room for improvement: it was time to update the 1994 space, replace the appliances and maximize the storage – all without expanding the kitchen.

Enter Joyce Zuelke CKBD, senior designer at Lake Geneva, Wisc.-based Geneva Cabinets. Facing the challenge of making the space look and feel bigger and more open, she cleaned up the room by getting rid of all the original soffits and taking out the hallway header. Removing an original load-bearing wall by the kitchen/back hall area freed up space to give the clients a larger, more user-friendly pantry zone.

With new cabinets running to the ceiling, an integrated hutch and a corner lazy Susan unit, the designer focused on optimizing the storage in the kitchen. Said the homeowners, “Before, with the cabinets’ fixed shelves and dark interiors, we would have to literally get on our knees with a flashlight to access the contents of the cabinets. We love the new roll-out drawers and the interior cabinet lighting makes everything easy to see immediately.”

The peninsula leg of the original kitchen was a split-level design. Zuelke opted to do away with that detail and installed a single-level countertop to create more usable work space and bolster the open feeling of the room.

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Design: Joyce Zuelke CKBD, Geneva Cabinets; Photography: Shana Wolf Photography; Cabinets: Plato; Cabinet Hardware: Emtek, Hamilton Sinkler; Cabinet Lighting: Häfele; Dishwasher: Cove; Faucets, Sink: Kohler; Lighting: Visual Comfort; Range: Wolf; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero; Tile: Artistic Tile (backsplash), Bella Tile & Stone; Vent Hood: Vent-A-Hood; Window: Pella

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