I have a teeny tiny kitchen, but it has recently been made more efficient by my industrious father and mother.
The previous owners replaced some of the cabinets and counters, however the counters were still inefficient. The kitchen is set up with the fridge, stove and a tiny cabinet/counter on the wall that leads to the living room. There is a small built-in sideboard with cabinets on the bottom, a 13″ deep worksurface, and large cabinets above. The sink is on an island that has two lower cabinets and a dishwasher. This separates the cooking area with a small area for the table & chairs. Since this is a vintage kitchen, my vintage table & chairs fit perfectly in this small space.
With such limited space, the main worksurface is the counter area on the two sides next to the sink. The previous sink was nice, but HUGE. Not only was it wide, but it was also deep. It took up a considerable amount of space, and its size meant that many many dishes could be stored there–instead of in the dishwasher, which left the kitchen looking messy….this is the sink’s fault, not the messy homeowner.
The previous owner spent considerable time and effort to create wooden molding to surround the counters. These were then painted white to contrast the dark granite-colored formica. So, you have already small counters made even smaller with 2 1/2″ painted molding surrounding the edges. Not only was the painted surface impossible to keep clean, but the caulking between the molding and the formica was also a trap for dirt and germs. In addition, the counter island did not have a backsplash, so anyone sitting with their back to the sink was in danger of getting sprayed.
My father suggested using a pre-fab counter with built-in backsplash to replace the tired counter. He started by removing the molding from the counter, as seen in this picture.
This photo also shows how large the original sink was. It was a very nice Kohler sink, but it would look nicer in a much larger kitchen. The new sink is a much smaller, more shallow, stainless steel sink. The entire counter feels like one continuous work surface. Plus, the backsplash creates a separation from the table area.
For the new counter, using cabinet doors we purchased for $10 at a yard sale, the back is finished and painted white for a beautiful built-in look.
The counter beside the stove was replaced with a granite tile surrounded by elegant stained wood. It is a great surface right next to the stove for hot pots and prep work.
Here is the final look of the kitchen, with the new pendant light I installed over the kitchen table.
As you can see, my kitchen is still tiny, but it works more efficiently with the new counter. It is amazing how much more efficient my kitchen is with minor changes. It didn’t need a huge kitchen remodel to make a significant difference to my house.