Some families have a second home in the country, but this couple craved the city life. Their getaway is a modest Chicago condo that needed some big changes to improve the functionality and flow. Normandy Designer Jeremy Paris helped them create a more inviting space they could look forward to visiting on weekends.
Adding storage was one of their top requests, which at first glance would seem a challenge. “Regardless of the project’s size, I approach the design process in the same manner, evaluating their needs and working with the space we have,” Jeremy says. “We discussed how they were using the kitchen and adjacent living room and decided to make the rooms work in conjunction.”
The large TV in the living room was a given. We customized the built-in entertainment center, incorporating a beverage center right where they entertain. “It’s a great supplement to the small refrigerator in the kitchen,” Jeremy says. Hidden from view is a pull-out laptop desk to the left of the beverage center. Although the condo is a place of relaxation, sometimes work still needs to get done and having a workspace that is easily accessible was important.
“To keep the density of cabinetry from overwhelming the small kitchen, glass front cabinets and a mix of open shelving lighten up the space, while still providing much needed storage,” says Jeremy. “Another design tactic was to panel the refrigerator and dishwasher to create a cohesive feel. Avoiding stainless steel appliances removed the possibility that they could dominate the room.”
As for the appliances, you can still get the same conveniences of a full size kitchen while choosing pieces that are proportional to the footprint. Their refrigerator, for instance is a slender 30” wide compared to the standard 36”. It includes a freezer and ice maker, located in the pull out drawers below. Between the two of them, not many dishes pile up, so a compact dishwasher drawer was sufficient. “Although the under-counter wall oven is a standard size, it’s paired with an induction cooktop that is only 15” x 15”, which works because it’s rare they need more than two burners for cooking,” Jeremy says. “The previous standard sized appliances made the whole room feel crowded. These selections are appropriate for the space and create a sense of openness.”
Traditional countertop appliances, such as their microwave and coffeemaker are conveniently tucked into the appliance garage, next to the fridge. One more hidden gem is a touch latch panel on the side of the upper cabinet just inside their entry door, where they can easily store their keys and essentials. Each of these elements help to keep the countertops clear of clutter.
“The entire space is now updated with a fresh and functional aesthetic making their weekend retreats into the city a relaxing respite,” Jeremy says.
A small kitchen can still boast an impactful design and include all of the necessities of a large kitchen. If you’ve been thinking about a kitchen, bath, or home remodeling project, reach out to Jeremy and begin the conversation to find out what’s possible in your home. You can find inspiration from our project photos featured on Instagram and Facebook, and in our photo gallery.