A Small, Highly-Functional Kitchen

Petite ADU Kitchen

By removing a wall full of cabinets, this small kitchen not only feels larger and looks refreshed, but functions better, too.

Small kitchens require careful design to help them live larger. Before this remodel, this petite kitchen was closed off from the rest of the space and nearly dysfunctional. Without access to natural light and feeling quite cramped, it was neither easy — nor a joy — to use. We created a simple and welcoming space by strategically removing a portion of the wall between the kitchen and the living space. Now, with access to natural light and a view to the exterior from the windows beyond, the small kitchen feels as if it is an integral component of the larger room, rather than being a dark and isolated, separate space.

A black and white dog relaxes on the floor, in this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Open Kitchen

Previously closed off, with strategic demo, it is now open and light. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Open Kitchen

Previously closed off, with strategic demo, it is now open and light. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

The details matter in a small space, like this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
A Soothing Palette

With a minimal material palette, the small kitchen is not overwhelming, and blends seamlessly into the existing palette of the home. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A Soothing Palette

With a minimal material palette, the small kitchen is not overwhelming, and blends seamlessly into the existing palette of the home. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A combi-steam oven and and induction cooktop are multi-functional appliances in a small kitchen.
Appliances That Do More

Though they may appear small, the induction cooktop and combi-steam oven not only look great, but are powerful, multi-functional appliances. You don’t have to sacrifice your love of cooking in a small kitchen! Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Appliances That Do More

Though they may appear small, the induction cooktop and combi-steam oven not only look great, but are powerful, multi-functional appliances. You don’t have to sacrifice your love of cooking in a small kitchen! Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Small drawers in the bar top offer extra storage in this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
A Multi-Functional Bar

The raised bar block hides any lingering evidence of meal prep on the counter from the rest of the room. Integrated drawers and outlets make every bit of it functional. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A Multi-Functional Bar

The raised bar block hides any lingering evidence of meal prep on the counter from the rest of the room. Integrated drawers and outlets make every bit of it functional. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A small, high-end kitchen: Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Henrybuilt Bar Stools

Careful selection of furnishings and accessories helps tie the spaces together aesthetically. Backless Wave stools from Henrybuilt make for easy social connections between the kitchen and living space. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Henrybuilt Bar Stools

Careful selection of furnishings and accessories helps tie the spaces together aesthetically. Backless Wave stools from Henrybuilt make for easy social connections between the kitchen and living space. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Oranges in a pull out pantry drawer, in this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Hardware with Clean Lines

Beadblasted stainless steel hardware from Henrybuilt has a thin profile, mounted flush with the edge of the plywood cabinet doors. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Hardware with Clean Lines

Beadblasted stainless steel hardware from Henrybuilt has a thin profile, mounted flush with the edge of the plywood cabinet doors. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Materials and finishes selected for the kitchen needed to help it feel lighter and brighter, yet it was important for the refreshed space to blend harmoniously with the palette of the existing rooms, as well. The small globe pendants over the bar counter add a gem-like point of interest between the newly-connected spaces: not overwhelming or out-of-context in the room, and each one a beautiful object.

Where the partition wall once stood, a new bar block offers convenient drawers on the kitchen side and a dining surface with storage below on the opposite side. Sometimes, when faced with the challenge of a small space, it may seem like removing a wall of cabinets would be counterproductive.

Fortunately, it’s quite often the case that with good design, we can do more with less. In the end, the small kitchen feels fresh and light. Open and cohesive with the rest of the space, it’s now not only more functional, but finally, a joy to use.

Crystal sphere pendant lights, in the Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Optic Crystal LED Pendants

These Mina pendants from Tech Lighting glow like tiny orbs, while still casting plenty of light onto the work surface below. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Optic Crystal LED Pendants

These Mina pendants from Tech Lighting glow like tiny orbs, while still casting plenty of light onto the work surface below. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Soft-toned, custom wood cabinets in the Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
A Hidden Refrigerator

A panel-ready refrigerator feels like it is part of the casework and doesn’t dominate the small space. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

A Hidden Refrigerator

A panel-ready refrigerator feels like it is part of the casework and doesn’t dominate the small space. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Custom cabinets offer extra storage, in this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Concealed Storage

On the living room side, shallow base cabinets provide additional storage where there might otherwise be a blank panel. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Concealed Storage

On the living room side, shallow base cabinets provide additional storage where there might otherwise be a blank panel. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Custom cabinets and clean, modern cabinet pulls in this Petite Condo Kitchen, by Board & Vellum.
Trifecta Benefit

The bar block addition creates a deeper counter on the kitchen side, plus added knee space and concealed storage on the living room side. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

Trifecta Benefit

The bar block addition creates a deeper counter on the kitchen side, plus added knee space and concealed storage on the living room side. Photo by Tina Witherspoon.

What did this project look like before we started?

Quite a bit different!

Grab the slider below to switch between “Before” & “After” images so you can experience the transformation for yourself.

A view of an ADU living room before a remodel to open up the kitchen.A view of a small ADU kitchen before a remodel to open up the kitchen to the living room.
A view of an ADU living room before a remodel to open up the kitchen.A view of a small ADU kitchen after a remodel to open up the kitchen to the living room.
A view of a small ADU kitchen before a remodel to open up the kitchen to the living room.View from the kitchen sink over a bar counter to the living room beyond.
A view of a small ADU kitchen before a remodel to open up the kitchen to the living room.A remodeled small ADU kitchen, viewed from the interior.

B&V Project Team
Renée Roman, RA, LEED AP, Master GardnerArchitecture Lead
Hyrel MathiasInterior Design Lead

Notes & Credits
This project was built by Krekow Jennings.
High quality integrated kitchen cabinets, and stools, by Henrybuilt.
Lighting design by Brian Hood Lighting Design.
Ceramic art by Heidi Anderson.
Photography by Tina Witherspoon.

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