Jenny describes the "before" of her compact kitchen best: it was safe. White walls, white cabinets. Not a lot of color, accessories, style or windows. It gave off about as much charm as a doctor's office. So she decided to add color — but in a practical way. She'd keep the black floor tiles that hide dirt, but add a cheery pop of color in an unexpected place, and throw in some efficient storage ideas for good measure.
We started out with basic (read: safe) colors for our apartment when we got married. Last year, I decided to do something more dramatic about the color because our kitchen doesn't have any windows and the whole look is starting to get too clinical for me. However, I didn't want to get full-on color-crazy so I kept the basic black and white (let's face it, black floor tiles hide messes better) but added yellow to the lower cabinets. For an added boost, I also had the inner walls of the cabinets painted yellow so there is a wonderful colour pop when you open the cabinets.
Because we also had a one-year son to think about, I also updated our appliances to electric, swapping the old gas stove to induction and the oven to an electric one for safety reasons. (Most stoves in the Philippines run on small gas tanks which can cause fires). I also moved the refrigerator to the entrance so it is more accessible. That left its former space to be used as a bigger storage cabinet.
To keep the space clean and clear, I replaced the old dish rack with a couple of hanging dish racks from Ikea. They can easily be folded when not in use. A few command strips were used to hang the kitchen utensils and the kitchen towel - it's fast and easy and I can easily remove and change the layout. Every useable piece of wall space was utilized to free up the counters for prep work and leave them clear when every thing is done.
Lastly, we added a sliding door at the entrance to screen the kitchen from the little one when some serious cooking is happening. I love the transformation, and my son loves it, too. He likes going to the kitchen for a quick snack and to chat with us. Working in such a cheerful environment makes chores and cooking so much more pleasant.
Thank you Jenny!
(Image credits: Jenny Wong )