How To: Open Up a Kitchen

(Without Knocking Down a Wall)

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Tiny kitchens are the plight of many city dwellers, but a lower square footage doesn't necessarily equal a claustrophobic room. Borrow a few ideas from the kitchen shown here to open yours up and create the perception of a larger space...True, the kitchen above (designed by Andre Rothblatt) is bigger than in many apartments, but that doesn't mean there aren't any ideas to be gleaned from the design. Here's what we noticed: Banish upper cabinets Get rid of the top cabinetry and you're opening up about a foot or more of space around the room, right at eye level. This isn't an option for most renters, but if you are in a position to get rid of them, you'll be amazed at how much lighter and more open the room will seem. If you're worried about the storage issue... Install a pot rack ...and we're not talking those bulky versions that hang in the middle of the room. Instead, try one or two attached to the wall like those shown here. Hung vertically you don't need nearly as much space as you would if the pans were stacked, and the bonus is that everything's within reach from the cook top. Opt for open shelving They provide the storage capability of cabinets without blocking the flow of the room. You might want to rethink this one if you live in an earthquake-prone area, or try shelves with a lip to minimize the risk of potential damage. Make it multi-task This kitchen island works as both a workspace and dining table, thanks to a pair of brightly colored stools which slide easily out of the way when not in use. Even if you're kitchen doesn't have room for an island (we hear you!), you might have a prep area pushed against the wall that can accommodate a seat or two underneath.

Any other ideas for opening up the kitchen? We'd love to hear them.


(Image: Andre Rothblatt)

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