A Compact Kitchen that Doesn’t Skimp on Style

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Project by: Jeanne Schultz
Location: Austin, Texas

Jeanne was tasked with designing compact kitchens that were short on space but long on usability and charm. The brightly colored cabinets and open shelving keep the space looking bright and open, while the compact appliances allow for a fully functional kitchen.

From Jeanne: The Miriam Residences, once belonging to the estate of Texas Governors Ma (Miriam) and Pa (James) Ferguson, is a residential community located in downtown Austin’s historical neighborhood of Pemberton Heights. Constructed in the midcentury, each unit has been restored to pristine condition and updated to redefine compact urban living. Comprised of homes between 350 square feet and 900 square feet, each features a reconfigured open floor plan and a variety of space-saving solutions.

Most notably is what the design and development team have coined as the ‘compact kitchen.’ Each kitchen optimizes space and utility through careful consideration of appliances, cabinets, and fixtures.

All appliances maintain a minimal footprint, ranging from 18″-30″ in size. Bertazzoni and Bosch ceramic cooktops 24″ in width are sleek alternatives to ranges and raised metal grills. The appliance mounts nearly flush to the countertop and may function as a useable surface when not heated. A contiguous surface optimizes workspace and prevents an interruption to preparation areas.

24″ wide counter-depth refrigerators manufactured by Bosch facilitate a clean look and can help minimize appliance extension into standing, circulation, or work areas. Fitting snug and flush to adjacent cabinetry, this counter-depth product provides cohesion to the kitchen, provides plenty of storage, and is equipped with a freezer option while remaining slim and compact.

The Bertazzoni speed oven functions both as a convectional oven and a microwave. Because the microwave is integrated, the need for a supplementary appliance is eliminated. Not only does this save space in cabinet linear footage, but it also helps manage a non-cluttered aesthetic on or above the countertops. This oven is only 24″ wide and fits nicely into a trimmed cabinet, yielding a modern, minimalistic look. While only 17″ tall, it is equipped with two racks, 6 cooking modes, a glass turntable for microwaving, and other accessories for fast and efficient cooking. Its modest height presents the opportunity for an additional baking sheet drawer to be built-in below it, maximizing storage and tying into a unified cabinet design.

Efficient cabinet design yields optimum storage solutions. Deep stackable drawers minimize linear cabinet footage, taking full advantage of vertical space. A variety of cookwares and tools may be stored in appropriately sized drawers versus traditional base cabinet shelf-and-door options.

In lieu of a pantry closet, open shelving provides additional food storage by stretching the full horizontal width of the kitchen space. Open shelves stack vertically more efficiently than the confinements of a mounted upper cabinet, and also provide storage area for dinnerware, etc.

24″ wide single basin sinks are employed to minimize cabinet dimensions. A single basin allows for maximum maneuverability.

Thanks, Jeanne Schultz!

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