The Genius DIY That Made a Tiny Kitchen Functional for a Family of 7

published Mar 9, 2024
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Dream homes look different for everyone. Some dream of Brooklyn brownstones, others dream of cottages by the sea, others yearn for sprawling Palm Springs-style homes, and still others want historic beauties.

Lindsey Badenhop, a content creator and owner of Milk and Honey Clothier, had always dreamed of living in a historic home. And although owning an 1889 Queen Anne (which is on the National Register of Historic Homes) was a dream come true, the whole house wasn’t exactly dreamy.

For instance, the galley kitchen was renovated multiple times — once in the ‘50s and again in the ‘80s — and was only 130 square feet, which wasn’t exactly ideal for Lindsey’s family of seven. “Oftentimes, we felt claustrophobic, and in turn, we spent as little time as possible in the kitchen,” Lindsey says, adding that it’s “not what [she] had envisioned for her family.”

Borrowing space from the dining room created a larger kitchen.

Lindsey and her husband, Cory, knew they had to make some necessary changes to make it work better for their family. After living in their home for a while, they realized that utilizing the formal dining area would create a larger space for the kitchen, so they added cabinetry along the walls there and relocated the sink, fridge, and stove, to that room and still managed to carve out space for a dedicated dining table in the living room area. The small galley kitchen will eventually become a pantry in the next phase of the reno.

The cabinets are from IKEA (painted in a creamy white, Sherwin-Williams’ White Duck), the cabinet fronts are from Semihandmade, and the cabinet hardware is from Rejuvenation.

They saved money by sourcing vintage appliances.

“We didn’t exactly set a budget, but we both knew if we were going to make it happen, it had to be done spending as little money as possible,” Lindsey says of her and Cory’s kitchen reno. “We saved a ton of money on our appliances by sourcing vintage pieces, like our stove and refrigerator.”

Along the way, they picked up plenty of skills, like how to turn a standard dishwasher into an integrated one and how to get their 1940s stove to work properly — but all the hard work has been worth it. The sink is also a vintage find, as are the pendant light, and lots of decor throughout.

Hanging storage is small-space friendly.

As indicated, this kitchen upgrade is actually one smaller phase of a bigger renovation, and Lindsey and Cory plan to triple down on storage with upper cabinetry, the new pantry, and a new island when budget allows. But in the meantime, they got creative with their organizing solutions to create some vertical storage.

“We installed a peg rack for some extra storage and display use,” Lindsey says. “I love displaying our water glasses, and oftentimes, I use it to store our cleaning supplies or any item that we are currently using often. And, of course, there’s always some sort of herb or flower on the shelf as well.”

And the hanging rod above the stove is actually a brass curtain rod from Target that can hold lightweight items.

It’s now a much more functional space.

“I feel so happy while I’m in the kitchen and have an overwhelming sense of gratitude that we now have more space to cook meals and bake together as a family,” Lindsey says. “We spend the most time together in our kitchen.”

Their renovated kitchen isn’t the only airy and tranquil space in their space. To see more, visit the full house tour on Apartment Therapy. 

This post originally ran on The Kitchn. See it there: Before & After: A “Claustrophobic” Kitchen Becomes an Airy Neutral Oasis