« Back

Christa's Small and Thoughtful Kitchen




Berkeley, California



Square Feet:


How many people live in home:

My husband and I, one hip-hop kitty, one geriatric chihuahua, several spiders.

What makes your small kitchen so cool?

The play of light off the reflective surfaces. My kitchen is small but thoughtfully designed to be efficient like a ship. It's separated from the main living area by a custom cabinet that holds the fridge and oven on the kitchen side, but is a bookcase to the living room.

One challenge you overcame in your small kitchen, or a good resource you've found.

The kitchen was a dark cave with only one tiny window. All the walls were mirrored -- it was like cooking in a fun house! The mirrors reflected the black granite and appliances making the kitchen feel even darker and smaller. I removed the mirrors everywhere except behind the open shelves, painted the walls white, and I installed two skylights. I also replaced the textured linoleum with hardwood floors to create more flow between the kitchen, dining, and living rooms. The floors also reflect even more light. I refinished the cabinets and replaced the knobs. I did everything I could without remodeling -- with my small budget I had to keep the old appliances, counters and cabinets for now. I chose to spend my money on sunlight. To increase storage and counter space, I picked up the stainless steel Flyta cart from IKEA. I loaded up the bottom shelf with glass jars filled with dry goods.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen

Fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits. I know, I should say an amazing salad made from ingredients I picked up at the Gourmet Ghetto Farmers Market, but I'd be lying.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (6)

I would have liked to see the before with all the mirrors, but great job, regardless!

posted by jarobinson1 on July 21, 2011 at 2:09pm
view jarobinson1's profile

I was actually hoping the contest would receive an entry with skylights that had been installed as part of a makeover.

Anything that you would do differently in regards to that, Christa or are you happy with the amount of light now?

posted by RocketScientist on July 21, 2011 at 3:09pm
view RocketScientist's profile

I, too wish you had the before picture! You did a great job and I don't even think you need to replace the counters, cabinets, or appliances, that would be wasteful because it looks great as-is! Leave them for the sake of the good looks AND the planet!

Stoked on your fried chicken and biscuits instead of hipster salads, too!

posted by Put A Bird On It on July 21, 2011 at 3:45pm
view Put A Bird On It's profile

I love this kitchen because it shows how much you can do with what you already have.

Well done!

posted by hello123 on July 22, 2011 at 5:53am
view hello123's profile

Christa, the photo dont even do justice to how lovely the kitchen is. Kitchens are such collecting grounds for clutter, and you seem to have put everything in its right place. Nice eye.

posted by chris.q on July 22, 2011 at 2:42pm
view chris.q's profile

cute and cozy. kudos to you.

posted by chasedook on July 24, 2011 at 5:58pm
view chasedook's profile