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James' Bright and Enjoyable Kitchen




Washington, Washington D.C.



Square Feet:


How many people live in home:

Uno: me

What makes your small kitchen so cool?

After 10+ years in my 800 sq ft condo, I was recently able to do a renovation of its early 80s self. For my kitchen, I wanted a bright, sophisticated and enjoyable space, and believe that is what I now have. It's now my favorite room in the whole place.

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

Besides budget, my main challenge was getting more light and a spacious feeling into the dark, galley kitchen. Removing a soffit and partial wall, and moving the refrigerator really opened up the space. Plus, the IKEA white abstrakt cabinets have given it a much brighter look. The backsplash was my big splurge, but well worth it.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen

Breakfast foods -- blueberry pancakes, french toast, etc. -- tend to be my favorite meals to cook. When inspired, I pull out Penelope Casas' Foods and Wine of Spain, and whip up some tortilla espanola.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (14)

Wow! Beautiful transformation. The subway tile and undercabinet lighting looks lovely.

posted by heypielady on July 22, 2011 at 7:22am
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I live in DC and have seen hundreds of these galley kitchens - what you've done with yours is gorgeous!

posted by SallyDC on July 21, 2011 at 10:17am
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Great job! I agree that moving the refrigerator made a big difference. I see a lot of kitchen renovations that make cosmetic improvements, but don't solve layout and function issues. It's nice to see a kitchen that looks beautiful AND functional.

posted by heather77 on July 21, 2011 at 11:15am
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This is an amazing makeover. I love your kitchen. It inspires me creatively.

posted by kimot2ltd on July 21, 2011 at 11:27am
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Gorgeous!! Where did you get that rug runner?? I love it!

posted by jenpalmer4 on July 21, 2011 at 12:52pm
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Great Kitchen! Where did you get the subway sign wall art? I have a new orleans version and my mom has been asking me (relentlessly) to find one for her. I think she'd love this one!

posted by nbpica on July 21, 2011 at 3:19pm
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Thanks all! I appreciate the comments.

@jenpalmer 4: the runner is actually 5 FLOR carpet squares put together. Bought them used on craigslist.

@nbpica: bought it from Transit Design on etsy.com. You can customize the list on your own canvas.

posted by radjam on July 21, 2011 at 7:28pm
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Nice digs, JR - you could give the place in Las Cruces a serious run for the money...

posted by melizvt on July 21, 2011 at 11:48pm
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If you're still checking back here, do you mind telling us the make and model of your refrigerator? It fits so nicely in the space.

posted by heather77 on July 22, 2011 at 6:22pm
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@heather77 -- it's a fisher paykel. Great fridge. Sorry, don't have the model no. handy.

posted by radjam on July 23, 2011 at 8:58pm
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What a lovely transformation. Picking that smashing tile backsplash really made your cabinets look like a million bucks!

posted by Spencer2 on July 24, 2011 at 8:48pm
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Thank you!

posted by heather77 on July 25, 2011 at 4:18pm
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James - this is beautiful, and has been the model for my kitchen redo over the past week...almost done. Where did you get your backsplash? I saw a similar one at lowes of wide green tiles of varying heights, but yours seems to have more vibrant color than the one at lowes.

posted by rickyx2001 on January 5, 2012 at 10:07pm
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Your backsplash is great -- would you mind telling us where you got it?

posted by jed217 on March 14, 2012 at 3:55pm
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