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Kathleen's Super-Bright, Super-Happy Kitchen




Long Beach, California



Square Feet:


How many people live in home:

One: Just me - no one else will fit!

What makes your small kitchen so cool?

It's bright and happy, and everything I need is within reach. It's also good for portion control because if I gain weight I will no longer be able to fit into my "one fanny" kitchen.

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

My biggest challenge was the electrical. My condo is part of a large penthouse apartment that was subdivided into 6 hotel units with very little electricity to handle the load.. My first refrigerator died prematurely from a power surge before I made my first meal. The replacement fridge didn't fit the cabinet surround, so I resorted to painting optical illusions on the existing cabinetry to make it less of an eyesore. Somehow I managed to fit new refrigerator drawers, a farmhouse sink, and a full size cooktop and microwave/convection oven combo into this tiny space, and still have a decent amount of storage space for utensils. The small dressing area next to the kitchen became the new pantry. It's a quirky arrangement but it works well.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen

Since I just finished painting this morning - minutes before these photos were taken, I'll have to answer that question after the paint drys! I suspect it will be fresh salads. I'm also looking forward to trying some one pot recipes in my multi cooker. Since it's a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice maker, browner and warmer all-in-one, it is a great space saver for a tiny kitchen.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (21)

I love your bright whimsical kitchen. You did an amazing job!

posted by Stacey Williams on July 25, 2011 at 3:06pm
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Wow, such a colorful kitchen !

posted by PreethiV on July 22, 2011 at 8:31am
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Very cool. It reminds me of peewee's playhouse :)

posted by annaminnie on July 22, 2011 at 10:06am
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This is my favorite favorite.

posted by Joan A. on July 22, 2011 at 11:07am
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How did you come upon the range hood? All I see in the moderate price range are stainless steel. Great kitchen!

posted by patfm on July 22, 2011 at 1:56pm
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patfm - it's not a real range hood - it's a painted cabinet door that conceals the microwave/convection oven. The cook top is real, but the drawers underneath are refrigerator drawers painted to match. You just validated my optical illusion experiment!
Thanks all for the sweet comments.

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 2:58pm
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Very nice and compact. I like it.

posted by Jim French on July 22, 2011 at 4:48pm
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I have been in it and am amazed what has been done with such a small space. It is fantastic!

posted by meredith stenning on July 22, 2011 at 4:57pm
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WOAH! Reminds me of Toon Town in Disneyland!

posted by Put A Bird On It on July 22, 2011 at 8:06pm
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Do you not have an oven?

posted by Put A Bird On It on July 22, 2011 at 8:07pm
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Kathy, How much fun!! and what a difference from your all white former apartment!! Can't wait to see it in person, soon!

posted by Ezra on July 22, 2011 at 9:16pm
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Trufflesauce - yes, there really is an oven behind the fake hood. Since the kitchen is only 24 sq. ft., the full-sized oven dwarfed everything else in the kitchen (and my whole 264 sq ft. condo for that matter!) I didn't want to stare at a big shiny new oven all day, so I covered it to cut back on some of the visual noise. Then I made up for it with colorful fun noise instead : )

I haven't been to Disneyland in ages so I googled images of ToonTown. Now I want to move there when I grow up. It's even lopsided like my kitchen!

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 11:23pm
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Meridith - what an honor to have a real live kitchen and bath designer comment on my humble little kitchen!

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 11:27pm
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Abby - my old white condo seems a lifetime ago! Yes, I'm in technicolor now. Do come visit soon. I'd love to show you the rest of my little nest.

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 11:32pm
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Aunt Tootsie:
Love the colors and the decor! Your kitchen has such a magical theme to it. Have fun with it. diana c.

posted by Diana C on July 24, 2011 at 2:55pm
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It almost look cartoonish.

posted by howyadoin? on July 24, 2011 at 6:25pm
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You fooled my eyes completely. Don't remember the exact French term--but it's clear you have real skill in the art of make believe. And yet, you have a real, working kitchen. Abracadabra!

posted by Spencer2 on July 24, 2011 at 9:03pm
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How did you create the archways?

posted by krane on July 25, 2011 at 1:16pm
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I put tension rods with fabric on the old square doorways, and then cut the arches out of fabric to see if it was something I really wanted to do. While I was letting the idea sink in, I had a contractor over to put in a new bathroom sink. He asked me if I wanted him to do the arches. I had him do one, and was totally smitten. Over the last 10 years I added more arches whenever I could afford it.

The technique was fairly straight forward. He cut plywood arches from the templates I made, and nailed them to the framing on both sides. Then he used a narrow strip of bendable plastic to cover the open edges of the arch. Not sure what the material is called but I think it's designed for this purpose. Then it was just a matter of plastering and sanding to make it smooth. It sounds more complicated than it was. I can draw you a diagram if you're interested, and maybe dig out a photo if I can find one.

Be careful though, arches are addictive. I think I'm up to 18 arches including the windows. It's just that everything looks better through an arch, or two, or three....

posted by kbfromlb on July 26, 2011 at 11:28am
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Ooh must make hubby make me some!

posted by krane on July 26, 2011 at 3:03pm
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Yes please on the photos and diagram!

posted by krane on July 26, 2011 at 3:09pm
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