Hidden Spaces in Your Small Kitchen

Employ these designer strategies to make a petite kitchen feel roomier and more user-friendly.

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Steal From Your Appliances

Counter-depth ENERGY STAR® appliances fit flush with countertops and shave about six inches off the depth of their standard counterparts, freeing up walking space and saving energy in the process. "A counter-depth refrigerator with French doors and a bottom freezer has a substantially reduced door swing and makes the room feel larger," says Los Angeles designer Sarah Barnard, LEED AP, who designed the kitchen above with counter-depth appliances. "I have had clients agonize over this decision, concerned they wouldn't have enough cold food storage compared to their old fridge. So far, everyone who has made the switch is glad they did!"

Barnard also recommends choosing a basic range model with a bottom storage drawer instead of a broiler or other high-end function. Cutting boards, cookie sheets and pizza stones store neatly, plus you'll save money because storage drawers are considered less desirable. (By the less knowledgeable, that is.)

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