One small drawback? There's no need to walk away from an otherwise perfect place. As with most small-space designs, things are all about looking up. Literally. "Climb the walls," says Jill Seidner of Jill Seidner Interior Design. "Maximize wall space for storage, shelving or tall pieces of furniture. Take the cabinets all the way to the ceiling."
In this smart kitchen design by Steve Appolloni, space is used from the basement stairway to create the built-in bookcase. The microwave tucks away in its own nook, freeing up precious counter space and under-cabinet lighting is smart and unobtrusive.