Posted in Small Kitchens, Style Notes

A Little Rough Around the Edges

I came across this photo at Design Sponge and stopped to inspect it closely.
I think it is a charming photo giving us a glimpse of a small kitchen space done very inexpensively but “oh so cute” in the details. So you don’t have a ton of money to redo your space? With a little innovation you can turn anything into charming with a little “do-it-your-self work” that costs barely anything.
What works:

  1. The cinder block wall is painted a dark chocolate brown that sets off the white cabinets. Hides flaws, your eye won’t focus there but on the cute collections on the shelf.
  2. They painted the exposed electrical conduit the same color as the walls. Great way of hiding flaws.
  3. Open stainless steel shelves with white plates works great as a inexpensive alternative to cabinets. Keeps the space from being weighed down with top heavy cabinets that make a space look smaller.
  4. No doors on the white cabinet. If cabinet doors are ugly, take them off. A fresh coat of paint hides all sins.
  5. Wall mounted utensil holder serves two purposes, additional storage space + it hides the coldness of the cinderblock wall.
  6. It’s edited. Bowls, cups, plates, glasses are shown as bare minimum. Only one small appliance on the counter. Buying too much and having it all hang out creates chaos.
  7. Left of the sink, The counter is tiled in an interesting tile pattern. The cabinet doors are removed there as well, and a black and white fabric installed in place.
  8. The stainless steel sink and counter look prefab with a very inexpensive faucet but still looks tre’ chic because the homeowner designed the space with a great color combination. This is black and white at it’s finest on a tight budget! My only idea would be to change the knobs on the cabinet to a stainless pull or a little larger white knob.

This kitchen is located in a Brownstone in Brooklyn. Samira Gagne, lives here with her husband Kapono Chung. Read more on what else they did in this space. They really did a fine job with “found objects”, infusing their own creativity in the space. Creative! What a happy space!



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

2 thoughts on “A Little Rough Around the Edges

  1. I enjoyed your analysis of this kitchen — and a good choice to project to take a look at, too. Don’t you love to see how great a “flawed space’ can be made to look, even without a hefty budget?


  2. Absolutely. I love it when i see inventive and “cheap” rescue solutions. Anybody can throw money at a problem but solving design flaws on a budget really shows a person’s creative genius.


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