We have struggled with designing a kitchen out of a small space that lacked cabinetry and any appliances on one side. Given the need to buy all new cabinets, appliances and countertops, I tried find a solution that provided lots of counter space, reasonable cost, a design element and fit in a small space. Plus we wanted to create a coffee/breakfast bar within the space. This was one of the toughest design challenges we have faced in our renovation projects.
I kept seeing islands that met the criteria we wanted so I decided to look at the open space like an kitchen island. I googled 48 inch tables and found that restaurant grade stainless work tables might work. I finally found the site “Webrestaurant.com” which had open tables for our coffe table and shelfed tables that would be a work space on the other side of the stove. With shipping, the tables cost $500.
We are thrilled with the solution- plus they came with specific measurements so no surprises and had countertops built in. The industrial restaurant grade stainless give a modern, unexpected pop to the cottage kitchen and solved all our design needs. Now just have to get gas stove hooked up!
We have been living and remodeling a 672 square foot home for 2 months. Kind of feels like an episode of “Property Brothers” without the big reveal. Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far…
1. Measure everything and keep those numbers on your phone along with supply and to do lists.
2. Carry a tape measure with you.
3. Be flexible, old tiny old homes have surprises (some good, some not so much) and be willing to adjust paint, design and furniture choices accordingly.
4. Don’t be set with one use for furniture, cabinets, shelves- try to mind multiple uses for everything.
5. Keep lots of paper towels, scrub sponges and other cleaning supplies readily available so you can clean as you go.
6. We have a canvas tool bag filled with hammer, nails, screws, glue and other supplies to do projects and keep it handy.
7. Find a place for EVERYTHING and put it back as soon as you are done with it.
8. Don’t think small when it comes to a tiny home- we kept our 50 inch flat screen- we just attached it to the wall and kept a large mirror and a painting to help make ceilings taller.
9. Buy appliances and furniture that are size appropriate for your space- we wanted a full size couch but are now looking for a loveseat instead.
10. Living in a tiny house makes you think about what
you really need and want in your home- the tiny house helps you edit your life in a very positive way.
A simple fact of tiny homes is they have small bathrooms. Luckily our new cottage has a big original cast iron tub but the old sink looked like something from a nasty reststop bathroom. It had to go. But what to replace it with? We desperately needed storage but I wanted a pedestal sink to save on space. My dear husband wanted an IKEA prebuild cabinet with sink to match. Price point was $250-400 for pedestal and $450 for complete cabinet, sink and faucet.
We have not had good luck with IKEA cabinets in past so I was very hesitant. Once we looked more closely at the quality of the drawers and faucets, I was sold. Now that we have lived with it for a couple of weeks, it is a winner on style and practicality.
The bathroom is in progress as we need to do some structural floor work then rebuild built in shelving as old cabinets were water stained and very smelly so they were ripped out along with the hideous 1970s medicine cabinet. We plan to replace the shower surround with galvanized sheet metal and redo the bead board wall behind the sink and install a ️square mirror we found at IKEA for $12. I’m kind of loving IKEA again!
Bathroom in progress with IKEA cabinet
Both of our tiny houses have galley style kitchens. I cook almost all of our meals so I like to create a space that is highly efficient and pleasant to spend time in. My frugal ways keeps me from wanting to spend large sums on trendy or name brand appliances – I have cooked on almost everything from a open fire to a cheap hot plate so I can make any stove, fridge and sink combo work. We have purchase GE Artistry fridge and stove which are small in size and vintage in design- so far we love the look and function.
One side of our tiny kitchen was left blank. I learned this is typical of old houses because it usually was too expensive to put cabinets throughout. I am going to open shelving on the blank side made from salvaged old growth Doug Fir shelves salvaged from Restore for $10 and some cool black brackets from Astoria Vintage Hardware. This is a kitchen in progress…more as it is put together!
Before we bought house, kitchen as is
Kitchen in progress
When we purchased the tiny cottage, I found color inspiration from old vintage maps and globes we collected over the past couple of years. The soft blue, green and pastels inspired my idea to carry these colors and collectibles through out the house. The Sherwin Willams color “Rainwashed” became my guide as I carried a tattered paint sample strip in my purse to double check colors. Rainwashed is now the feature in the tiny living room, making the freshly white painted wainscoting pop.
After years of living in the suburbs, we finally sold our house. We had hoped to move full time to our beloved beach house but it is too far to commute. We looked for options closer to work but nothing made sense until we found a tiny 672 square foot 1926 cottage in a small historical town – we had found a city house that seemed like our beach house. So we have begun yet another renovation and I hope to share our journey of 2 tiny houses as we make them our homes.
Before we bought our tiny cottage…
Painted the craftsman door and starting on trim…