Location: Cambridge, MA
Size & Type: 63 square feet in a condo
Favorite resource: Local unfinished cabinetry via Home Depot. We couldn't believe how affordable solid wood cabinets became when we chose to go unfinished...
Inspiration: The crisp, efficient design of butler's pantries. We also wanted our kitchen to have a clean, organic feel...
Inspiration continued: ...so we used simple textures - wood (painted in Benjamin Moore China White) and honed granite (high-honed Brazilian black), paired with stainless steel. Our goal was to give the kitchen a faux built-in look, with as much genuine floor-to-ceiling storage as possible. We tried to create a sense of space with high elements, and a design that focused attention upon the room's large window.
Favorite resource continued: ...they were even customize-able for very little extra dough, so we got to make them super high, and added an MDF crown molding that cost about $12 total and made all the cabinets look as if they blended seamlessly together. Being able to choose the exact color of your cabinets is a nice bonus, and painting isn't expensive if you find a local carpenter to finish them on-site.
Tip: OK, so it's not sexy but (as Tom Cruise says in The Firm) it's got teeth: consider re-routing your plumbing! Lines can be moved with less cost than you might think, especially if you keep them tight to the wall instead of opening up lots of plaster. We were able to redo our plumbing very affordably, and the views from the window have made a huge difference in our experience of the space.