Kitchen Spotlight: Slide-Out Worktops in a Tiny Galley

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We were really interested in this kitchen, part of a recent house tour at AT:Chicago. This kitchen is tiny, and the owners could have simply been dismayed by the closed-in shoebox and ordered takeout every night from then on. But no, Susannah and Jeff are cooks, and that wouldn’t do.

Read on for more photos and their story of how they renovated this kitchen from an unusable butler’s pantry into a very functional space.

The kitchen is a glorified pantry closet, just off this dining room area. Susannah calls it “the size of a lentil.”

• You can see just into the edge of the kitchen here; see how small it is?

• The stove is to the left, but then the other two little window spots have pull-out countertops.

Susannah says that they are most proud of…

Gutting and creating a kitchen from scratch. The kitchen floor was covered in huge, broken, white, ceramic patio tile; we went down to the original hardwood floors, fixed the water damage, sealed any cracks and painted with layer upon layer of porch paint and poly. Unfortunately, nothing from the kitchen except the stove could be salvaged.

• We like the deep blue tile; it makes the small, dark space seem fuller and richer, somehow.

• Shelves and a hanging basket also help maximize space.

• In small spaces, go vertical!

Susannah says,

We took down three unmatched mdf cabinets and ran alder hardwood shelves all the way to the ceiling. The appliances were selected with great care so that every inch of space could be maximized. We filled an old doorway with shelves and a drawer with an added pullout work surface. The tiles, bar-sink, and pre-fab maple cabinet were purchased from Lowe’s. We customized the grout to get a deep espresso color.

• A little sink tiled in next to the stove. We imagine this isn’t the most convenient placement, but a large cutting board over the sink would help maximize that space while cooking. Also, Susanna says that the deep bar sink here saves space: “Using a bar sink instead of a full size sink gives you more counter space and is great for washing big, deep pots!”

Overall this space turned out so well for Susannah and Jeff, the owners, that they named it as their personal favorite highlight of the house; “The kitchen – we rarely eat out!” Far from takeout every night!

Related: Kitchen Tour: Dutch’s Renovation Done Right – Another tiny boxy space renovated into a highly usable kitchen.