Andy and Courtney just renovated their 9x9-foot galley kitchen in Richmond, Virginia, and the result is a bright, smart space that is coolly sophisticated yet warm and welcoming. Come peek into this little cottage kitchen and see a before photo (it was a great transformation!), and read all sorts of tips and good ideas for getting the most out of a smaller kitchen renovation — on a budget too!
Courtney and Andy live in a 1940s Cape Cod home in Richmond, Virginia, and they wanted to update the kitchen without losing its warmth and charm. Their goal was to give their small kitchen (just 9x9) a cottage feel.
We really like the combination of cool, fresh cottage-friendly marble countertops and white tile backsplash with the warmer tones of the green walls and cork flooring. It all combines to feel fresh and clean, but not overly white or sterile. We also love the tip they offer about using a French door in a small kitchen; the glass door helps it feel open to the back porch.
The Kitchn Questionnaire
1. What's your cooking style?
Fast and simple. Andy and I are much more Rachael Ray than Julia Child.
2. What inspires your kitchen?
We really wanted the kitchen to be timeless. We thought that would best be done by going with a cottage style. Not only does it stand the test of time, but it also feels so cozy and welcoming!
3. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Microwave because it's also a convection oven. It was a bit of a splurge for us, but so worth it for its efficiency.
4. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Clean as you go. My mother taught me that a meal can't be truly enjoyed when there are dirty dishes all around.
5. Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Its size. We're literally working with a room that is 9x9. A lot of people have commented that there is too much white. And it is white, but that was by design. We really hoped that keeping the space light and bright would help it to feel larger. We also added a French door to create an illusion of space.
6. Biggest indulgence:
Farmhouse sink. Andy scoured the web to find one that was affordable. To work with our small budget, we went with what is called a butler-sized sink. It's definitely smaller, but that works for well for our tiny space! I firmly believe we would not have been able to achieve the cottage look without this sink.
7. Dream tool or splurge:
I would love to have been able to include vintage appliances in the kitchen to really up the cottage factor.
8. What are you cooking this week?
Spring has finally sprung here in Richmond, so we've moved the cooking outdoors to the grill. That means good old-fashioned hot dogs and hamburgers!
9. What cookbook has inspired you the most?
The cookbooks that I use most often are the ones that were created by my mother's local women's club. They compile their favorite recipes (mostly comfort foods) for an annual book that serves as their major community fundraiser.
10. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
It would probably be the time that I attempted to make a simple tomato and basil bruschetta for our supper club. It was not long after we had purchased the home and it was the first time we had real guests over. I was so frazzled that it took the smoke alarm sounding for me to realize that I had left the bread in far too long. As if that was not embarrassing enough, things got worse when we had no idea how to make the alarm stop. This resulted in our home alarm system being triggered and the police being dispatched. When the officers knocked at the door, we thought they we had late arriving guests. We were mortified to discover that was not the case. Welcome to the neighborhood!
• Natural Cork Flooring, Earth Series Santiago
• Carrera Marble Countertop, Commonwealth Countertops
• Kohler Alcott apron-front, undercounter kitchen sink
• Kenmore Elite 24 in. Elite Built-In Dishwasher w/Ultra Wash HE Wash System
• Kenmore Elite 1500 Watt 1.7 cu. ft. Convection/Microwave Oven
• Kenmore 9642 Electric Range with warming drawer
• Amana Easy Reach Plus 20.3 cu. ft. Cabinet Depth Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Submit your kitchen here.
(Images: Cory Whitlow)