Before & After: A Dark 75-Square-Foot Kitchen Is Now Modern and Bright, Thanks to IKEA Cabinets

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Professional designer: Shannon Tate-Giordano of Shannon Tate Interiors
Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
Kitchen size: 75 square feet

Shannon Tate is an interior designer based in Massachusetts, and our friends over at Apartment Therapy have featured a few of her professional projects before, like this Victorian meets industrial style kitchen and this budget IKEA kitchen makeover. She’s a master at taking dated, small spaces and transforming them into more functional and beautiful rooms. This dark and narrow kitchen remodel is another great example.

“I love that we really maximized every square inch of a very small space,” says Shannon. “My clients LOVE to cook and for people that love to cook, their kitchen was such a sad place to be. They deserved so much better.  I was so excited by the idea of this project, because I knew it would really change their lives. Good kitchens always do.”

My Style: Modern, eclectic, but always led by who my clients are first and foremost.

Inspiration: My clients.

Favorite Element: The flooring and the light above the sink, because I’m a dork for details.

Biggest Challenge: Budget and size of the space. I overcame this by putting my design mind to work and sourcing beautiful materials from low-cost vendors. And I overcame the space by keeping the palette light, while maximizing every square inch of space.

Best Advice:  Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


  • IKEA cabinet bases and sink
  • Semihandmade doors in Impression Smoke and Supermatte clay
  • Quartz countertops
  • Custom light above sink
  • Subway Tile from Home Depot
  • GE 24” wide, counter depth refrigerator
  • Bosch 18” 300 Series Compact dishwasher
  • LG Slide in Electric Range