This 38-Square-Foot Kitchen Has 3 Secret Lessons

updated Dec 17, 2019
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(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

Here’s the thing about small kitchens: While we may all moan and groan and wish for palatial spaces with ample counter space and gobs of storage, it’s the teeny-tiny spaces that force us to be smart about what space we do have. Take this 38-square-foot kitchen in Brooklyn. It’s seriously small, with a galley layout that doesn’t afford too many options, but owners Ali and Chip make it work. It’s not only functional for a couple that likes to cook a lot, but it’s also super cute — and smart.

Here are three lessons you can steal from their well-designed kitchen.

(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

1. Cover up anything you don’t actually want to look at.

See that white “cage” next to the bookshelf? It wasn’t there before. It was built specifically to cover up an ugly steam pipe that couldn’t be removed. Not only does it help to let in light from the window (key in a small kitchen), but it also looks like an intentional decorative accent. If you’re not super-handy or want a less involved solution, consider hanging a pretty curtain or a piece of art over that eyesore! (In her last apartment, Lifestyle Director Lisa Freedman hung a framed print over an unsightly non-working vent.)

(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

2. Make use of that awkward windowsill space.

When you’re short on space, every inch matters. That’s why Ali and Chip built a custom window box for their sill. It’s the perfect spot for plants or herbs and adds a little life to the kitchen. For a less DIY way to use this space, just put planters right on the sill. Or stash your utensil containers on there. Or even some frequently used cookbooks.

(Image credit: Chinasa Cooper)

3. Don’t forget the walls!

Ali and Chip don’t have a ton of wall space, but what they do have, they’re using. They’ve hung double pot racks from Wayfair to hang all their pots and pans. You can also hang knives, coffee cups, plants, aprons — really, pretty much anything!

Do you see any other super-smart ideas in this tiny-but-stylish kitchen? Point them out in the comments below!