Two level kitchen island Design
An island is a valuable addition to an L-shaped kitchen.
Remodeling a small L-shaped kitchen may provide needed updates to improve its appearance and efficiency. Take a look at your kitchen and prioritize a list of items you'd like to change. Set a budget you can live with and stick to it. Acquire cost estimates for the top items on your wish list and work your way down. Tackling all or part of the work yourself can save pricey labor costs if you have the desire and skills to do so.
Make optimal use of the floor space in a small L-shaped kitchen to maximize its efficiency. A floor plan that incorporates the traditional work triangle helps create a smooth workflow that is more functional and efficient. The triangle consists of three major work areas: the refrigerator for cold food storage, the sink for food preparation and cleanup, and the stove for cooking. The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends each leg of the work triangle measures between 4 and 9 feet, with no major traffic patterns crossing the triangle.
Appliances and Lighting
Consider switching out old appliances for new replacements. Newer appliances typically are more energy efficient, and may become major focal points in small L-shaped kitchens. Determine the features you need for each appliance, and compare brands and warranties. Measure the floor space available for each appliance to ensure it properly fits. Stainless-steel appliances add an instant update to any kitchen; they also provide a reflective quality, helping to make a small kitchen appear more spacious. Avoid replacing only one or two appliances, creating a mismatched group. Update old light fixtures. Track lighting is a budget-friendly choice that provides bright illumination without taking up much ceiling space. Hang pendant lights over a kitchen island to add targeted task lighting with a modern flair.
Walls, Windows and Floors
Apply a fresh coat of interior latex paint to the walls and ceiling. Light, neutral paint colors - soft white, barely beige, light gray - enhance almost any decorating style and may help "open up" a small L-shaped kitchen. Use a satin or semigloss paint finish to reflect natural and artificial light, making a small kitchen appear more spacious. Remove heavy drapes from the windows to allow sunlight to stream inside. Install natural woven shades to add an earthy element, or hang white, 2-inch wooden blinds for a clean, fresh look. Hardwood floors add an upscale look to any kitchen. Dark wood floors provide an aesthetically pleasing contrast against light-colored cabinetry.
Cabinets and Storage
An island is an ideal addition to a small L-shaped kitchen. It can provide additional storage, food prep and dining areas without taking up much valuable floor space. Create a perception of openness by refinishing existing cabinetry in a light-colored paint or stain. Glass cabinet doors and open wall shelves add visual interest and help avoid a boxy, cramped feel in a small kitchen. Remove old hardware from cabinet drawers and doors, and replace them with shiny chrome knobs and handles to add an updated look. Install granite countertops in a coordinating color to add upscale sophistication to your small kitchen. Laminate countertops provide a durable, budget-friendly alternative to granite, and are available in assorted colors and patterns.