When you have a small kitchen, it's easy to start moaning and groaning about it. Steve Justrich, on the other hand, celebrates his kitchen's lack of square footage. "My philosophy is not to have to walk more than three steps between counters and appliances, and have everything within a fully extended arm's reach," he says. "I can have my left hand on a pot handle on the stove, and my right hand on the sink faucet at the same time."
An interior designer in San Francisco, Justrich recently renovated the kitchen of his 1912 home just outside the city's Golden Gate Park. Trying to make the older, 90-square-foot kitchen feel bigger was a challenge to say the least. But by placing the fridge flush to the wall, installing lots of windows and abstaining from upper cabinets helped make the space feel open and bright.
Justrich gave the ceiling an unexpected touch of turquoise with a textural Venetian plaster treatment. A bright yellow pendant hangs down from the ceiling, illuminating the counter workspace.
To save space in this small kitchen, Justrich built the refrigerator into what was originally a second doorway into the kitchen. Justrich wanted most of the things in his kitchen to be eco-friendly and low-maintenance, so he chose several European appliances as they tend to save space and energy.
A 30-inch sink has a built-in cutting board and strainer, making it an extra work space. "The bigger the sink, the better," he says. "And I've never liked two compartments — use tubs and strainers if you want to compartmentalize the sink. The sink should be able to fit the oven racks, exhaust hood filters, and refrigerator shelves for cleaning."
Heath Ceramics, cheerful oil paintings from a friend in New Mexico, and art by Alex Garcia set the tone. The gray flooring, white counters, ceiling, cabinetry, avocado doorway, and magenta bench outside were chosen to reflect on these pieces.
Open shelving above the countertop displays his ceramic collection, and a piece by Alex Garcia sits right next to the range. The range had cast-iron grates, and was chosen because it has the largest gas oven available for a 30-inch range. "It's a commercial grade look for half the price," Justrich says. Range: American Range Hood: Faber
Finnish yellow plywood was chosen for the cabinetry. This wood is a pre-finished industrial grade plywood with a visible wood grain. It's extremely durable and won't need to be refinished. Stainless steelOmnia pulls add a simple, retro touch.