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Kitchen Remodel Project in the Perico Bay Club neighborhood in Bradenton

  • Cabinetry: Stressless Collection
  • Doorstyle: Maple Simplicity w/slab drawer fronts
  • Finish: Toasted
  • Counters: Hahnstone Maple Canyon
  • Style: Warm Transitional

Mind Games Make This Kitchen Grow

Once in a while, things just need to be freshened up. That’s exactly what these Perico Bay Club owners thought after living 13 years with the kitchen they inherited from the previous owner. No big remodeling project – just some practical tweaks and a cosmetic shift to match the taste and style they are drawn to. A big concern was the tiny feel of the condo kitchen – it needed to grow, but there was no real room to increase the space.

The dated 90’s-era cabinets were out, replaced with a warmer, more contemporary look that suited these full-time residents. In a compact kitchen, a lot of planning needs to go into the storage capabilities. Tweaking the sink configuration allowed for accessible storage in the corner, and deep drawers now accommodate pots and pans for easy retrieval.

Incorporating half of the existing laundry closet into the kitchen was the only real space we added. Their stacked laundry unit allowed us to simply reframe the existing closet and move the pantry storage into the kitchen proper.

Believe it or not, there are visual tricks when it comes to small spaces – take a look at the new slide-in range. Eliminating the bulky controls of the old model lightens up the cooking area and gives the appearance of more space. Black Whirlpool appliances (courtesy of Rice’s Appliances) nod more in the contemporary direction, even though one might think white appliances would make the space feel lighter.

Keeping the horizontal surfaces as light as possible will fool the eye into seeing a larger room. Luckily, we had a great tile floor that accomplished that illusion quite nicely. In turn, the lighter floor allowed the homeowner to add some warmth and dimension in her other finish choices. You can always afford to do darker finishes on the vertical surfaces of a small space, as long you keep the horizontal surfaces light.

Adding some height to the upper cabinets not only increased the usable storage space even further, but it accomplished another visual trick: pushing the ceiling farther away. Cabinetry taken to the ceiling gives the feel of a higher ceiling because your eyes will always stop at the top of the cabinets. If there’s space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, your brain registers that void as a lower ceiling. Taller cabinets = higher ceiling. Simple.
And how do you make the fridge seem smaller? By making the things around it bigger, of course. Creating a refrigerator alcove in matching cabinetry reduces the perceived mass of the appliance and adds needed storage space at the same time. Perfect: real and perceived benefits at the same time.

So the next time someone tells you that mind games aren’t a good thing, you’ll know better. You just need the right games.