Go minimal. Are you in the process of picking new cabinets for your compact kitchen? Consider this look. Ultra‐plain, handleless cabinets in a nude hue are soothing to look at and give a sense of visual order. Pick a seamless backsplash such as this slab of marble, since tiles with grout can look busy. Get in a tight corner. When space is tight, an ingenious trio of pullout corner drawers is a lifesaver, helping to solve the problem of lost space in those awkward‐to‐access base cabinets. If you’re remodeling, think about how you’d use such drawers – for cutlery, towels, pans, dishes? Here, a slimmer top drawer is complemented by the two deeper ones, so all the bases are covered.
Pure white countertops, generally only available in manufactured materials such as Corian or Caesarstone, bring a contemporary, minimalist freshness that no natural stone can match. Luckily, these materials resist stains well, so they can stay a crisp white for years with just a little care. This stark look works well in contemporary spaces. As mentioned, the severity of a true white can fight a traditional decor, but in a modern space it feels appropriately crisp. It’s especially effective in small spaces, such as compact condo kitchens, paired with minimalist white cabinets to give the illusion of a bigger space.
Older homes with smaller kitchens sometimes have the refrigerator inside the "U", but that really eats into the counter space. Most often you’ll see a U‐shaped kitchen with the refrigerator on the adjacent wall right outside the "U", which is fine. It’s still within the work triangle. One signature of the U‐shaped kitchen is the peninsula. In this case, it doesn’t have seating due to the passageway between rooms. The lack of kitchen seating is often the reason people prefer the L‐shaped kitchen with an island to the U‐shaped kitchen.