Small Kitchen | First Place

Entry: "Brotzman"

Designer: Veronica Major

Dealership: North Haven Remodeling

Door Style: Traditional Concord

Species: Rustic Alder

Finish: Driftwood

Sheen: Satin


The homeowners contacted the design team with hopes of reworking their kitchen to create more storage space, counter space, and to change the overall aesthetic to a style they termed as "Gothic-Princess". Having less than 150 square feet, they wanted to bring creativity into their project to get the most functionality out of their space. Additionally, because of the small footprint, the homeowners had not been able to have a table to sit at in their kitchen. They had their hopes on creating a seating area for the two of them in the format of a booth. Along with these things, they also wanted to space their workstations out as much as they could. Their existing kitchen had placed a portable dishwasher with no countertop, the sink, and the range directly next to one another. The clients were hopeful to find a solution that brought more workspace surrounding each area.

During the design process, the design team encountered multiple challenges. The team was faced with a very small footprint and a large list of storage expectations. A problematic factor in the existing kitchen design was that it was broken up into small sections separated by a door on one wall and full-height windows on the two other walls in their U-shaped kitchen. This presented the challenge of how to increase the countertop space and run cabinets along the walls that were repeatedly interrupted by either a door or window. Not only did the team face problems due to the size of the space, but they were relatively unfamiliar with the "Gothic-Princess" design style the clients were wanting. They initially had trouble understanding the aesthetic concept and translating it into materials and product selections.

In order to offer the client as much storage space as they were wanting, the design team needed to move the doorway to the small pantry which is now accessed from the living room and was made into a small closet. The team completely eliminated one window and reduced the height of the other. In return, this decreased the amount of natural daylight entering the kitchen; however the homeowners were more than happy to lose the daylight as they felt it contributed to the moody atmosphere they were hoping to achieve. By removing those obstacles, the team was able to run cabinetry and countertop around the U-Shape and even end the U with a custom-made booth for two. The team also used blind corner-optimizers in each of the corner cabinets so the homeowners could make the most use of their cabinets. To address the homeowners' hopes for a "Gothic-Princess" kitchen, the team proposed Rustic Alder wood species and Driftwood stain. This created a dark and old-world ambiance as it was matched with black countertops, hardware, and fixtures. Even the faucet style contributed to the Gothic detail. However, the most prominent features of the desired style were showcased in the stout Crown molding and even the detailed light rail. The team also added columns to frame the hood and floating shelves to add another layer of decorative features.

Upon completion of the project, the homeowners were very happy that they now had abundantly more countertop space. On top of that, they loved their custom-designed booth that offered even more storage drawers under the seats.

The design team's favorite aspect of this design is the oversized crown molding and it's highly detailed profile. They love that it brings elements of an old-world style into the design. In addition to the crown molding, they love the pillars beside the hood and floating shelves. They don't use those decorative elements very often as more and more people move towards a modern and less decorative look so it was fun to work those into a new kitchen.

The homeowners chose the design team after driving by their showroom daily on their way to work, and seeing their store front indicating that they do bath and kitchen remodels. They decided to go with Showplace Cabinetry because being a semi-custom line allowed for cabinets to be modified to the exact dimension so that they could utilize all of the space in the kitchen.

The design team really enjoyed working with the homeowners because they challenged the team to design within a style they weren't familiar with. They didn't want to do what everyone else was doing in their kitchen, and that was refreshing.


Pleasantly unexpected in a Gothic-Princess sort of way. Great job creating a space to be exactly what is sounds like it should be!

All the colors flow nicely and give the feeling the homeowners were looking for.

I appreciate how you were able to make focal points out of the range and sink in this small space!

This kitchen has great flow. Nice job!

I love the dark cabinets. Very warm and rustic.

Creative solution to close off a doorway to change the flow of the space. And I like how they incorporated the architectural details in the design.

It's a tight space so they built in the breakfast seating and gave them extra storage. Very smart.

It's certainly a unique look that feels like it belongs in a castle, but I'm happy to see this beautiful use of an exotic wood and darker colors.

Great use of space, especially with the bench seats.

I like the warm exotic wood and the more ornate details. Today when more clients want less moldings and details, these clients wanted more and this is a beautiful example of more without being too over the top. The Driftwood stained wood is gorgeous and I like that they carried the dark stained color onto the beams to create the Gothic princess style the client wanted. It is certainly a unique kitchen that doesn't feel small.

Very inspirational.

The warm colors and finishes work very well together.

Nice photos.

Great interpretation of "gothic princess" - maybe this will be the next big trend! And you were able to give them everything they wanted in this small space.

You had a very unique challenge with this space and while it is very unique and may not have mass appeal, you did a great job!

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