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Tiny Minneapolis Kitchen & Main Level Update

This tiny kitchen in south Minneapolis is only 9’x9′, so it was critical to maximize every inch of it.  Our clients goals were to modernize the space, add storage and counter space, and improve the ventilation to exhaust cooking odors to the outdoors.  As a busy growing family with 2 working parents, easy cleaning and minimal maintenance were important as well.


Naturally our client wished for all of today’s modern appliances and conveniences, so our design team was challenged to cram everything into this tiny space.  Great collaboration between our designer and appliance company led to some great space-saving choices.  Fully custom cabinets were specified in order to make use of every inch of space.  Numerous special storage features were incorporated into the cabinets.  In addition, European-style frameless cabinets were specified to allow every inch of cabinet to be used for storage.  Careful collaboration between the plumber, cabinet company, and project manager allowed for some custom drawers to be built under the kitchen sink.


The white-finished cabinets have a premium finish on them to keep them easy to clean.  Our client wished for concrete countertops because she loved the look of them.  However, when she found out about sealing and maintaining them, she was a bit dejected.  Corian quartz countertops in Dove Gray Leathered provided the look she craved with minimal maintenance.  A pull out trash drawer keeps the rubbish bin out of sight.  The dishwasher includes a cabinet panel to keep the room from looking too chopped up.  Under-sink drawers were custom built to fit around the plumbing but provide much-needed storage.  Our client opted for a smaller-than-usual sink in order to maximize the counter space.  Our mechanical contractor ran  ducting for the exhaust fan, so the fan will actually pull odors out of the room instead of just recirculating them.  Due to site conditions, some of this ductwork needed to be run through the cabinet above the microwave, so our carpenters crafted a little chase to conceal the ductwork.  Luxury vinyl sheet flooring provided the old-school look that our client wished for, along with a lower cost and easier maintenance than tile.


As mentioned above, our client wished for countertops that looked like concrete, and Corian Quartz in Dove Gray Leathered looked perfect.  Unfortunately Eric put Storm Gray on the order form instead of Dove, and the counters were already installed before the mistake was realized.  So naturally, we replaced the countertops with what we had promised originally.  An expensive mistake to be sure, but it was the right thing to do.  Both colors look great in this kitchen. Which do you like better?


A few months after the kitchen was completed, we were privileged to be invited back to finish off the main floor.  Updates included a new bathroom floor that matched what we did in the kitchen.  At some point in time, the tray ceilings were covered with knockdown texture.  After thorough testing to make sure that the texture wasn’t hazardous, it was scraped off.  The ceilings were then sealed, skim coated, sanded, primed, and painted back to what they would have looked like originally.  The old oak doors and trim were painstakingly cleaned, prepped, primed, and painted white.  80 years of age were sanded from the hardwood floors, which were then refinished with a natural polyurethane finish.  The old door hinges and heat registers were stripped of a million layers of old paint and re-painted.  After we were finished, the clients put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.


Designer:  Chris Albrecht

Project Manager:  Eric Bader