The inspiration: One of the first decorative elements Virginia placed in the condo was an oddly shaped mirror she bought at a flea market on the same weekend she signed the condo contract. It ended up inspiring her creative vision for the kitchen. “I hung that right before we got started on the kitchen project,” she says. “That piece helped determine that I wanted some wood elements.” She found a photo of zigzag wood cabinet pulls and showed them to designers at Kitchen Envy, who she worked with for the project. They had similar ones fabricated. The floor tiles, which feature porcelain made to look like wood, add to the aesthetic of the kitchen.
Overall, Virginia wanted to pair those natural wood elements with a feeling of timelessness, edging on vintage. She says, “95% of the stuff in my condo is thrifted. I wanted something that felt a little bit vintage. I never wanted something overly trendy, where I would look at it and say ‘Oh yep, that’s 2023.’”
The budget: $40,000
The square footage: The kitchen is about 88 square feet.
Many of the design decisions in the kitchen were made with the intention of creating as much workspace and storage area as possible.They kept the layout for the most part, but extended the cabinets and removed the pantry. “You’d think you’d have less space but there’s actually so much more because the cabinets have pull-out shelving, big deep drawers, and the island has doubled in size, so there’s compartments and storage on either side,” says Virginia.
To maximize the space, Virginia opted for small appliances, including a drawer dishwasher and a European fridge that’s much smaller than a typical American fridge. “It mattered less that I had a big fridge and more that I had space to cook,” Virginia explains, touching upon her increased travel time. “We sacrificed appliance size in favor of more workspace.” The small fridge has also changed her relationship to the food she buys and the recipes she takes on. “I’m more thoughtful about what I buy, I never buy too much of anything,” she says. “I’m creative about what I cook. Right now we have a jar of pickles taking up space. It’s a challenge: How can I use up these pickles?”