Small kitchens bless

In a world of spaces, everything is divided, but yet everything is common. No matter if you own or not a space, it comes with the same issues: sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller. It has always been a challenge for designers to use a space at its maximum potential of functionality and aesthetics. It has always been a fascination fot them to develop innovative ideas for regular problems.

I`m very excited about this new section of our blog. It will feature some very beautiful ideas, that will be an inspiration for both clients and professionals. Looking, analyzing and improving others ideas has always been a fascination of my own; and I`m pretty sure there are more alike out there. For today`s pic, kitchen has been the lucky one. Paradoxically or not, although we survive with food, the only place to prepare it in a house is always left behind: less space, less light, lees importance. Unless you have a word before the construction of your house, you have pretty big chances to end up with a small kitchen. Something that might appear  impossible to design.

Luckily, designers have a way of their own to figure and solve things out. Today, I chose to feature small kitchen proposals, created by our friends from Open Square: Architecture & Interior/Industrial Design. They were challenged by quite a few kitchens and managed to get the best out of them. It should serve you as inspiration, not only as composition or furniture choices, but also as choices for finishes and materials.

Presentation made by Open Square 3D Visualization

Futuristic: sleek, slim, durable, great lighting scheme.

Made for an Architizer contest, this is how Mihai Buleu Hoza describes it:

The most bugging thing about this kitchen was its omnipresent table: as soon you entered the home it was there. We manage to create an innovative solution: fully integrate the table under the counter-top. It was invisible, and yet there when you needed it. We also wanted to change the regular shape for the cabinets, so opted instead for a mix of painted MDF shelves and glass. Now, boring is not something that we`re found of, so we thought that adding a slight aqua-marine  color to the glass will be an excellent option. It was a lucky trial: it completely changed the over-look of the kitchen, making it more futuristic and modern.

The choice for the back-splash was wood; many types and colors of wood, combined together by a talented professional, for a warmer feeling and a more natural look. We used the same material for the table and the chairs. What`s better than having natural materials in your house?

Cabinet doors were covered with white painted glass, a great option for durable and easy-maintainable kitchen furniture. White is always great for small spaces, because it opens space up and gives a feeling of cleanness and organization.

Usually kitchen decorative items resume to kitchenware. We wanted to break that pattern and opted for a colorful art painting and a unique approach for a clock: Arango Design grandfather clock, in a red, bold version. Appliances were carefully chosen, by criteria of functionality and size: fully integrated refrigerator with drawers, a 2 in 1 microwave/oven, a small dishwasher drawer, a gas cook-top with a downdraft hood and a beautiful multi-functional sink.

Eclectic: art-nouveau, modern, functional, durable


The client was sophisticated, so the entire house had to reflect her personality. Including the kitchen!

We truly believe that a designer achieved his goal when his creation fully represents the client. In our case, we had to deal with a complex personality, young in age and old in tastes. But not old in the sense of outdated, but rather aspiring for the glamour of old times. We ended up with an eclectic style: a combination of modernism and art-nouveau, most prominently. We used modern materials, because of several conditions imposed by the client:  durability, ease of maintenance and the fact that she did not embrace marble at all. Always wanting a satisfied client we obeyed her requests and used melaminated  beige MDF for the cabinetry, chocolate painted MDF for drawer fronts and chocolate painted glass for cabinets doors. Instead of marble for the counter-tops, we opted for Corian, in two colors: brown for the main island and beige for the back-one.

Appliances needed to be small in sizes, and fully integrated: microwave, electric oven, convection cook-top, dishwasher and two-sides Franke kitchen sink. The client was not much of a cook, so we thought: why not making the cook-top usable when it was… unused? With a glass cover, an engineered solution and a lot of ambition we managed to install the top, making the whole island ready for serving.

Stools were modern and sleek, a combination of leather seating and chrome. Lightning fixtures had to break the modern theme, as well as the floral art-nouveau pattern on the glass; it has been handmade painted, using a combination of 4 colors. Overall a great design, that made our client very happy!

Mannish: bold, modern, austere, well organized

Designer`s clients are not just women. But every person preoccupied by their home. This includes men too! Most of the times same sex persons resonate better on certain aspects, and in this bachelor pad design project, the fact that Mihai Buleu Hoza was a man helped him a lot.

Sometimes only a guy can understand a guy. Not that I`m a misogynist, but a good understanding of request and needs spares you of stress and disappointment. When my client came with this project, I saw a great opportunity:  I could make my own bachelor pad. Luckily enough, my client and I had similar tastes when it came to design, so my life was easy with this one. He was a huge fan of Apple products, so why not having a similar logo on the wall? Said and done. For the colors a fresh palette was necessarily, so the kitchen will not be a boring place: raw green and warm orange. Did not want to use just paint, so for the other wall I opted for a line pattern wallpaper.

The kitchen had to be compact, because it was sharing the space with the dinning area. You know, bachelor guys have always friends over, so a bar counter-top and a small side table would allow my client to hold some reasonable parties. For materials, had to keep in mind how much guys like cleaning… so melaminated MDF cabinetry and melaminated counter-top were a great choice: durable and easy to clean. Not too many appliances, just enough for an smooth kitchen life. For the floor, a combination of wood floor and tiling. Overall, bold decisions, but all approved by the client!

Family: modern, attractive, spacious, fun

When you deal with a family, it`s always more work for the designer. More views means more opinions, which always lead to more contradictions. But it comes with the trade, so professionals just have to deal with it.

When you deal with a couple or a family it`s always important to establish and discuss with all the decisive factors. This implies common meetings and common decisions. Otherwise you take one step ahead and two steps backwards.

This kitchen was no bog, nor small. Its only inconvenient was that it was longer than wider , which is always and issue when positioning the table. So we end-up doing an innovative design: the counter-top would be sliding back and forth, so it could be united with the other end and form a longer table, when needed. The clients were impressed with the solution.

We chose wood and granite for counter-tops, and glossy melaminated MDF for cabinetry. Our clients were both Virgos, a sign obsessed with cleaning and organization; plus they just had a baby. So a durable, easy to maintain and clean cabinetry was a must. Luckily the lady liked colors, so we could add some accent paint on the right wall. Although we really liked the pure white option too.

The special spot in the kitchen was the brick wall. It had to be the star. So we decided to add pictures with the good family moments this clients would experience. Just another way to be grateful for the good aspects of your life and an inspiration when things get tough!

I had a great time writing this article. It felt inspiring. I hope you will be too!

Open Square: Architecture & Interior/Industrial Design has many more projects to inspire you. Feel free to browse their portfolio and request their services!

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