Local professionals prove even small kitchens can boast big design

Budget-friendly spaces are attainable when the design elements are well thought out. Photo by Dan Cutrona

Lane knows a thing or two about making things work. He made extra money while attending Fitchburg State by remodeling apartments his landlord acquired. By his senior year, he had landed an internship at a custom cabinet factory. Those opportunities, plus more than 20 years of experience, make completing each project’s puzzle attainable. He has also become a trusted advisor to homeowners when making difficult, costly, decisions.

“Part of it will always be aesthetic driven, you know, what’s the newest thing,” Lane says, but he also knows that kitchen renovations are expensive, and trends should be carefully assessed. He says each kitchen project needs to be approached as an investment. “Budgets simply don’t allow you to change kitchens like you change your clothes,” he explains, noting that it’s important for each homeowner to choose appliances, amenities and accessories carefully.

Ranches, saltboxes, colonials, and cottages make up the majority of Cape Cod homes, the builder explains noting homeowners with unrestricted budgets and carte blanche square footage are not the rule Cape-wide.“Trophy homes are such a small percentage of our reality,” Lane stresses, noting that Bayside also works with homeowners to design and build bathrooms where space is at a premium.

Designer Ann Hebsch at Supply New England in Falmouth (www.kitchenbathgallery.com) says she often works with homeowners who want the sophisticated amenities and aesthetics of luxury kitchens adjusted to smaller spaces, including condominiums. The key, she says, is finding appliances and designs that offer spatial solutions. The Kohler Smart Divide sink, for example, is a cast iron sink that features dividers half the height of those found in conventional double-basin sinks. Hebsch says that fitting a cutting board and draining basket atop the sink will make for less clutter and offer the homeowner more working space. Single-handle kitchen faucets with pull out spray heads also take up less space than traditional multi-hole faucets.

“I listen to what the customer’s needs are,” says Hebsch, who then designs a kitchen with customized space-saving answers for each homeowner’s needs. Manufacturers, she adds, are increasingly adding products with smaller spaces in mind. Counter-depth refrigerators sit flush with cabinets and microwave hood ovens are duel purpose when installed directly above an oven range, allowing for more open counter space. Islands can double as functional workstations and dining areas.