A kitchen designer in Troy shows how islands can make the most of limited space.
Who: Robert Nusbaum of EuroAmerica Design
Where: Troy, Michigan
In his own words: “The kitchen is usually the most important room in the house because it’s a very personal area — a lifestyle. I get great satisfaction in helping to create that lifestyle.”
Whether a home is a new build or needs a remodel, many homeowners face the challenge of making the most out of the space allotted for a kitchen. Robert Nusbaum, the president of kitchen and bath design firm EuroAmerica Design in Troy, says it’s a problem his company solves on a regular basis. “We’ve incorporated various solutions to use kitchens most efficiently, providing both functionality and an aesthetically pleasing design,” he says.
Understanding your needs. Nusbaum’s first step is to gain a clear understanding of how you want and need to use your kitchen. “We interview our clients to determine what design they prefer: modern, transitional or traditional,” he says. “We ask questions about their everyday routine, if they have children, if they entertain, etc. Once we determine their style and needs, we can get into the specifics of the design and choices relating to their style.”
Eliminating waste. Taking a cue from homes in Europe, Nusbaum looks for every opportunity to use available space. “When we do remodels, European cabinets fit well because homes there are smaller and much more efficient than most North American homes,” he says. “Out of necessity, not an inch of space is wasted, and it all has a purpose.”
Struggling with a small kitchen? Check out Nusbaum’s tips below for ideas on solving your space dilemma.
1. Add an Island
Even a smaller kitchen can accommodate an island, Nusbaum says. To fit one into a narrow room, consider gaining space by eliminating cabinets on one of the walls and creating storage in the island or by installing cabinets higher up. “For clients in Bloomfield Hills, we redesigned the kitchen by removing the cabinets on one wall and opening up part of the wall to an adjacent room, making room for the island and avoiding major construction,” he says.
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2. Add 2 Islands
Installing complementary islands provides storage space as well as more surface area and seating options. “Our client in Bloomfield Hills wanted a modern design with extra storage for their growing family,”Nusbaum says. “Two islands allowed us to make the most of the space.” In addition to cabinets, one of the islands houses a wine cooler and an ice maker, and the other features a microwave and sink.
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3. Combine Your Island and Dining Area
If your space is particularly limited, this solution provides an eating area that’s incorporated into the island. “An example of this approach is featured in our showroom in Troy,” Nusbaum says. “Many of our clients like this idea, as it works well with modern design. The table is lower than the island, which creates definition of the space but doesn’t take up as much room as a separate table.”
See more of the showroom
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