Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Petite Perfection: A white kitchen beautifully built in

Custom tweaks and sharp ideas have ensured this compact kitchen punches above its weight
Sue Stubbs

Clever use of space.

It was always going to be tricky for the owners of this Sydney home to shoehorn everything on their wishlist into the compact space they had earmarked for their kitchen. Enter interior architect Sally Rhys-Jones, who came up with the singularly smart idea of bringing the space under the stairs into play. “I worked out they could fit far more under the stair cavity by putting the kitchen there, and square off the room to use that for living space,” explains Sally.

(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

A petite island teamed with two beautiful glass pendants is now paired with a galley-style stretch beneath the stairs, and in this oft-overlooked area sits the fridge, cooker and pantry. “Everything fits neatly,” says Sally. “Also, the top of the pantry is just above head height, so nothing ends up getting lost on a shelf you can’t see.”

(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

The Carrara marble tiles from Teranova for the splashback weren’t cheap, but in a small space it’s often possible to splurge on luxe finishes without costs blowing out. Glass shelves in the wall cabinetry keep pleasing items on show. The finished result is a triumph of skilful planning. 

The amazing brickwork in the exposed brick wall was found under the plaster in the rebuild (Credit: Sue Stubbs)

A relatively narrow island cleverly accommodates a shallow cupboard on the fascia. Here, Sally has squeezed in an 180mm-deep cabinet which is accessible to the dining area and is ideal for glassware. “It’s a really handy spot to put a bit of extra cabinetry,” she says. The undermount sink, with its built-in drainer and simple mixer tap, delivers minimal visual noise, another boon for a petite area.

(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

Whilst the homeowner wanted a very modern vibe, the images she had collected revealed that she was leaning towards a more traditional look. The classic Shaker-style cabinetry fitted the brief perfectly.

Drawers can hold up to 30 per cent more storage than cupboards, which is helpful in a small zone. Twin stacks positioned either side of the oven accommodate a mix of deep pot drawers and shallower ones fitted with cutlery organisers to keep the usual kitchen clutter corralled.


TIP Know your style — collect images torn from magazines or concoct a moodboard in Pinterest or via the House Rules powered by Home Beautiful app. It will help pinpoint your preferred style and colour scheme.

(Credit: Sue Stubbs)

A restrained palette and unfussy style is always a good idea when you’re dealing with a small footprint. Shaker-style cabinetry, crafted by Captive Cabinetmaking and painted in Dulux White on White, is paired with 20mm Quantum Quartz in White Swirl from Central Coast Granite on the benchtop and waterfall ends. A pair of striking ‘Gadsden’ pendants from Emac & Lawton combine an elegant decorative note with an ethereal feel and replica ‘Charles Ghost’ stools, from Milano Republic, have a barely there quality that lends itself perfectly to a small space.

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