10 Essential Tips for Renovating Small NYC Kitchens (plus a giveaway!)

10 Essential Tips for Renovating Small NYC Kitchens (plus a giveaway!)

Today we feature a guest post from Gail Green, interior designer and author of a new book titled AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO INTERIOR DESIGN FOR SMALL SPACES: How to Create a Beautiful Home Quickly, Effectively and on a Budget. As part of this week’s feature, we are giving away her new book to the first three who comment or share this post.

10 Essential Tips For Renovating Small NYC Kitchens

By Gail Green, Gail Green Interiors

Decorating / designing a small kitchen can be a challenge, but New York City-based designer Gail Green, of Gail Green Interiors, offers “10 Essential Tips For Renovating Small NYC Kitchens” that will help you transform your space quickly—and without breaking the bank!

With more than thirty years of interior design and decorating experience with spaces of all shapes, colors, and SIZES, Green’s work has been featured in House Beautiful, House & Garden, Elle Decor, and The New York Times Magazine, and she has appeared on NBC’s Designer Living, CNN’s Style with Elsa Klensch and NBC’s Today.

In her new book AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO INTERIOR DESIGN FOR SMALL SPACES: How to Create a Beautiful Home Quickly, Effectively and on a Budget, Green introduces you to interior design basics and teaches you how to make a small space look bigger, how to choose the best colors and furniture for small rooms and how to organize a small space on any budget. Renters will discover landlord-approved ideas and tricks, and homeowners will learn how to increase property value through minor reservations.

0Gail Green book jacket

1. In a long, narrow galley kitchen, drop the ceiling and install down lights. By doing so, the walls will appear to thrust out, adding breadth to an otherwise narrow space. In addition, the down lights will provide extra lighting in the room.


Photo by David Estreich

2. Create flying beams to tie the kitchen and dining room together – with flying beams that, like a string in the air, will connect the two above, but not create a barrier wall. They are also of architectural interest.

0flying beams

Photo by David Estreich


3. Paint the ceiling of a long, narrow space a darker color than the two contiguous walls thus giving the illusion that the space is wider than it is.

4. Create a soffit with down lights over the kitchen cabinets for better and more counter lighting. In addition, it will create a more refined finish to the cabinet tops by stopping at the soffit that will run around the kitchen perimeter, creating one continuous look at the ceiling.

5. Install a bold and chic kitchen backsplash for added interest and functionality. It needs to be at least 18” from the top of the counter to the underside of the cabinet.

0final backsplash

Photo by David Estreich

6. Use great quality cabinetry hardware on cabinetry. It will make the cabinets anywhere look more expensive and will focus the eye on the interest of the details.


Photo by David Estreich

7. Use light reflective cabinet doors to make the space feel lighter and brighter.


Photo by David Estreich

8. Use reveals in the baseboard and door surrounds to add lightness to the walls and cabinetry. It will give the appearance that they’re floating, an extra illusion of lightness to a heavier volumetric surface which is a big plus in small spaces.

9. Build a niche as a destination point to help focus the eye on a central space and achieve a more centralized furniture arrangement.


Photo by David Estreich

10. Opt for built-in seating for a more streamline, space economy measure.