Reader Rehab: Small Space Living for the In-Laws by

Issue 53 · A Fresh Start · January 4, 2013

Reader Rehab: Small Space Living for the In-Laws

Issue 53 · A Fresh Start · January 4, 2013

Embarking on a fresh start in any stage of your life is a golden opportunity to reassess your living needs. Boston-based interior design firm Bunker Workshop demonstrates how good design makes the most of a 65-square-foot kitchen in an in-law flat.

For a couple in Duxbury, Massachusetts, who were relocating to the in-law unit of their daughter’s house, the primary challenge was to fit in a full kitchen, dining area, and workspace into 65 square feet of available space. Chris Greenawalt, the founding principal of Bunker Workshop, used a comment from the initial client conversation as the key driver to unlocking the puzzle. “The client mentioned how much he likes to watch his grandchildren play through the window,“ Greenawalt says. “I designed a desk that sits in front of the window, which can also roll out and transform into a wider dining table.” And from there, everything else fell into place.

Photography by Matthew Delphenich.

Couple sit at window of their kitchen, Bunker Workshop

Above: Watching the grandchildren play through the window was a key driver of the design solution to this project.

Small kitchen in 'in-law' apartment, wood floors, white walls and cabinets, dark green glass back splash, Bunker Workshop

Above: The tiny kitchen is slotted into a corner of the small space.

Cooking area with hanging drying rack/shelves, Bunker Workshop

Above: Having spent much time in Italy, the clients had grown accustomed to living with drying racks above the sink and were prepared to forgo a dishwasher. Much to their delight, Greenawalt was able to provide both. "We were able to squeeze in both the drying racks and a dish drawer, " Greenawalt says. "I designed some drying racks to be built by our metal fabricator, but the cost was too high for the budget. Finally, I realized a much more cost-effective (and elegant) solution with standard steel grating."

Drawer with built in cutting board, Bunker Workshop

Above: A cutting board inside a drawer provides extra counter space when required

Cooking area with hanging drying rack/shelves, Bunker Workshop

Above: A green glass backsplash adds color and reflection to an otherwise all-white kitchen area. Drawing of standard steel grating used as drying rack, Bunker Workshop

Above: "The Ohio Gratings Company did a wonderful job of fabricating, powder-coating, and delivering the drying racks and shelves for less than half the initial estimate," Greenawalt says.

Wood floors, white walls, white kitchen cabinets and table, Bunker Workshop

Above: When not in use, the table sits in front of the window at the same depth as the kitchen cabinets and serves as a desk.

Wood floors, white table being rolled out to center of room, Bunker Workshop

Above: The desk/table is rolled out in preparation for a meal.

White table in center of room on wood floor, Bunker Workshop

Above: Once it's rolled out, the desk/table can be made wider than the counter depth by unlocking the additional leaves and swinging them up.

White pantry and refrigerator, open and closed view, Bunker Workshop

Above: The pantry and refrigerator face the cooking area.

Plan of 65 sf kitchen area, Bunker Workshop

Above: The plan of the the 65-square-foot kitchen area illustrates how the desk moves to the center of the room and becomes a dining table.

N.B.: Ingenious design solutions often come from living in small spaces. For more inspiration, see 1,842 Small Living images in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.

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