6 Small-Space Kitchen Ideas from Top Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Look inside the 250-square-foot kitchen that Country Living constructed with the help of architect Ruard Veltman and Top Chef Masters winner Marcus Samuelsson. Here, 6 tips to take "cooking out" to exhilarating new heights.

1. Go with the grain. "I like a kitchen with personality," says Marcus Samuelsson, "rather than some sterile white box." Architect Ruard Veltman introduced character-not clutter-by cladding the walls in reclaimed barn wood from Tall Cotton Supply. A vintage sign from Repop contributes an extra dose of folksy charm.

Bright Idea: A trash chute cut into the island gets rid of food-prep trimmings fast.

Plus: We also built a 250-square-foot guest bedroom cottage. Take a tour! »

2. Forget the work triangle. In a space this tight, it's not like point A is ever that from point B. So Veltman moved the Whirlpool refrigerator and double overs off to one side, behind abbreviated walls that lend a sense of separation but refuse to chop up the room.

3. The open shelving isn't just for show. "In such narrow confines," Veltman says, "you want as few swinging cabinet doors as possible."

Plus: Meet the celebrity designers behind Country Living's 2012 House of the Year »

4. Why hide the ingredients you use most? "My spices don't sit in a cabinet -- they hang out on the counter," says Samuelsson. These glass containers satisfy his desire to have essentials at hand, in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Plus: Tour Country Living's 250-square-foot home office cottage »

5. All hail the pocket pantry! Those abbreviated walls posses a secret: Their back sides stockpile dry and canned goods on shelves that are accessible yet out of sight. Attractive whiteware and wineglasses line the shelves that face the island.

Plus: You won't believe how much style fits into 600 square feet! »

6. Expand your horizons. Weathered barn doors from Tall Cotton Supply slide wide open and "allow the indoors to merge with the outdoors, so the cook doesn't feel isolated," explains Samuelsson. Veltman further blurred the boundaries with a dining area shaded by an awning of Sunbrella fabric and furnished with a Grandin Road picnic table and benches.

See more from CountryLiving.com:

Our Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Decorating »
40 Amazing Before-and-After Home Makeovers »
10 Ways to Design a Colorful Bedroom »
20 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen »

Become a fan of Country Living on Facebook and follow our pins on Pinterest!

Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.