Compact Kitchens:

Kamal Boyraz Combines Light and Reflective Surfaces to Make Kitchens Shine

Whether you’re downsizing or just starting out in a smaller home or apartment, you’re likely to find that the place builders find the most room to cut back is the kitchen. That leaves kitchen design pros with a new dilemma. How do you make compact kitchens both seem more spacious and be more functional?

Kemal Boyraz of Virginia Kitchen and Bath accomplished this brilliantly with our featured kitchen project in a variety of creative ways. Kemal employed both new-age materials and some old-world charm to make this smaller-sized kitchen a place that’s a joy to cook and congregate in, as well as to upkeep.

Let’s start with the color palate. Using white as a base color, with a number of reflective surfaces like the bases of the metal kitchen stools and the backsplash tiles lining the walls, widens the space and makes the room just seem bigger. Even accents like the larger-sized, gold cabinet fixtures add some dazzle, as does the hanging “candle-light” fixture, both modern and a little old-world – and maybe a bit evocative of those Williamsburg artisans who make beeswax candles for the tourists!

Next comes the kitchen island. It’s eight-feet long – long enough to accommodate four comfy but compact kitchen stools that tuck underneath, and durable enough to provide plenty of extra cooking and serving surface. It’s exotic granite which mimics marble but is stain and moisture resistant. It also resists scratches and scrapes so is common in busy kitchens. You can take pots right from the stove to the combination counter and tabletop, and your island will maintain its shine. The beauty of the island is a bonus, with its waterfall surface and mitered edges, providing clean, elegant lines that are also easy to clean.

Kemal mixed the oak hardwood floor stain himself, using a blend of white and gray to lighten the color to match the lower cabinets. Note that it’s entirely okay to go with darker cabinets on the bottom layer and white on top. They’re the same shape and share the same hardware, and together accent the color scheme laid down by the exotic granite countertop. 

Even the stainless-steel sink was designed with color and utility in mind. Because it’s flush with the surrounding counter space, you can easily straddle it with a wide cutting board from which you can rake peels into the disposal.

In a more open floor plan, you might expect the living room décor to spill into the kitchen, but not here. Kemal instead flows his kitchen design principles into the family room, using a beautiful brown and gold-veined slab of Dekton Laurent engineered stone to mount a wide screen TV flush with a fireplace! Even the space-saving, custom-built bookcase provides more room for storage without inviting clutter, which can so easily make smaller rooms feel more confining.

For more information on how you can expand your horizons in a smaller space, reach out to Kemal at or see for more creative, space-saving ideas.

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