Brooke Anderson, the founder of Bay Hill Design, shares how she made the most of a bungalow’s small kitchen and living space.

By April Cumming, Photos by Jessica Taylor and Rory Photography

In this Room

  • Bay Hill Design custom mohair sofa
  • West Elm leather swivel chair
  • custom lucite rods with brass rings and custom linen drapery with blackout lining
  • Forsyth white Brazilian cowhide
  • vintage brass bar cart
  • vintage wood tray
  • vintage Turkish kitchen rug
  • Round Top Antiques Fair industrial iron reproduction coffee table and reproduction black metal farmhouse chairs
  • Aidan unfinished reclaimed-wood gray farmhouse table
  • antique Korean fishing-basket light fixture
  • Schoolhouse Electric kitchen bar light
  • Newport Brass plumbing fixtures
  • Lewis Dolin brass hardware
  • custom shelving and brackets
  • client’s own collection of vintage and new white potter
Get the Look

“We wrapped the whole house in shiplap instead of sheetrock to give it the feel of a truly old farmhouse. The shiplap gives us detail while keeping the space visually clean. Furniture is used strategically and intentionally to create barriers for ‘rooms’ to feel as if they exist, not giving up any square footage to walking space or walls. Use a shade of white [paint color]to open up a room and use the kitchen table in place of a typical island counter. It serves multifunctions of hosting a dinner party for eight, but also being the kitchen’s workspace.”

Let it shine

“The light, that is. Install doors that double as more windows. The modern French doors allow so much light into the space that you don’t think about the space feeling small. We dressed them with linen panels for closing off the outside at the end of the day and first thing in the morning, when the morning rays of sun light up the house.”

Use a deep or neutral color for the kitchen cabinets

“And have them made in Shaker style. This color gives dimension and warmth to the space and actually gives the illusion that the walls are further away then they appear. This can be a gray-black, dark cocoa brown, deep green or dark navy color. The Shaker style just means a flat panel with a frame, a design that lends itself to the modern-farmhouse approach you see in this room. High-gloss paint also gives an extra punch to the detail.”

Try open shelving in the kitchen

“If not [in]the whole kitchen, then a portion, to store your everyday dishes and any collections. The homeowner’s collection of white pottery was the perfect reason to choose open shelving. It’s her everyday use of these things that makes getting to them easily a plus, but the pretty, decorative touch they add to the space is also a bonus.”

Be careful when choosing floor coverings

“Open concepts are great and, in this case, necessary for larger living, but they can get cold. In a small space, you want the floor coverings to stay under [the furniture]or centered for each area, as to not chop up the space too much.”

Don’t be afraid to use large-scale items

“Lighting, furniture, art, lamps: Fewer larger things will fill up the space in a way that helps it feel larger and live large while not taking up too much room with multiple pieces. The larger farm table sitting underneath a large basket light sets up the space to live big and look big. These statement pieces in a smaller space add visual heft and elevate the room.”



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