Affordable style redeems a narrow room

You might think the only cure for a cramped and disorganized kitchen would be to add more space, and a lot of it. But interior designer Ellen Slack decided that the best course of action here was to borrow just 24 square feet and concentrate instead on improving forms and surfaces. First she reorganized the kitchen to take advantage of a long interior wall, creating a galley that’s open at each end while incorporating a former breakfast nook that was too small for eating.

Then Slack assembled a carefully edited palette of materials, appliances, and fixtures for a unified look. Light-toned maple-veneer cabinets and a white Corian counter help brighten the space while framing its focal point: a vivid red, blue, and tan ceramic tile backsplash. Slack derived inspiration for the backsplash from the owner’s interest in Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionist painting style.

Design: Ellen Slack, Interior Dimensions, Berkeley ( or 510/845-3936)


Materials, shapes, and colors reflect the warm modern aesthetic Ellen Slack’s client loves.

Cabinets: Montalco Cabinets ( or 604/273-5105)

Countertop: Corian ( or 800/426-7426)

Dishwasher: GE Profile ( or 800/626-2005)

Hardware: Bauerware ( or 415/864-3886)

Tile: Lake Garda from Ann Sacks ( or 800/278-8453)

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