A Simple Addition Solved This Kitchen’s Lack of Shelving and Counter Space

Without messing with the perfectly placed windows.
Lydia Geisel Avatar
wood cabinets with green backsplash

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

Sapna Aggarwal had big dreams for 1,000 square feet. Ever since she and her husband, Karan, founded their design-slash-development studio, Bungalowe, in 2018, she’d been desperate to get her hands on a Spanish-style house like this one in Los Angeles’s Highland Park neighborhood. “It’s always been what spoke to me the most,” says Sapna. But even she knows that with such a small property, there’s only so much you can do. As Karan—the “master floor planner” between the two of them—began to rework the home’s layout to make way for an additional bedroom, office, and two and a half bathrooms, Sapna quickly realized the kitchen was going to have to remain compact. 

dilapidated brown cabinets
The kitchen, before.
empty room
The view into the kitchen, before.

To maximize storage, most people would go overboard on tall upper cabinets. Not in this case. The designer’s vision for the room was breezy and colorful, inspired by a recent girls’ trip she took to Oaxaca, Mexico (cue the Zia tile). So Sapna decided to incorporate something less obtrusive—but just as functional. 

barstools at green tiled countertop

A slim white oak board, supported by basic hardware store brackets, overlaps the tiled peninsula and stretches 11 feet to the far wall, where another piece of wood meets it and extends an extra 4 feet to the refrigerator’s edge. The L-shaped surface triples as extra countertop space, display shelving, and 36-inch-high barstool seating. “It was an integral design element to make the kitchen feel spacious,” explains the designer.  

green tiled peninsula
green tiled kitchen

The simple addition also meant they didn’t have to change the height of the existing windows, which would have “opened a large can of worms,” given the property falls in a historic preservation zone. “They were perfectly placed,” says Sapna. All the couple had to do was flip the hinges so the panes open outward, not inward, to ensure many future breakfasts with a side of fresh air.

Lydia Geisel Avatar

Lydia Geisel

Home Editor

Lydia Geisel has been on the editorial team at Domino since 2017. Today, she writes and edits home and renovation stories, including house tours, before and afters, and DIYs, and leads our design news coverage. She lives in New York City.