7 Tips for Remodeling a Small Space Kitchen for Maximum Functionality and Beauty

Remodeling a small space kitchen seem like a daunting task, but with the right planning and design, it can be transformed into a beautiful and functional space that maximizes every inch of available space. Here are some tips for remodeling a small kitchen for maximum functionality and beauty:

  1. Prioritize functionality. When every inch counts, make sure to prioritize functionality in the design by identifying the essential elements needed in your kitchen, such as a stove, refrigerator, sink, and storage. Plan the layout of your kitchen in a way that allows for easy movement and accessibility to these essential elements.
  2. Optimize storage space. As in all kitchens, storage is key. Utilize available space by installing cabinets and shelves up to the ceiling. Consider using pull-out drawers and organizers to maximize the use of the lower cabinets. Consider using open shelves or glass-front cabinets to create an illusion of space while also displaying beautiful dishware.
  3. Choose the right appliances. In a small kitchen, it’s important to choose appliances that are compact and efficient. Look for appliances that are designed for small spaces, such as a slimline refrigerator or a compact dishwasher. Consider using a combination microwave and oven instead of separate appliances to save space.
  4. Use light colors. Light colors make a room feel larger and brighter. Choose light-colored cabinets, walls, and countertops to create an illusion of space. Consider adding a pop of color with accessories, such as a colorful backsplash or vibrant kitchen towels.
  5. Incorporate lighting. Good lighting is essential in a small kitchen. Make sure to incorporate plenty of light sources, including overhead lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and task lighting. Consider using pendant lights or a chandelier to add a touch of elegance and sophistication.
  6. Add a functional island. An island can be a great addition to a small kitchen, as it provides additional counter space and storage. Look for a compact island that is specifically designed for small kitchens, such as one with built-in storage or a fold-out table.
  7. Consider the flooring. Flooring can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of a small kitchen. Choose flooring that is durable and easy to clean, such as ceramic tiles or vinyl flooring. Consider a patterned floor to create an illusion of space and depth.

In conclusion, remodeling a small space kitchen for maximum functionality and beauty requires careful planning and attention to detail. By prioritizing functionality, optimizing storage space, choosing the right appliances, using light colors, incorporating lighting, adding a functional island, and considering the flooring, you can transform your small kitchen into a beautiful and functional space that maximizes every inch of available space.


What’s Trending in 2023?

The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) has a long history of delivering a marketplace for the introduction of the latest products and innovation in the kitchen and bath industry. This year’s trek to Las Vegas did not disappoint.

Lenton Company’s design team – Design Sales Manager Kendal Lenton along with Designers Heather Poulliot and Karla Madrid – joined over 30,000 industry professionals to see, feel, and touch all the new features, materials, and textures available and to learn what’s trending in 2023.

Functionality, ergonomics and making spaces effortlessly perform better were promoted as to how they affect a homeowner’s overall well-being. Smart design features help streamline the day-to-day tasks.

In bathroom remodeling, the trend is to have fixtures tailored to promote better health and wellness. Automated showers with multifunction additions like steam and aromatherapy take the spa shower experience to the next level.

Regarding kitchen remodeling, function remains key. Workstation sinks are replacing farmhouse sinks. Large single bowl sinks make this area less about just doing dishes. Customization of unlimited accessories make the space easy for food prep or as a serving space for entertaining. Faucets were ergonomic, stylish, and multifunctional with some companies offering filtered or sparkling water options. Tea and espresso came from the same tap used to clean dishes but seamlessly combined.

Beyond new products with purposeful functionality, the show went in depth with design and style. The design world is directly opposing the white shaker cabinets and white quartz counters, although we will likely still see them for a while. This year’s trend isn’t shy about the use of bold color and pattern to achieve an overall elevated and curated design style.

In the words of designer Heather, “I see a drive for uniqueness of style done in a way that unifies materials and experiences. Personally, I think a space should reflect a client and not necessarily be a view of what’s current and popular. What’s new is a mix of older styles blended in unexpected ways; bold palettes mixed with warm earthy neutrals. The show displayed use of lots of color, including black. Metals mixed not only in the space but within fixtures and appliances. Complex combinations of texture and color were brought to life and highlighted on mood boards.”

Next steps? The design team looks forward to introducing clients to all the exciting textures, materials, and trends featured at this year’s show. Make this the year to invest in your home to create exceptional life-changing spaces.


Selecting the Right Cabinets for Your Kitchen Remodel

Choosing the right cabinetry can make or break your remodeling project. Especially in kitchen remodels, cabinetry plays a major role in drawing focus to the overall design and room functionality. One reason is that cabinets command so much wall space and rightly so. Can you imagine if everything housed behind those cabinet doors was in full view? The chaos would be overwhelming.

Even before deciding type of materials, color, and style for the cabinets, the first question to ask is whether the cabinets will be custom, semi-custom, or ready-to-assemble (commonly referred to as RTA). There is quite a difference between them, most importantly, cost and flexibility.

Custom cabinetry has the greatest level of flexibility and highest quality since every cabinet is built to the home’s exact specifications. The downside is that the cost can impact the budget substantially. The level of craftsmanship and personalization found in custom kitchen cabinets if often considered the best available.

Semi-custom cabinets are a popular option. This form of cabinetry is pre-designed with several options to choose from to piece together a custom kitchen. Rather than being hand-crafted, most are made in a factory. Pre-assembled and ready for installation, this is the type of cabinetry found in large box stores. The downside can be its construction using medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or particle board that won’t last as long as hardwoods.

RTA kitchen cabinets are a sub-type of semi-custom cabinets. The difference is that RTA cabinets don’t come assembled, which saves money upfront on shipping and labor. The downside is that not all RTA cabinets are created equal. On one end of the spectrum are the budget-friendly IKEA cabinets – good price but you may need to speak fluent IKEA to follow the diagrams and directions. Another pathway for better quality, availability, convenience, and options is to enlist the services of a dealer to access an industry cabinet manufacturer specializing in this alternative.

Here’s what to look for to help you select quality RTA cabinets for your project.

— Do the cabinets use solid wood drawers and doors?

— Is the material plywood or hardwood construction?

— Do the drawers have dovetail joinery?

— Are there easy-to-follow assembly instructions?

— Have multiple layers of finish or paint been applied by brush?

Whether selecting custom cabinets, semi-custom, or RTA, Lenton Company can help guide you through the design build process. They partner with dealer-only NorthPoint Cabinetry for many clients looking to stay within a defined budget. The manufacturer’s line offers a QuickBuild quality cabinet solution that addresses the need for a custom look. It is a professional-grade solution without the time and labor associated with custom cabinets. Manufactured in North America with solid wood construction, the cabinets feature sturdy dovetail design and pocket screw assembly that reinforces the cabinet’s structural integrity. Check out this month’s featured project for a dramatic kitchen remodel that used RTA cabinetry.


Next Home or Forever Home?

When Lenton Company first meets with a homeowner to discover their needs and vision for a remodel, they ask if this is the homeowner’s next home or forever home? You may wonder why that matters. If it’s a next home, then the scope of the remodel will likely take into consideration its impact on the future resale value of the home. In contrast, a forever home’s main consideration will be for the homeowner to stay in their home as long as possible as the home’s occupants age and transition into their next life cycle. It’s an important, thought-provoking question that not only takes into account their present-day situation but focuses the homeowner on future plans.

Next Home

Next homes (and starter homes may fall into this category) are places you’ll probably stay only several years or until a major life change or milestone occurs. Having kids, a job change, or moving to a different city/state are common examples.

Advantages of a next home are affordability since they tend to be less expensive than forever homes. If it’s a starter home, you might be able to purchase it sooner than a forever home. It could also be an investment property with a passive income stream if you don’t need to sell once you’re ready to move.

Disadvantages are that the home may be smaller with limited amenities and more modest than a forever home. Selling in a few years could be a hassle given unknown volatility in the housing market and interest rates.

Remodeling opportunities are plentiful and can provide a competitive edge for a future sale. This is especially true for tract homes in large developments where a remodel will not only update the home but distinguish it from others in the tract. There’s also the personal enjoyment you’ll have while living in the home and making it suit your own taste and style.

Forever Home

A forever home is exactly as the name describes. It’s a place you plan to live in for a very long time, and possibly for the rest of your life. For homeowners looking to settle down long term, a forever home is appropriate.

Advantages may be a larger home featuring more amenities, such as a large outdoor space, extra storage, and a back deck or patio for entertaining family and guests. If you plan to stay in the home for decades, there’s time to pay down the mortgage and have the home appreciate in value.

Disadvantages are that this type of home may be more expensive since it is typically larger with room to grow. There’s less flexibility if plans change within a few years. Given the possible higher purchase price, the potential for losing money on an earlier than planned sale is there.

When considering remodeling opportunities for a forever home, the sky’s the limit. Homeowners can make as many changes to the home as they want, and a larger home may have plenty of space to do just that.

The Lenton Advantage

Lenton Company has served the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley since 1984 spanning three generations as a family-owned business. Its mission is to design, build, and remodel exceptional, life-changing spaces. Their team first meets with a client to discover their pain-points – problems, obstacles, what isn’t working – then custom tailors a design to their space and needs. From there the design team ceremoniously delivers the plans to the build team and work begins in earnest.

Whether it’s a next home with future resale value in mind or a forever home that addresses future needs, accessibility, and mobility discreetly and beautifully added to the home, Lenton Company asks the right questions in discovery to ensure the best outcome.  


How to Ready Your Home for the Holidays

Are you hosting for the holidays with guests set to stay over? As you look around your home wishing you had signed a remodeling contract months ago, don’t despair. There’s still time to make small changes to ready your home before guests arrive. Here’s a timeline we’ve adapted from Real Simple magazine, while adding a few of our own approaches into the mix.

Five Weeks Out

Time to focus on the guest room and accommodations if overnight guests are expected. Be sure there’s open storage for company to use during their stay. Update any bedding or window treatments that have seen better days. Make sure an outlet is visible and add extra charging cords or a power strip for your guests’ devices to recharge.

Four Weeks Out

There’s no better way to help your entire home feel clean and welcoming than a fresh coat of paint in a few key areas. Add surprising paint colors or vibrant patterned wallpaper if you’ve been wanting a bold change. If a simple refresh suits your style, a new coat of paint in the same color will do the trick. Our team of craftsmen can help with painting or papering, just give us a call.

Three Weeks Out

Time to inspect your light fixtures, especially in the guest room, living room, and entryway. If anything looks rusted, cracked, or dated, now’s the time to purchase and install new lighting options.

Two Weeks Out

Now starts the fun part. Update decorative accessories by adding plants, new rugs, and throws to your space. These small updates are low-cost but can have high impact helping you dress your home up. If you haven’t already – because you were busy decluttering, painting, and installing new lighting – now’s your chance to add seasonal décor. Lenton Company Pro Tip: Festive throw pillow covers are a great way to help your current pillows look refreshed and celebratory, without the need to buy whole new pillows.

One Week Out

Almost there and now is the time to clear away all the remaining clutter that piles up daily. Dust corners, clean windows, and your home is certain to sparkle and shine.

If you were planning a kitchen, bath, or multi-room remodel before guests arrived but put it on the back burner, we would love to help put your plans in motion in time for next year’s celebrations.


Architecture as Art: The American Craftsman

At the turn of the 20th century, two architect brothers – Charles and Henry Greene – worked together in Pasadena, California to create what is known as Craftsman homes. The brothers were influenced by the English Arts & Crafts movement, which was a push back to the Industrial Revolution by promoting the work of skilled craftsman over machine made goods. Another influence was Oriental wooden architecture, popular in the day. Available as kit homes and in pattern books, craftsman bungalows became the most popular style of small house from about 1905 through the 1920s. Today, they are a treasure worth restoration.

External Features

The outside of a Craftsman home is easily recognizable by some standard features. A low-pitched, gabled roof reflects the Oriental architecture influence on the style. These rooflines typically have a wide, unenclosed eave overhang with decorative supports. The front porch area extends the livable space of small homes making it comfortable to spend time outdoors.

Columns, whether tapered or double, are another distinctive characteristic that support the overhang. A partially paned door with glass panes in the upper third of the door and separated from the bottom paneled portion by a thick piece of trim is another authentic look. Multipaned windows are another featured detail. The most common configurations are either four-over-one or six-over-one double-hung windows.

Earthy Colors and Mixed Materials

A nature-inspired palette of browns and greens helps the low-profile bungalows blend seamlessly with their surroundings. One or two contrasting colors are typically used to highlight architectural features like trim or decorative supports. Craftsman homes almost always feature a mix of materials: clapboard or shingled siding with the porch piers and foundations often made of stone, brick, concrete block, or stucco.

Indoor Spaces

As you might expect, inside living spaces reflect the warmth and comfort of natural woods and a variety of textures and details. Since the homes were typically constructed as bungalows, simple, wide-open layouts make the most of limited square footage.

Inspiration Leads to Renovation

While not every home has the basic structure to transform into a Craftsman, there are features that can be introduced inside and out to mimic the classic California vibe.

Instead of a front porch, consider adding a patio cover in the back of the house to serve the same purpose of extending living spaces with the benefit of privacy. Plan a mix of materials and textures to replicate the earthiness of nature and use contrasting paint colors to highlight details. Introduce glass panes and stained glass in cabinetry to give an artistic ambiance.


Invest in Improvements on Trend for 2022

The 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Survey released earlier this summer. According to Houzz, the data reveals that not only did renovation budgets grow in 2021, but project scopes also expanded. For the purpose of their study, recent homeowners are defined as those who have not yet moved into their home or moved in less than a year ago. Short-term owners moved into their home one to five years ago. Long-term homeowners moved into their home six or more years ago.

Renovation Activity & Spend Hit 4-Year High

Home renovation activity and spending are at the highest rates reported since 2018. More than half of homeowners (55%) renovated in 2021, up from 53% in 2020 and 54% in both 2019 and 2018. Following 15% growth in median renovation spend in 2020, homeowners reported an additional 20% jump in 2021 median spend, which now stands at $18,000.

Planned Renovation Spending Increases Year Over Year

More than half of homeowners (55%) plan to renovate in 2022, and nearly half (46%) plan to decorate. For the first time since 2018, homeowners’ planned spending has increased. The median has been $10,000 for the past three years and is now $15,000, a 50% jump.

Recent Homebuyers Spend Double the National Median Spend

Recent homebuyers, who account for 10% of renovating homeowners, spent nearly double the median ($30,000) in 2021, surpassing the median spend for short-term and long-term homeowners ($19,000 and $15,000, respectively). Recent homebuyers with higher-budget projects (the top 10% of spend) invested $175,000, compared with $100,000 for short-term homeowners and $90,000 for long-term homeowners. This higher spending limit potentially can be attributed to the number of projects recent homebuyers undertake at a single time. They are averaging three to four rooms, as well as home systems such as electrical and plumbing.

Investment in Interior Rooms Rises

The median spending increased for all interior room renovations in 2021. The kitchen, which remains the most popular interior room to be upgraded and is the room with the highest spend, saw an increase in investment of 25% ($15,000 in 2021 versus $12,000 in 2020). Interior rooms with the most dramatic spend increase are guest bathrooms (38%), laundry rooms (33%), living rooms (33%) and guest bedrooms (28%).

Other findings include homeowners exploring alternative funding sources – use of cash declined 7 points while financing with credit cards increased 6 points. Another area of investment increase was on outdoor security system upgrades.

Source: 2022 U.S. Houzz & Home Study: Renovation Trends

BestBath walk-in shower enclosure with customized tile inlay.

Universal Design Considerations for Shower and Bath Remodels

Adaptability, also known as universal design, is trending in products that allow people of all abilities ease of use. From small children with limited dexterity to adults with temporary disabling injuries and those with the normal effects of aging, adaptability characteristics are becoming an integral part of a manufacturer’s design.

Features like spa-like showers without the potential tripping hazard of a curb, a connected shower seat, and a shower head on a glide bar for comfort and ease are finding their way into residential bathrooms providing extra utility, as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Roll-in showers are designed for people to directly roll into the stall using a specially designed shower wheelchair. A beveled threshold about 0.5″ high allows the wheelchair to roll over.

Universal design marries adaptability with beauty over the whole range of human ability. Even fashionable towel bars are doing double duty as grab bars with the addition of extra blocking behind the walls to make that level of support possible. Small details have big impacts. Toilets 2-inches higher than the standard 15- to 16-inch-tall fixture reduces strain on a user’s knees when getting up.

It wasn’t that long ago when a homeowner’s choice when remodeling a bathroom was between expensive custom tile work or relatively inexpensive big box store prefabrication enclosures. Today we’ve found a happy middle ground. BestBath, located in Caldwell, Idaho, bridges the gap as an industry leader offering design and engineering services to assist in creating bathroom units that meet a homeowner’s unique requirements for space, configurations, compliance, and type of users. Lenton Company is proud to be a BestBath dealer.

According to its website, BestBath became a world-leading manufacturer of bathing products by focusing on being first in product quality and first in creating products for people of all abilities.

Their products range from walk-in tubs to traditional shower inserts designed to be useful, beautiful, and easily modified as individual needs and abilities change. With accessibility in mind, BestBath products provide the function and value needed today and for many years to come.

BestBath single and multi-piece showers are the perfect fit for home bathroom remodeling projects where safety and accessibility are a concern. Removing the barriers of slippery, traditional tubs is an important step to living in place as homeowners make arrangements to remain in the home they love.

BestBath walk-in shower enclosure with customized tile inlay.

Six Key Considerations for Living in Place

With so many different stages in life, it’s not surprising that needs change as time progresses. Lifestyles suitable for a 20-something are not quite practical for someone approaching their 50s, 60s, 70s… you get the point. Add to that, aging isn’t always graceful. There could be reduced balance, decreased mobility, injury or illness, reduced mental capabilities, decreased strength and endurance, or reduced vision and hearing just to name a few. The concept of Living in Place is to adapt the home of your choice for as long as you are able to stay.

Getting Into the House

Even the most modest homes have steps to access entryways. Designing ramps — temporary or permanent – is a must to ensure access. Whether a concrete pour, decorative wood slats, or prefabricated metal, ramps for a wheelchair allow homeowners to get in and out. If not already in place, handrails for existing stairs provide support when a ramp is not present.

Moving Around the House

Flooring is an important consideration when inside the home for ease of movement. Smooth surfaces are more desirable than carpeted areas. Special hinges can be added to most doors to increase width by two inches. Sunken rooms can be elevated and leveled to minimize steps inside the home.    


Challenges in the bathroom include having sufficient room to move, a place to sit, showering and bathing, safety, and personal care. Surprisingly, the bathroom lends itself to the most opportunity for improvement with thoughtful design. Space can often be reclaimed to provide space for movement; built-in or furniture benches can be added for additional seating. Zero-entry showers provide access without barriers. Vanity counters can be designed for wheelchair roll-up access. Grab bars strategically placed for safety are now available to reflect beautiful design elements.   


Kitchen islands and cabinetry offer enormous potential for keeping things in reach. Everything from drawer microwaves to hydraulic appliance shelves, a homeowner can avoid the difficulty of reaching beyond their grasp. Kitchen pullout pantries make storage accessibility a breeze. Varied heights incorporated into an island accommodate a variety of needs.     


Height is a factor for all things laundry related. Front loading washer and dryer minimize bending; standing height counters aid in sorting and folding.   

Lighting & Technology 

When it comes to lighting, more is better. LED lights with dimmers offer flexibility and there should be multiple sources for accessing switches. Whether Siri, Alexa, Google or other creative names, technology can easily be added to assist. From emergency calls for help to cameras and television sound bars, let a virtual assistant help. The Amazon Echo creates an intercom type system in every room.


Interested in Living in Place?

Lenton Company Hosts Seminar to Address Living in PlaceHome Modifications for Accessibility

Lenton Company will host a seminar to explore the possibilities of adjusting living spaces to be accessible as owners grow older. The complimentary seminar will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2022, starting at 10 a.m. at the Lenton Company Design Studio located at 530 Commerce Ave., Suite C in Palmdale.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 35% of people aged 65 or above upsized their homes by purchasing a 3,000-square-foot or larger home in 2020, compared with only 23% in 2017. Others choose to make modifications to stay in their current home surrounded by neighbors and family and to avoid the prohibitive cost of senior living communities.

“Living in place home modifications often focus on the bathroom, including options to replace a traditional bathtub with a barrier-free shower and to design the overall space to allow for easier access of walkers and wheelchairs if necessary,” said co-owner Rob Lenton. “Design details like stylish handrails strategically placed to provide stability can make a home more aging-friendly.”

“My mother has lived with us for more than 20 years and we’ve made adaptations along the way,” said Evelyn Lenton. “We recently completed a single-story addition to our home with the concept of our own future accessibility needs in mind.”

For property owners interested in exploring the feasibility of living in place in their existing home, the upcoming seminar led by Rob Lenton will provide information on accessibility issues including getting in and out of the home, moving around in the home, bathroom challenges, and kitchen considerations.

Seating is limited; call 661.273.9179 or email to reserve a space.