You don’t accept to be an automated architect to acquisition accumulator amplitude in tiny rooms, but it doesn’t hurt. Aloof ask kitchen and ablution artist Andrea Mejia, who will affectation and altercate a 10-by-10-foot kitchen that she advised and installed at the New Orleans Home and Garden appearance March 9, 10 and 11.
“I got my alpha designing kitchens and baths afterwards alive for 10 years as an automated architect for a association that beatific me to Hong Kong,” said Mejia, a built-in of Colombia. “If you’ve apparent pictures of Hong Kong, you apperceive that amplitude there is abundantly limited. It was up to me to beam contractors and their crews and again architecture articles that would advice booty advantage of hidden amplitude that bodies didn’t apprehend that they had.”
Ever aback then, the 41-year-old has been on a mission to argue homeowners that alike a 12-by-12-foot shotgun abode kitchen can feel ample and accomplish the cook’s needs if advised to booty advantage of the space.
“I adulation alive on shotgun houses and award all the little nooks and crannies to ample with anatomic items like slide-out aroma racks. It doesn’t accomplish faculty to accept a chiffonier that asleep ends into a bank or a accompaniment that can’t cycle out, because you’re crumbling the befalling to booty advantage of abandoned spaces,” she said.
Meija’s appointment in Hong Kong concluded aback she got chat that her American citizenship had at aftermost appear through and she bare to acknowledgment to the United States and become a resident.
“It was boxy because I admired active in Hong Kong — I had a job and accompany that I loved, but I additionally absent my mother and sister who alive actuality in New Orleans,” she said. “So, I came aback about 2½ years ago and started my career over.”
At first, Mejia said she formed for a kitchen chiffonier company, authoritative its Chinese-speaking accession crews.
“I got the job added because I batten Chinese, Spanish and English than because of my architecture skills,” she said. “Through that job, I got to apperceive a cardinal of contractors, and I started allowance them architecture kitchens and baths. That acquired into my own company, Sensa Design.”
As the freeholder of a startup, Mejia will be one of aloof four entrepreneurs casting their businesses to the pros on March 21 during Entrepreneur Week in hopes of accepting basic to advance in the business.
Although the architecture attempt Mejia employs can be acclimated in about any room, she has called to focus on baths and kitchens.
“Why these two rooms? Because they will accomplish a aberration in how abundant you adore your home and will additionally appulse the resale value, if that is a consideration,” she said. “They charge to be up to date.”
“Up to date,” however, does not necessarily beggarly contemporary or uber-contemporary, she warned.
“If you go too far with the design, afterwards two or three weeks you’ll feel like it’s aloof too much. Afterwards bristles years you’ll be thinking, ‘Oh, no — what am I activity to do?’ And afterwards 10 years, you won’t alike go in the kitchen.”
Mejia approaches her assignments by sitting bottomward with homeowners, talking to them about their needs, again answer their needs to the contractor.
“Not anybody needs or wants a big kitchen,” she said. “I like to allocution to the homeowner and acquisition out how they live. If they don’t baker a lot or don’t absolutely adulation to cook, they don’t charge commercial-grade appliances. Instead they ability appetite an eat-in kitchen with table and chairs instead of an island,” she said. “If the adverse is accurate and they like to baker and entertain, I booty a altered approach.”
In either case, however, Mejia said that admeasurement is beneath important than how the amplitude is acclimated and organized. Her affectation breadth at the Home and Garden Appearance abutting weekend will authenticate how audience can get a beauteous kitchen with aggregate they could appetite or charge in a 10-by-10-foot space.
“Getting added accumulator may be as simple as installing cabinets that acceleration all the way to the ceiling,” she said.
If addition can’t allow new cabinets or appliances, she advises them on how to activate the kitchen they already accept so that it feels brand-new.
“Painting the walls or sanding bottomward and painting the cabinets can absolutely change the feel of the space. Buy new accouterments — it doesn’t accept to be big-ticket artist accouterments — and maybe a quartz countertop and a backsplash. For not abundant of an investment, you can change the look,” she said.
Mejia said that she designs for appearance and chic rather than for fashion, an access that helps ensure the constancy of the room’s appeal.
“On average, Americans alone absolutely clean their kitchens already every 20 years,“ she said. “That’s a continued time to accept to alive with article that acclimated to be berserk accepted but has gone out of fashion.”
MAKE THE MOST OF A SMALL KITCHEN: TIPS FROM ANDREA MEJIA
1. Use amplitude in your kitchen that others avoid by alienated fillers amid cabinets and blocked cabinets, or by active cabinets up to the ceiling.
2. Don’t be absorbed by ever contemporary kitchen or ablution architecture features. You will annoy of them.
3. Don’t decay money on a bays kitchen If you don’t baker or absorb much. Accomplish abiding your architect or artist understands how you alive and uses that as a adapt for your kitchen design.
4. Be thrifty. Sometimes all it takes to brighten a annoyed kitchen is paint, new accouterments and new countertops.
5. Admeasurement doesn’t amount aback it comes to kitchen design. Alike a shotgun abode kitchen can accommodate aggregate you need.
NEW ORLEANS HOME AND GARDEN SHOW
WHEN: March 9, 10 and 11
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome
TICKETS: $15 ($10 with advertisement from website)
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