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My apartment kitchen is small but mighty. It's a rental, it's fine. But sometimes I see someone else's kitchen and it makes my heart just ache. Case in point:

Barefoot Contessa - overall image

Now the bright and lovely Ina Garten, also known as the Barefoot Contessa, (whose kitchen is pictured above) runs a veritable food empire, so she might have a few more resources than us ordinary people. Still, there are a few great lessons here for any smart home cook.

1. Eliminate Counter Clutter

Keeping the countertop clear actually makes you feel more efficient when you're cooking. And whenever possible, tidy up as you go. If you're planning a reno, consider adding pantry storage. I find staying organized keeps my head clear and I'm less likely to burn something, or myself.

Barefoot Contessa - the pantry

2. Add Casual Seating

Put in a few stools for guests near your countertop so you can prepare dinner and socialize at the same time.

Barefoot Contessa - Casual Seating

3. Use What You Have

If you own something beautiful, use it! Don't hide it away behind closed-door kitchen cabinets.

Barefoot Contessa - Open Cabinets

4. If all else fails, have a soak in the tub.

Especially if it looks like hers!

Barefoot Contessa - bath tub

See more kitchen design inspirations. You might also enjoy photos of Lynda Reeves' kitchen, a great example of all of the organization and design tips above.

Photo credits:
Photography by Simon Upton, published in 
House Beautiful

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