The result is just what she'd imagined during all those decades in a kitchen that wasn't quite what she wanted.

"I've had a lot of time to think about what I would do," she says, laughing. "Clean and calm. Neutral and contemporary."

How to make a small kitchen feel spacious

Donna Hamilton's renovated kitchen is the same size as her old one. Yet she feels that it offers much more space. And she didn't spend a lot of money. Here are some tips on how to make a tiny kitchen feel more spacious on a budget from Dashielle Caruthers of Chesapeake Kitchen Wholesalers.

Raise the height of the cabinets If there's a bulkhead above the cabinets, try to get it out of there. "Donna took everything to the ceiling. Now she's got a whole extra shelf up there," Caruthers says.

Maximize space inside the cabinet If you have a corner that's dead, put a cabinet with a Lazy Susan.

Go for contrast If you really love a dark cabinet, try a lighter, contrasting counter to balance it.

Use a white backsplash "This is where your eyes will go immediately," she says.

Try an 18-inch dishwasher It gives you another 8 inches of space to use for cabinets. Even 6 inches makes a big difference.

Little changes count If you can't do much, change out the hardware and the countertops. "That will give it a fresh look," Caruthers says.

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