Design and remodel advice

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What tips do you have for a kitchen refacing and for designing a studio apartment? I’ve read all the blog post online about positioning the space but I’d love to hear from fellow owners how they went about it.

I'm a fan of dark cabinets or below (to bring your eye down) and just white open shelves above so it doesn't feel so cramped. Definitely helps to distinguish between kitchen and bedroom in some way - whether its a change in flooring or a kitchen island.

We recently flipped a small house that had a kitchen/living area that functioned like an open studio setup. We went with home depot's prefabricated basic white cabinets. We looked for ones that had been returned or had minor damage because they heavily discount lumber when it has a flaw. We put all cabinets on one wall and used the small island as a break between rooms. We built the island top out to function as a bar since there was not much room for a dining table. Because it was a small space, we were able to use higher end finishes and went with an eye-catching backsplash and good lighting to open the space more. 

For an inexpensive job, it turned out really nice.