I have one of those small "bungalow-style" kitchens from the early 1900s. I'm trying to make it work but the counter space is minimal. I stopped working on the front stairwell landing to attack this project as some days I cry out, "I need counter space and can't take it anymore!!"
I have already built several shelves across the kitchen side by side windows which helps a lot. It lets me keep the shades up and still maintain some privacy as the knick knacks and plants break up the view. I painted a mural on the kitchen stairs (pic) and I restored, painted, stenciled and braced an antique marble-top "work station" that was falling apart that we found at a local antique shop (pic). But I have to have a place for the coffee pot, can opener, toaster, etc. I only have one place I could mount them under a cupboard but that wouldn't give me enough room underneath.
On that beautiful day last Thursday I went to Lowes and bought a 6 ft by 12 inch pine board as well as a 3 ft by 12 inch board and pine brackets. I rounded the ends of the big board with my saber saw and sanded it and painted it a hunter green. Wow, too much green going on. So I put crackle medium on it and red paint on top of that and sanded it to let some of the green come through. Still doesn't work. I put on more crackle and some tan colored paint. I think if I rub some walnut stain on that it will look nice and old which is the effect I'm looking for without it being too dominant a color.
I'm going to mount that above the radiator that is in front of the window to give me a place for my appliances. To that I'm going to hinge the other board with a swing out leg that will be used when I need extra space when company comes over. I may tile that, not sure yet.
I'm really looking forward to having that extra counter space. I'll post pictures when I'm done.