Smaller kitchens can be challenging for many reasons. However, you may not have the luxury of expanding the space so it’s important to work with what you’ve got and make the most out of it.
Fortunately, there are lots of great ways to give small spaces a bigger look and feel – it just takes a little planning. Knowing what works—as well as what doesn’t—are the keys to success.
Using Color And Light To Open Up a Small Space
To make a smaller space seem bigger, it’s always better to go lighter and brighter. Even though, technically, this doesn’t net you any more space than what you already have, it can truly feel bigger and it won’t seem as dark and cramped.
Choose Monochrome Over Multi-Color
While color is very important, a monochrome scheme works really well. High-contrasting colors in a smaller room tend to draw attention to the fact that it is a smaller space and may make it look choppy and chaotic.
Add Reflective Surfaces
Reflective surfaces can help a great deal. Here are a few ways that reflective surfaces can make your small kitchen design appear to be much bigger:
Add a glass or tile backsplash. This will create a gleaming, reflective feature that really opens up and lightens the space. And if you’re doing tile, consider choosing larger tile as it will have fewer grout lines and won’t break up the space as much. If it looks like one big continuous feature, it tricks your eye into thinking that the whole thing looks bigger.
Glass cabinet doors are another way to add reflection. They also provide the illusion of more space because you can see the depth of the cabinet behind the glass – kind of tricking the eye into thinking the room is bigger than it actually is.
Build Up Instead Of Out
If you don’t have room to build out, you can think about building your storage or cabinetry up. Even if the top shelves are too high to be totally functional, they can be used to display decorative items or to store those things that you only need every once in a while. Adding some height draws your eye up and makes the room feel much bigger.
Toe-kick drawers are a great way to ditch your drawer pulls and create sleek lines. Basically, toe-kick drawers are a mechanism that pops a drawer, door or feature out when activated by a foot switch. With a slight twist, we’ve had people who placed folding stools on a toe-kick, a real space-saver and a cool little feature in a small space.
Enlarging The Kitchen With An Addition
If you have the budget to enlarge the kitchen through an addition, you might consider removing a wall to expand into the living or dining area. Even a small addition (think a few inches as opposed to a few feet) can make a huge difference in terms of storage space.
Maximizing Counter Space
Ideally, when remodeling a small kitchen, we are looking to keep as much counter space as possible or to create more counter space. To this end, we may recommend fold-down countertops as opposed to an island – in other words, counters that fold up on a hinge when you aren’t using them.
All of our cabinets are semi-custom. This means that if we don’t have room to do standard 24-inch deep cabinets, we might suggest 21 or 18-inch deep. These would be smaller than normal, but you will still have good storage and countertop space whereas you might not have much to begin with.
Extend Your Flooring
If your kitchen is open to any other room, choosing the same flooring in the adjoining spaces—like the living room or the dining room—will extend the feel of the interior design. Again, it’s one less place for your eye to stop. It’s going to provide a seamless flow and will make the room look bigger without adding any square footage.
Functional Kitchen Amenities
You might also look at kitchen sinks that can be fitted with a cutting board. Essentially, it’s a countertop or cutting board that sits in or over the sink opening, giving you more prep space without taking over any other part of the kitchen. It’s a like a lid for your sink, sitting neatly inside the opening and looking like it’s a part of your counter.
These are just a few great ways to rethink your kitchen design when working with a small area. If you would like to learn more, let’s talk! We’d love to hear what you have in mind and tell you how we can help.
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.