Small kitchens can feel airy and welcoming, but they can also feel claustrophobic. The way a small kitchen feels when you walk in - and when you cook - can change your entire experience of the space. Fortunately, the same kitchen layout can feel bigger or smaller by the way you design.
A kitchen that feels like there's plenty of space will actually be easier to cook in and more of a daily joy.
Does your small kitchen feel small? Try a few tricks to make the space seem larger and more welcoming each time you step into your kitchen.
1. Embrace Minimalist Design
There's a simple principle to "big kitchen" design, and that's clear surfaces. Clutter makes a space feel smaller and more closed in, while empty spaces feel more open and spacious. This means that for a small kitchen, your most welcoming design style will likely be minimalist. This means minimum counter storage and minimal decoration pieces. Empty, gleaming countertops are your ideal starting point for making your kitchen seem bigger.
2. Illuminate Every Corner
Dark shadows are also not welcome in a small kitchen - but all too common. A central light in the ceiling won't do the trick because your body is between the light and every countertop. Light the space above your countertop to shine down on your prep space and eliminate shadows in every corner. Use canister lighting above instead of one light fixture and strip lights in smaller spaces and even to light shelves and pantries. Drive away the shadows to make your kitchen look larger and more welcoming.
3. See Your Upper Shelves
Don't enclose your upper kitchen shelves in cabinetry. Let the shelves and your stacked dishes be seen. Open shelving feels more airy and spacious while overhead cabinets can feel claustrophobic, especially for small parallel kitchens with no room to 'take a step back" from the cabinets. Have the cabinetry replaced with floating shelves, remove your cabinet doors, or swap your cabinet doors for glass and frosted glass styles.
4. Light Colors Feel Airy
Dark kitchens are dramatic but can feel more closed-in. Light colors feel more open and airy, which is exactly what you want to make a small kitchen feel spacious. Choose warm neutrals that reflect light and make your kitchen glow. Just like fighting off shadows, warm and relaxing light colors in your kitchen will feel like more space in the same square footage.
5. Shade the Window with a Cloth Blind
Breezy kitchen curtains can work against you in a small space. Minimize their visual impact with a pull-down cloth shade or blind instead. This gives you control over the sun in your eyes or flooding the kitchen with natural light without the imperceptibly larger space taken by soft curtains.
6. Enhance Your Architecture
Take your architecture to the ceiling. If you have high ceilings, beams, or interesting detail on your walls, enhance them with your design. Use color and features to draw attention to the upper spaces of your kitchen, Making use of overhead space for a sense of room and openness can make a small kitchen expand to fill the whole room.
7. Mount a Reflective Backsplash
You've probably heard of the trick that uses a mirror to make the room seem twice its size. In a small kitchen, the perfect place is your backsplash. Don't want a mirrored backsplash? You're not alone. Instead, choose highly polished tile or stone that provides some subtle reflection without acting as a perfect mirror. A reflective backsplash adds the suggestion of "more kitchen" beyond the reflection without the impact of a fully mirrored surface.
Whether you're getting ready to renovate your kitchen for a more spacious design or simply looking to make a small kitchen more welcoming, your small kitchen will feel like a new space with just a few strategic design tips. Find out more about designing and creating the perfect home kitchen, contact us today.