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How to Make a Small Kitchen Look BIGGER and BETTER

floating shelves make a small kitchen look bigger

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The Basics of Making A Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Creating the illusion of a larger kitchen in a small space involves a combination of clever design choices and smart use of colors and materials. From our experience, here are some basic starting tips to create the illusion of a larger space, which can make a small kitchen look bigger.

Quick Tips To Make A Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Use light colors: Opt for whites, pastels, and light shades to create an open and airy feel. Choose a low-contrast color pallet to keep the space bright.

Reflective surfaces: Incorporate mirrors, glass, and glossy finishes to amplify natural light.

Monochromatic color scheme: Stick to a single color palette to minimize visual clutter.

Glass-front cabinets: Use glass doors or open shelving to add depth and visual interest.

simple clean lines to make a small kitchen look bigger

Multi-functional furniture: Utilize furniture that serves multiple purposes to save space. (For example an island with prep space and seating).

Smart storage solutions: Implement pull-out shelves, corner drawers, and under-cabinet storage to maximize efficiency.

Declutter: To maintain a tidy and spacious environment, keep countertops and surfaces clear of unnecessary items.

Stainless steel appliances: Reflective surfaces bounce light around and help make a space appear brighter and bigger.

Taking it Up a Notch: Clever Design Tricks

Now that you have the basics covered, here are some more advanced design principles to consider for your small kitchen to make the most of every square inch, storage space, and wall space.

Consider incorporating these storage solutions, high-quality materials, and trending design elements that make the kitchen look more extensive and enhance functionality and aesthetic appeal.

contemporary kitchen style

Clean Sight Lines and Streamlined Cabinetry

Prioritizing clean lines in kitchen design with streamlined cabinetry and hardware is key to creating a modern, uncluttered aesthetic that maximizes small spaces.

While ornamentation and stunning mouldings are beautiful, in a small kitchen they may seem overdone or heavy. These finishings need room to breathe and stand on their own since they add significant visual weight.

Simple cabinet styles like shaker doors or sleek, handle-less cabinets with smooth, flat surfaces eliminate visual noise, allowing the eye to move freely and perceive the area as more expansive.

kitchen cabinet hardware

Minimalist hardware, such as integrated pulls or push-to-open (tip-on hardware) mechanisms, contributes to this seamless look, ensuring that nothing disrupts the uniformity of the design. If opting for standard cabinet pulls, keep the handles sleek and in a reflective finish.

This approach not only enhances the visual appeal but also simplifies maintenance and organization, making the kitchen a more efficient and enjoyable space to cook and gather.

floating shelves make small kitchens look bigger

Leave Some Open Space with Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a must have in every kitchen – not just the small ones. 

Open shelves eliminate the bulkiness of traditional cabinets, creating an open, breezy atmosphere while still providing essential storage. They allow for the display of attractive dishware, glassware, and decorative items, adding personality and style to the kitchen without overwhelming it. 

This approach keeps the walls visible, enhancing the perception of a larger area and ensuring the kitchen feels less confined.

make a small kitchen look bigger with low contrast colors

Keep It Cohesive With Integrated Appliances

Integrated appliances make small kitchens look bigger by creating a cohesive, seamless look that minimizes visual clutter. Built-in appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves, are designed to fit flush with cabinetry and can be concealed behind matching cabinet doors.

This creates an uninterrupted flow across the cabinet surfaces, making the kitchen more streamlined and spacious.

The absence of visible appliances allows for a more uniform and tidy appearance, which helps the space feel open and uncluttered – especially important in a small kitchen.

If you can hide the appliances, you can create a cohesive look and an open, bigger-feeling kitchen.

integrated lighting to make small kitchens look bigger

Elevate with Under Cabinet Lighting

Small kitchens may also lack natural light, which is often a factor in making a space feel small and cold.

To keep the kitchen space open and bright, accent lighting can be added to improve visibility and make the room feel larger. Accent lighting reduces shadows and creates a more inviting and practical environment.

Under-cabinet lighting adds a layer of sophistication and depth to the kitchen design. Elevating a small kitchen with under-cabinet lighting involves not only improving functionality but also enhancing the overall aesthetic.

white cabinets make a small kitchen look bigger

Choose High End Materials With Big Impact

Choosing high-end materials in small kitchen spaces can significantly impact the visual appeal and create an illusion of greater space.

Premium materials such as marble, quartz, and high-gloss acrylic reflect light more effectively while creating a dramatic statement. This removes the need for elaborate decoration, since these stunning finishes speak for themselves and brighten the space.

Additionally, high-end materials often feature luxurious finishes and detailed craftsmanship that draw the eye and create focal points, diverting attention from the room’s size.

For instance, a stunning marble countertop or a sleek, polished backsplash can serve as a centerpiece, adding depth and dimension to the kitchen. These materials also tend to have smoother, more uniform surfaces, which contribute to a streamlined and cohesive look, reducing visual clutter.

Small Kitchen Style Tips For The Walls

Using walls effectively in a small kitchen can significantly contribute to a sense of spaciousness.

Utilize the full height of the walls for storage. Installing tall cabinets or open shelving draws the eye upward, making the room feel taller and more expansive. Floor-to-ceiling storage maximizes every inch of space while keeping countertops clear and uncluttered.

Paint walls in light, neutral colors. Light shades reflect more light, creating an airy, open atmosphere. A monochromatic color scheme can also reduce visual clutter, making the space appear larger.

Keep wall decor simple and uncluttered. Too many items on the walls can make the space feel crowded.

Opt for a few well-chosen pieces that add personality without overwhelming the space. Scale any decorative items to the size of the space so everything feels proportionate.

Pay Attention to Vertical and Horizontal Lines

Tight kitchen space can benefit from strategic optical illusion. Playing up vertical lines or horizontal planes can make a room feel bigger, without any major renovation or structure changes. 

floating shelves make a small kitchen look bigger

Vertical lines bring the eye upward, which is helpful for spaces that lack height. Vertical tile backsplashes, tall floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and monochromatic wall and ceiling paint can help a room appear taller.

Horizontal lines draw the eye across a horizontal plane, further down a space. Think, back and forth rather than up and down. Horizontal subway tile (installed “long ways”), long floating shelves, and long cohesive banks of cabinetry can help create length in a tiny kitchen.

How to Stay Organized in a Small Kitchen

Clutter can make a room feel crowded. Keeping your counter space free of items means genius organization is a must. Here are some tips to make sure your small kitchen can feel roomy despite it’s size.

Make Use Of Small Areas with Specialized Cabients

In a small kitchen, every inch of space can be utilized. Using specialized custom cabinetry can use small spaces that would otherwise be unused. Skinny chrome pullouts, for example, take advantage of those tall, slim refrigerator spaces. Custom cabinets allow you to take advantage of your unique underutilized areas.

Everything Needs A Home

Giving each kitchen item a designated place to be, a home to be stored, is crucial to the organization – especially in a small kitchen. Without purposeful organization, things will be mixed up and space will be either overcrowded or wasted. Adding cabinet partitions can create homes for large or awkward items like pans and cutting boards. By designating space intentionally, you can find the best organization method for your kitchen cabinets.

full height built in cabinets with built in appliances

keep it simple to make A small kitchen look bigger

Making a small kitchen look bigger is all about simplicity. If you don’t want your room to feel crowded, avoid overly decorative details and too many materials and finishes. 

For a fuss free small kitchen, keep it simple! Your kitchen may be small, but that’s okay. You can live with a little less, and have a beautiful kitchen to cook up what your heart desires.

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

Discover Your Dream Kitchen With Decor

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