Making the Most of a Small Kitchen

While you may dream of having a spacious, expansive gourmet kitchen, it is often not an option to expand your kitchen beyond its current footprint. But with some smart planning, it is possible to remodel your small kitchen to feel spacious and make good use of every square inch.

While you may not be able to expand the square footage of your kitchen, you can visually expand it and make it feel larger than it is. Consider removing a wall to open it up to an adjoining room, such as the dining room or living room. This will make the kitchen seem much more spacious without adding any additional space. Replacing solid cabinet doors with glass doors or open shelves will also help create the illusion of additional space, although you need to make sure the contents of those cabinets are kept well organized. Glass or mirrored backsplash will also reflect light, helping to make the room feel more spacious.

Lighting is another important component in making your kitchen feel larger. Adding additional windows to allow in more natural light will go a long way to helping your kitchen seem more spacious. If adding windows isn’t an option, make the most of the windows you have by keeping window treatments minimal to allow in as much light as possible. You’ll also want to include a variety of lighting styles to keep your kitchen well illuminated. Recessed lighting in the ceiling will provide task lighting and help avoid shadows. Under-cabinet lighting is a must-have for task lighting. Pendant and light fixtures provide visual interest and ambient lighting. And over-cabinet lighting will project warm light onto the walls and ceiling. Opt for LED lights for maximum energy efficiency.

Choosing a light color scheme for your kitchen will also contribute to making it feel larger. Lighter colors reflect more light and help it feel less compact. Combining white cabinets with white walls and backsplash will create a seamless space. If you want to incorporate colors, opt for a low-contrast color scheme.

Even the flooring you choose can affect how spacious your kitchen feels. Certain patterns, such as wide stripes that run side-to-side or oversized diamond or chevron patterns can make the room seem wider than it actually is.

In addition to making your kitchen feel larger, there are also changes you can make that will improve the functionality of your small kitchen:

  • Wall-mounted knife racks, spice racks, and utensil racks will make use of wall space and open up counter space.
  • A wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted pot rack will save storage space for other items.
  • For corner cabinets, install a lazy susan to make this storage space more usable.
  • If you don’t have space for an island, jut out your counter from the wall to create a small peninsula that can provide additional work and storage space. Or, invest in a cart with a counter top that you can roll in when needed and store away when it is not needed.
  • Adding recessed shelves into an empty wall between the studs will provide valuable storage space without sacrificing any floor space.
  • Use decorative baskets above the cabinets to neatly store things you don’t use frequently.

As the heart of the home, the kitchen tends to become a multi-function room. Mail gets stacked on the counter, kids occupy the table to do homework, and laundry may get deposited on the floor. With a small kitchen, you really need to restrict the function of the kitchen solely to food preparation. Other functions need to be shifted to other areas of the house. This simple step will help you eliminate some of the clutter that can accumulate and make your kitchen feel smaller.