A spacious kitchen is a luxury that we, unfortunately, can’t all boast the privilege of having. But if you have a small kitchen–or if you wish your kitchen was bigger than it is–there are ways to make the space look and feel bigger without actually knocking down a wall or expanding the room.
Plus, there are many cheaper ways to make your kitchen at least feel bigger than the $13,700 to $42,000 it costs on average to remodel a kitchen, according to the 2018 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study. The colors you choose when decorating, the items you keep in the kitchen, the size of your appliances and the storage space, as well as the types of lighting and cabinets in the room, will all play a role in allowing you to feel like your kitchen is bigger than it really is.
If you want to save yourself the hassle of renovating the kitchen to actually make it bigger, follow these seven tips and tricks to make your smaller-than-desirable kitchen feel bigger than it really is.
- Declutter and get rid of unnecessary items.
Cookbooks, rarely used china and even coffee machines typically can be stored in the kitchen if the space is large, but when your kitchen is small, you need to consider your space and the items that can be left outside the kitchen. The less cluttered your kitchen is, the bigger it will look. So, if there are small appliances or household items that you can find a different home for, aim to keep them elsewhere. You’ll also want to keep your countertops free of clutter. Creating drawers, cabinets and hanging storage spots to keep your kitchen items neat and organized is key to maintaining a clutter-free kitchen and making the room appear bigger than it really is. Nothing in the kitchen should be without a storage spot, so as you’re working on the space, assign everything its place.
- Design with light colors.
Choosing the right colors is one of the easiest ways to make your kitchen feel more spacious. Painting is also one of the cheapest ways to make your space feel bigger. Dark walls can make the kitchen feel crowded and as if it’s closing in on you. Opposingly, white, off-white, beige and other lighter paint colors will offer an airy feel. Light yellows and light gray colors can also inspire a more open feeling for the room.
- Opt for light and bright cabinets.
White and other light-colored cabinets are a great way to go and they’re better than dark in order to make the kitchen feel more spacious. But even better than that is getting cabinet doors that are made of glass or partially made of glass so you can see through them. This adds some deception with depth to give the kitchen a bigger feel. The glass doors trick your eyes into thinking the space around them is bigger than it really is. If you don’t like the idea of see-through cabinets, you can also go with opaque glass for your cabinets, which has the same effect in reflecting light and giving the space a bigger feel without everyone having to see the dishes inside.
Speaking of cabinets, another way to make your space bigger is to have taller cabinets than you commonly find in the kitchen. This can work to make the ceiling feel higher, raise your eye level and also give you more storage space, which is a win on its own. You’ll also want to avoid bold cabinet hardware. Simple styles and clean lines are your best bet to not overwhelm a small space.
- Invest in kitchen appliances for small spaces.
Did you know some kitchen appliances are available in a variety of sizes than the standard you’ll commonly find? Whether it’s a refrigerator, dishwasher, range or wall oven, you should consider if a smaller appliance or two is a good idea for your kitchen. Having a built-in coffee machine instead of one that takes up counter space is another idea to consider. Choosing reflective appliances is another way to make your kitchen feel bigger. That’s because shiny appliances reflect light and pick up shine from the walls and cabinets. Stainless steel appliances are a good option and will go well with white cabinetry or glass doors with white accents.
- Take advantage of natural light.
Another optical illusion, natural light can help make a room feel bigger, more open and more airy. If you can add a window into the kitchen (or even a sliding glass door), it will greatly help–and the bigger the better. Simple sheer or light blinds should be used on the windows, though we recommend keeping the blinds open to continuously let in light. If it’s not an option to have a window in the kitchen, it’s important to have good lighting. Smart lights can even give you a natural light feeling without having natural light in the room.
- Avoid bold design decisions.
It may seem like a good idea to add an accent wall, statement painting or elaborate light fixture in your kitchen, but these types of design additions can actually make the room feel even smaller. Whether it’s a brick wall, a pop of color with one wall painted differently or an eclectic accessory, save these types of fun design options for a larger space in your home.
- Keep the floors clear.
Similar to how your counter space should be tidy and free of random items, the floors in your kitchen should remain as open as possible, too. A free-standing island is great for a big kitchen, but in a small kitchen, an island can make the space even smaller. Rugs aren’t common in the kitchen and that should remain the case as you look to make the room feel larger. If you need to have a table in your small kitchen, consider one that folds so that it can be tucked away and made smaller when it’s not being used.
Without knocking down a wall or remodeling your home, there are easy ways you can make a small kitchen feel larger. Start small and see how big of an impact these tips can make. Your kitchen will feel bigger with less work than you may think.
Author Bio: Lauren Silver is a Marketing Coordinator for Abt Electronics, the largest independent retailer of consumer electronics and major appliances. Lauren oversees all content creation from their Glenview, Illinois Headquarters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and cooking for her family.