Have a Small Kitchen? Here Are 9 Ways to Make It Seem Bigger

July 9, 20213 comments

We all know our lives at home revolve around our kitchen. It’s the room we use every day for many activities. We cook, we eat, we talk, we work, we hang out.  Even though we use it for just about everything, the kitchen isn’t always as large as we want it to be.

Perhaps it could use more storage. Maybe more countertop space. Or possibly a larger table would be ideal. Luckily, there are some tricks to fool the eye and make your small space feel giant.

1. Out of sight, out of mind

Too many things on the counter and walls can easily cramp your space. Pick your décor carefully and keep counters clear. Select only a few countertop “show pieces.” Your frequently used coffee maker or favorite small-size house plant are good options.

2. Try for multi-purpose

When you’re tight on square footage, it’s important to get as much out of your space as possible. The best way to do this is to make rooms and furniture serve multiple purposes. For example, if you’re strategic with your kitchen design, the peninsula could be a preparation area when cooking and double as a dining spot with the addition of barstool seating.

Don’t have an extra room for an at-home office? Well, the kitchen table doesn’t have to always be for eating. It could easily function as a desk and working area. Just clear and clean when it’s mealtime!

bi level peninsula at an angle to the wall

A bi level peninsula can function as both a food prep station and a seating area all at the same time.

3. Clear line of sight

To help your space feel large, remove items that block your sight. The farther you can see, the larger your space will feel. Tall chairs, large furniture, clunky décor, and even unruly houseplants are items to watch out for.

If you’re remodeling your kitchen and have upper cabinets over a peninsula, consider taking them out to create an airiness and more open floorplan. You’ll be surprised at the difference this can make.

The placement of cabinets is very important. The openness of the peninsula connects the kitchen to the neighboring room.

4. Define borders with rugs not walls

If you’re using a single space for multiple purposes, you can section off each zone with area rugs. This is a much less invasive way to create separation than room dividers or makeshift walls, which interrupt your line of sight.

In this smaller space, the use of a rug helps create separation between where food is prepared and where it’s eaten.

5. If you can, build it in

When you build in furniture, it becomes part of the structure of the room and takes up less space visually. Along with your kitchen cabinetry, you can build in seating for banquette style dining and add concealed storage in benches and window alcoves.

While this one may not be built-in, window seats are a great idea for how to make use of unused space in your kitchen. This particular bench not only creates additional seating, but helps to cover an old radiator.

6. Light monochromatic colors

High-contrast color palettes, with lights and darks, and brights and bolds, can cramp your space. Layering lighter colors in a monochromatic fashion — whites, grays, khakis, etc. — in the cabinets, wall colors, and flooring won’t dominate visually and will help your space feel larger.

The all-white cabinets, countertops, and pale floors help make this kitchen feel light and airy.

7. Avoid bulky furniture

In small spaces, bulky furniture tends to be a big a no-no. Instead, slim pieces with little excess are better options. Also, when furniture sits atop legs, it grants better sight of the floor, bringing a sense of airiness to the space.

White and Harbor Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

The barstools have a small visual footprint and can be pushed under the counter to help make the space feel more open.

8. Let the light shine

If you’re lucky enough to have great windows and natural lighting, don’t block it with blinds or curtains! Natural light is the most desirable source of light because it brightens your space and adds depth. Just one window can dramatically change the look and feel of any room.

Large windows over the sink bring tons of natural light to this kitchen.

9. Mirror, mirror

To aid the natural light, add reflective surfaces to bounce the light around your kitchen. Ceramic tile in the backsplash is one way to do this. Large mirrors are another and will create the illusion of a bigger space.

Making your kitchen feel bigger is all about planning ahead and using your space intelligently and efficiently. Combining those ideas with space-saving and visual tricks, you can create a small kitchen that feels larger than life.

Black Cabinets with White Countertops and Walls

Carrying the countertops up the wall as a backsplash creates clean lines and reflects natural light back into the room.

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Showing 3 comments

  1. Allen S. Morgan Reply

    I’m not sure how I feel about bookshelves in the bedroom (top photo). I wonder if it would feel kind of dusty? I do like how it looks but I think I’d rather have books in the dining room. But if the bedroom was all I had for my books, it would work!

  2. Gina Reply

    We are in the middle of building a new home and the kitchen design is similar to #8 “Let the light shine”. Same built in oven but microwave on top, counter top stove and there is a window in front of sink and the fridge is on the end. I’m wanting Mendota (Maple Caramel) look and the island is a rectangle shape. Need ideas….We are in Martin, GA

    • August Drilling Reply

      Hi Gina, thanks for reaching out! We’d be happy to help you with your cabinetry project. Please give us a call at 1-800-576-7930 to speak with one of our designers. They’ll talk with you to learn about your needs and create a design that fits your space and budget. Thanks!

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