Kitchen Design: How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Big

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small kitchen cabinets eat in kitchen

Every room in your home has a purpose — your bedroom comforts, your living room entertains, and your kitchen nourishes. If you spend hours in the kitchen reading recipes and cooking meals for you or your family, you’ll want to feel content and not confined. Here’s how to turn your closed kitchen into an open one without knocking down walls — or breaking the bank.

Paint your walls and cabinets the same color

The darker your kitchen is, the more it’ll feel like you’re cooking in a cave. Although using dark colors strategically can create the impression that the walls are farther back than they actually are, limiting your walls and cabinetry to the same light color will minimize visual boundaries that’ll stop your eye. If you want your kitchen to appear open and bigger, consider painting your walls and cabinets white — or a pale color — to help reflect the light in it.

Minimize your furnishings and clutter

You don’t have to be a five-star chef to have a kitchen filled with appliances and other items that help you whip up the most delicious meals your guests have ever had. Combine them with your personal touches and furnishings and you end up with a cluttered kitchen that not only looks like a mess, but feels like it’s entrapping you.

To help with this problem, consider expanding your kitchen with open — or floating — shelves and corner appliance garages. This will help you lose visual weight, making your kitchen look sleeker and more organized.

Think about the lines in your kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen’s design, you’ll want to design it with clean lines in mind. Essentially, oversized corbels, fancy cabinets, and complex details lend themselves to an over-decorated kitchen. Keep it simple by making sure everything in your kitchen lines up and looks smooth.

Additionally, choose design patterns and visual elements that help direct your eye toward the ceiling. The design technique of using vertical lines helps provide the illusion that your ceiling is higher than really is.

Take advantage of natural and ambient lighting

Although it can get hot and steamy from your hard work, your kitchen should be a place that calms your soul (while also warming the hearts of those who eat your food). Cooking in a dark dungeon is about as pleasant as peeling potatoes with a fingernail, so brighten your kitchen by letting in as much natural light as you can — if it’s an option — and installing ambient lighting. These lighting tips will help you make sure that you don’t put your hands in the boiling water instead of in the salad when you want to mix it (because it’s too dark to notice).

Opening up your kitchen

Making your kitchen look bigger doesn’t have to cost and an arm and a leg. Simply incorporate these suggestions into your kitchen’s design and you’ll be enjoying one of the most important rooms in your home in a seemingly open space in no time.

Have any other tips for making a small kitchen look bigger? Leave a comment below.


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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.