Having a spacious kitchen is truly a luxury; not needing to worry about where things go, how to have items organized, and overall having the kitchen feeling like a clean space, can “make or break” the area. Unfortunately, not every kitchen is designed to have enough space for all your needs to be met.
However small your kitchen may be, there are a number cheap and simple tricks you can utilize to help make a kitchen look bigger and give you plenty of room to work without having to expand the square footage of your home or make expensive renovations! It’s all about the art of illusion and minimalism. By removing visual clutter and allowing light to flow freely through your space, you’ll be creating an optical illusion of sorts.
Let’s start with the basics
Before going out and spending money on having your kitchen space completely remodeled, there’s a couple of things you can do right now to make a kitchen look bigger.
Allowing natural light into a kitchen and almost any other room, can have the room feeling more spacious and inviting. By having natural light come into the space, it can give the illusion of being connected with the outdoors and virtually become a limitless space.
Consider using opaque-color or sheer curtains on your windows, to help provide privacy, while still allowing light to flow into the kitchen naturally. If privacy isn’t of concern you can just remove any curtains outright.
Now, I understand, not every kitchen has a desirable view when looking out the window, adding some plants and flowers can easily make the area much more appealing.
Let’s face it, one of the main reasons for any area feeling cramped and confined is having too much stuff. The kitchen is for cooking and dining!
Countertops and other surfaces tend to be attractive areas to put your stuff, whether it be stacks of papers, books, or loads of other things that simply do not belong in the kitchen. Take a few moments and toss the junk away or store it in another location. A simple question to ask is “would this item be in the kitchen of a restaurant?” If not, move it out of the kitchen.
Even having a sink full of dishes, can have your kitchen feeling like a mess and utter chaos. Having an empty sink is almost a mandatory if you care to have your kitchen looking neat and spacious. Make a habit of taking a couple of minutes to wash and put away the dishes… this will help tremendously and give you the peace of mind you deserve. No one likes a messy kitchen.
This is what we don’t want:
Open, Airy Shelving
Adding a form of open shelving can give you additional space to store dishes and give the kitchen more of an open feeling. Now, before going out and start replacing your cabinets with open shelves, a cool, simple trick to emulate open shelving is to remove your cabinet doors. That’s right, consider removing select cabinet doors… having closed cabinet doors can make a space feel even more closed off than it already appears.
Whatever route you choose to take for creating open shelving, just be sure the items you have on display are neatly organized. Remember we’re going for neat, organized and not cluttered!
Bright and Uniformed Color Themes
One of the easiest ways to give more depth and vibrancy to a room is selecting a paint scheme that is easy on the eyes.
Dark color schemes are known to make a room look smaller, gloomy, and almost “cave-like.” By utilizing whites or bright colors, light is able to travel freely and reflect naturally in the room… giving it an airy and clean appearance. You’ll want to keep the colors uniformed and avoid transitioning from dark to light colors.
In general, the lighter and brighter colors used, the brighter and more inviting a room appears.
Creating Illusions with Mirrors
Well-placed mirrors in a room can create an illusion and make a room appear larger.
Since mirrors naturally reflect light, both natural and artificial, a room will be brighter and more vibrant at any point of the day. Ideally, placing a mirror near the window, will optimize the amount of light coming in naturally. You can also maximize the light in the room by placing the mirror in an area of the room that doesn’t receive much natural light. Additionally, angling a mirror towards a focal point or creates an illusion of depth within the room.
Now that we’ve covered the basics tricks, that are basically free to implement, here are some fairly inexpensive options to help make a kitchen look bigger and more suited for your comfort.
Lighting & Lamps
Lighting is one of the main elements in making a room appear bigger. Much like allowing natural light to come into a room, using a lamp will also brighten the room, making it appear a bit larger. Ideally, you’ll want to use yellow or white colored lights, creating the sense of warmth, peace, and inviting ambience to the kitchen.
Another easy and cheap implementation is the use of cabinetry lighting. By placing light under or above your cabinets and cupboards, you’ll get rid of any dark shadows that can make the room feel small. It doesn’t take much to install LED strips, and many come with additional features allowing you to choose the brightness of the light.
If the kitchen space allows for it, a unique and interesting light fixture hanging from the ceiling can work wonders. By directing attention upwards, a sort-of height illusion is created, further adding to the illusion of a larger kitchen.
Slim, Clear, and Space Efficient Furniture
One that should be fairly obvious, using space efficient furniture will minimize the amount of space being used. There are a plethora of furniture options ranging from kitchen stools and chairs to breakfast tables, that are slim, compact and extremely space efficient. Simply avoid using thick, clunky furniture and that alone will help expand the space you have available.
The goal here is to get rid of “visual clutter,” much like removing cabinet doors… another option is to get clear furniture. Clear furniture, like shelves, tables, and chairs, will get rid of visual clutter with ease, almost as if the object isn’t even there!
When we’re talking about space efficiency furniture, having multi-functional pieces can make a huge difference in giving you more room to work. Furniture as simple as stacking or folding chairs can help you maximize your space when they are not being used. There are a number other unique pieces like rolling kitchen islands or kitchen carts that serve as not only another surface but, can also provide extra storage space!
Decor Appealing to the Eyes
Adding a sense of comfort to your kitchen will make it seem much more inviting and larger all at the same time. Feel free to add decor to your kitchen, once it starts looking comfortable, you’ll soon forget that the room is actually pretty small. You don’t want to go overboard with the decorations, keep it in moderation.
Simple additions like plants, flowers and pictures can make the space feel like a place you’d care to stay in for awhile. Again, we’re talking about optimizing your space usage. When it comes to pictures or hanging art for example, it may be wise to use a large picture to cover a portion of a single wall than multiple pictures all over the room.
Appliances that are left out in the open like microwaves and toasters, can also serve in adding to the illusion of space we’re creating. Much like the mirror effect, stainless steel and kitchen appliances that have a “shine,” allow light to reflect freely… remember the more light we have in the room, the better.
Many modern homes are built with a double basin sink. If you’re really looking to have as much countertop space as possible and budget allows for it, you may want to consider replacing your double basin sink with a “farmhouse sink.” These single basin farmhouse sinks can give back to you, a hefty amount of countertop space that would have otherwise been used as an additional sink.
Although this option takes a tiny bit of kitchen renovation and redesign, it may be worth while and give your kitchen the ideal space for which you’ve been looking to obtain.
Compact Dishwasher & Slimline Refrigerator
Many modern refrigerators and dishwashers are perhaps the largest items in your kitchen and can take up a large amount of space. Luckily, there are space-efficient dishwashers and refrigerators that can be purchased to help maximize the amount of space you have in the kitchen.
Creating a comfortable and spacious kitchen can be done without needing to knockdown walls and engage in heavy renovations for extra square footage. The goal is to make a kitchen look bigger, by removing visual clutter and taking a minimalist approach to interior design you can have your kitchen as a space to love working in.