Home & Garden

Subtle changes can make a tiny kitchen feel spacious

Make your kitchen appear larger with a monochromatic color scheme.
Make your kitchen appear larger with a monochromatic color scheme. FOTOLIA

Your kitchen may be small, but it doesn’t have to be drab or lacking a decorative punch. In a small space it can be a challenge to store everything and be efficient, but give your undersized kitchen a second look. You might find there’s a gem inside that little box.

Visual space

A small kitchen often looks even smaller once cabinets and appliances are in place. But if you use a monochromatic color scheme, such as white walls and white cabinets, you can visually expand the space and make it appear larger.

The room can also appear larger when you’ve got good lighting.

Adding lighting inside, under and above the cabinets can make the room look and feel more spacious. A variety of lighting opens up a room and gives it more presence. Include recessed lighting and pendants over the island or sink to brighten those important work areas.

Cabinet tricks

In addition to painting your walls and cabinets the same color, you can also make your tiny kitchen appear larger by adding glass or mirrored doors to the cabinets. Mirrored backsplashes have long been a way to make the kitchen look larger because they reflect light, but cabinet doors also make a natural place to add mirrored glass.

One more solution for making your kitchen appear larger is to opt for countertops that match your cabinet color. A natural choice for white countertops is white Carrara marble. By closely matching the colors, the counter and cabinet look like a single unit and, thus, the whole space grows visually. The same is true when you pair the cabinets with the same backsplash color, no matter whether yours are dark- or light-colored cabinets.

If you have space and plan to remodel, take the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. This can really open up your kitchen, give you more storage and make the room feel more spacious. You may be able to add cabinets on top of your existing ones to bring your storage areas up to the ceiling. With some molding where the seams meet and a coat of paint, you might never know the additions weren’t originally there.

Kitchen creativity

A mirror doesn’t have to be the only reflective material in a kitchen. A creative use of reflective materials, like a shiny silver lighting fixture, can bring some sparkle and shine to your kitchen. Or try glass mosaic tiles that shimmer and glow.

And don’t forget paint.

Shiny lacquer paint can make cabinets gleam and is a trendy look right now. Treat your cabinets like a jewel and paint them in bright tones using high gloss paint. You’ll have a kitchen you can’t help but notice.

The shiny surfaces of stainless appliances are also a way to add more luster to your kitchen and still have it look chic and timeless.

Need impact? Try unique accessories. Adding a few select items, like a designer pendant lamp or jewel-like cabinet pulls, will finish your kitchen with panache.