Make a small kitchen feel large
Many townhouses and apartments have compact kitchens that are small and claustrophobic. But there are designer tricks that you can apply to make even the smallest kitchen feel larger than it is.
Living with a small kitchen can be constricting if you love to cook for your family or entertain on a regular basis. But you don't need to live with a small kitchen when there are so many designer tricks that you can put to use to make a small kitchen feel larger, lighter and more airy that it actually is.
Even the most inexperienced DIY enthusiast can empower themselves with a few basic skills, whether it's using power tools for the first time, beginner woodworking, paint techniques, or even tiling methods. And with these basic skills you will be surprised at what you can do to make a cramped, compact kitchen feel larger than it is.
The power of lighting
You can never have enough lighting in a kitchen. Adding down-lights in the ceiling, pendants over countertops and work space, or even fitting bulkhead lighting along the kick plate of kitchen cabinets, will make a huge difference in brightening up and lessening the feeling of working in a cramped space.
Today it's so easy to install LED strip lighting that is extremely energy efficient, and combined with CFL or energy-saving lamps in older fittings, won't make a difference to your monthly electricity bill. Pop into your local Builders store and you will find a wide selection of energy-saving light fittings.
Brighter and bigger
When light colours are used in a kitchen, the larger it can appear. While it is not essential to install a light coloured countertop, cabinets, walls and floors in light hues do help to open up the space and make it feel more airy and welcoming. Keeping an especially light palette on backsplashes, walls, and floors definitely help to visually expand the space. You will find plenty of tips and tricks in our Decor - Kitchen section for tiling and other related project ideas.
Prominent Paints are my preferred paint supplier and they offer a range of VOC-free and low-VOC paints suitable for a wide range of surfaces. You can have paints tinted in unlimited colours, so pop into your local paint store for advice on the best paints to use if you plan to paint your kitchen.
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Where the kitchen has a small pantry, or there is lots of storage in floor cabinets, use open shelves rather than wall cabinets. Open shelves are extremely functional and have the ability to visually enlarge a kitchen, whereas wall cabinets make an already small kitchen feel even smaller.
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If you do opt for open shelves keep these well organised. Shelves packed with clutter will work against making a kitchen feel larger.
Floors to match the space
While lighter floors work well in a closed-off kitchen, you can look at installing dark flooring in an open plan space to define the kitchen as a separate area.
Reflective finishes work well
Reflective finishes are practical in a kitchen where there is limited natural light. These surfaces bounce light around the room and help to open up the space. Think mirror or shiny stainless steel mosaic tiles, or light coloured glass tiles for a backsplash above the sink and cooking area. You will find plenty of tips and tricks in our Decor - Kitchen section for tiling and other related project ideas.
Even mirrors can be useful in visually enlarging the space and adding light. Add a framed mirror to a wall in such a way that it reflects light from an open area or small window. You can make your own mirror frame to complement the existing decor in a kitchen, or to add a splash of colour or texture. Visit our Decor - Art and Framing section for ideas and inspiration, as well as for projects you can make..