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How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Make your small kitchen seem more spacious without the expense of remodeling. Use texture, lighting, and color to enhance a limited work space.

If you have a small kitchen but don't want the expense of remodeling, create the illusion of space with surface changes**** Lighting, color and texture are important elements to help make a small area appear more spacious. 


Color Contrast

**Use lighter,** **low-contrast colors** to enlarge a room visually.  Paint cabinets white or pair a soft color with light-colored walls.

High- or semi-gloss paint has a reflective quality, which can be effective.  The painted walls can bounce light around the room, making the space appear brighter and larger.

In addition to lightening the cabinet color, paint the walls a quiet hue. 

Tip

If you prefer natural wood cabinets, choose light wood without a pronounced grain, such as maple or birch.


Lighting Things Up

Maximizing the amount of natural light also makes a small kitchen seem larger.  Do not use curtains or shades that block light; instead, add narrow panels at the window's outer edges for a decorative accent.

**Expose** **windows** rather than covering them.  A skylight allows sunlight to flood a room.

Increase the amount of light in a small kitchen by installing **under-cabinet lighting** and by adding additional **overhead lighting**.  This can brighten a kitchen considerable which adds to the illusion of space.

Adding glass inserts added to cabinet doors is another trick to lighten your kitchen.  if you are trying to give a small space a feeling of spaciousness, adding several sources of light.


Texture Makes a Difference

Eyes often skim over smooth surfaces.  Rough surfaces appear busy and add visual clutter to a small area.

**Porcelain or glass tiles provide a reflective backsplash** that adds to the illusion of a spacious room.  Polished countertops, whether they are stone or laminate, are a good choice.

Add appliances with a shiny surfaces such as stainless steel. 


Under Your Feet

Several flooring choices make a kitchen look more spacious.  Larger tiles, which have fewer seams, enhance a kitchen.

Grids created by grout lines of smaller tiles make a kitchen look smaller.  Solid sheets of laminate featuring a light color, or a light hardwood flooring without a prominent grain complements the decor.

Tip

Avoid small or prominent patterns that may overwhelm a small room and make it appear even smaller.


Organize More Than Thoughts

Organizing clutter on counters is an important aspect in a small kitchen.  **Use** **baskets or bins** to collect odds and ends to maximize your work space.

Small appliances such as toasters and coffee makers can be kept out of sight inside cupboards and pantries.  **Keep decorative pieces to a minimum**.

Things You Will Need

  • Clean rags
  • Dish detergent
  • Degreaser solution
  • Vinegar
  • Interior latex paint
  • Painting supplies
  • Wood window blinds
  • Glass cabinet doors
  • Light fixtures
  • Countertops
  • Dinette set
  • Pictures
  • Coffee maker
  • Potted greenery
  • Bowl of fruit

About the Author

In 1982, Mary Love's first book, "Shakespeare Garden," was published. She also authored professional brochures. Love was the subject of a PBS special profiling Northwestern Pennsylvania artists, highlighting her botanicals and birds. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in art education from Edinboro University in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.