Usually, people do not really want to design small kitchens. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a cozy, homey and tight kitchen if that’s your cup of tea. However, most people say that they would prefer to have a spacious, large kitchen over a tiny one – but sometimes you just don’t get to choose.
Don’t fret – if you have to make do with a rather scarce space, you’re not alone. Which, at the same time, means people have already thought about countermeasures you can take if you can’t dedicate enough space for your cooking zone.
Just because a kitchen is small, it does not mean it has to be a sorry place. In this article, we will show you a couple of awesome ideas for enhancing your kitchen experience, despite the shortcomings when it comes to the space you’ve got available. Stay with me to discover them all and make your everyday life just a wee bit happier.
Before we get to the actual ideas, let’s get some basics out of the way. If you want to improve your kitchen experience in a small kitchen, it’s time to decide what is it you actually want to do. What you can do is:
- Make your kitchen visually larger – which means the kitchen itself won’t magically become more spacious, but there are certain tricks to use when designing it for it to be visually larger. Such practices involve playing with light and its reflexes, with the color of your kitchen and with the arrangement of your cabinetry and appliances
- Work on the ergonomy of your kitchen – it’s all about the way you place your furniture, the type of appliances and cabinetry, and some modern techniques of crafting your kitchen furniture. While being a bit more demanding, because you’ll actually have to invest a bit of money into the overhaul of your kitchen, replacing the cabinetry, etc, it also yields better results – namely, it actually gives you more space to work on in your kitchen.
Whether you decide for the visual or the actual overhaul, or even both, is up to you – but it’s important you understand what we are trying to do here before you read the rest. Now you can focus on the part of our article that’s appropriate for your needs.
Ideas for visual improvement of your small kitchen
Here we will list all the best, aforementioned, ways of making your tiny kitchen look large. That’s usually cheaper than an actual overhaul, but some options are still more pricey than the others.
- Light reflexes will work wonders – not only in the case of a small kitchen but actually in any room that has space deficits. Bouncing your light around the room always makes it look larger, as well as inviting more light into the interior, which is always good, right? If you’re looking for ways to achieve this effect, it’s best to use a mirrored backsplash or glossy cabinetry, for example, lacquered cabinet fronts.
- Keep your kitchen light and bright with paint – the simplest solution would be keeping your walls painted white, and all your appliances and kitchen furniture cohesive with this color. Such a white kitchen will naturally appear larger, because of the airy, open space feeling that such a palette brings into the room. If that’s too much white for your taste, it doesn’t mean you have to quit – there are other colors, as long as they are light and ethereal, which will work the same way. As longs as they are not dark and brown, you’re good to go – how about heather, for example? You can still use some darker colors, but try to keep them in the lower half of your room, ideally at the base of it. If that’s what you will do, then use pastel and soft neutrals higher up, so the interior is both balanced and feels light.
- Light means space – similarly to the idea of using mirrors and reflexes to get as much light as possible. Naturally, to think about light reflexes coming from your mirrors or shiny cabinetry, there has to some light inside in the first place. For that reason, you have to think about proper illumination systems, and ideally, natural daylight coming through your windows. If you just can’t, for whatever reason, accommodate a window or two in your kitchen, it’s best you ask a professional for help with a proper illumination system to ensure you kitchen gets visually larger and not the opposite. Nothing hurts an already small kitchen as much, as inappropriate lighting.
- The lines – horizontal and vertical lines can work real miracles when it comes to enlarging your small kitchen. The way you finish your cabinetry makes a huge impact on the overall feeling, so pay attention to details. Vertical lines usually draw your attention, leading the eyes upwards and thus making the room feel higher. At the same time, horizontal lines add depth and enlarge narrow spaces. The key to achieving our goal here is to upkeep the balance between these two. Random mess of lines makes your brain perceive it all as chaotic – resulting in the will to escape such a room as fast as possible. If you can’t balance the vertical and horizontal lines to create harmony by yourself, ask a professional for help. You’ll be stuck with the cabinets you choose for years to come, so better not risk bad results.
- Don’t clutter a small kitchen – pretty obvious, but how important! Many of us just can’t resist the temptation of cluttering their interiors with small pieces of decoration, such as figurines or whatever else. While this can invite the cozy feeling into your kitchen, it’s not the best idea in the case of a really small kitchen – after all, making an already cozy kitchen more cozy leads to no space at all. Because of that, it’s best you get rid of all the unnecessary stuff that would otherwise be getting in your way and distracting your guests, and stick with clean, slender lines. A perfect example of such kitchen design is using floating shelves, but we’ll talk about them later in the part about the actual overhaul. Clean lines allow your eyes to focus on the practical side of the furniture and appliances, without any distraction whatsoever.
The practical side of your kitchen and hard overhauls
Okay, now we can get to the core of your kitchen – which means the furniture, cabinetry and appliances, and their practical side. No more playing with paint and light, now we have to focus on the very material aspect of your small kitchen. How to make it more ergonomic and so get the most out of the available space?
- Open shelves – they are more ergonomic than your ordinary cabinets, yet a bit more complicated when it comes to using them. Basically, what is pretty obvious, they are open. This means that everything you put on them will be visible to anyone who enters the kitchen, and that leads us to the most important rule of your new kitchen – no more dirty pots. If you’re unsure if you can keep your kitchen one hundred percent clean at all times, think about a mixed cabinetry, in which case you’ll want to put the ordinary cabinets on the bottom of the kitchen, and install floating shelves higher up. All in all, floating shelves not only make your kitchen lighter and more spacious because you get the space that would otherwise be hidden by the cabinet doors, but it also is more ergonomic – no longer will you have to swing the cabinet doors all the way to grab something.
- A proper countertop can save a lot of space – when picking your countertop, it’s best you pick one that’s multifunctional and spacious. While it will use up more space than an ordinary countertop, you can get rid of your kitchen table as now you’ll be using the countertop for that purpose. In the end, you’ll actually gain space, not lose it. Additionally, such an advanced countertop is likely to come equipped with some storage options, such as drawers and shelves on the bottom of it, which grants us more free space around the rest of the small kitchen. There are a lot of additional features you can get installed in such a countertop, so make sure you look around a while longer for just the proper one – these days countertops are one-man-army units that can play all the kitchen roles that you need them to play.
- Glass adds depth – when picking cabinet fronts for your cabinetry, it’s good you think about ones made from glass. They are much similar to floating shelves, in the sense that you everyone can see the space that would otherwise be confined by the ordinary cabinet doors. As such, they are way lighter and make your small kitchen visually larger. Also, a bit easier to maintain than the floating shelves, because they protect the things you store in them from dust. If you’re a fan of cabinets but want to make your small kitchen a bit more spacious, this is the option for you. They will also make your kitchen experience better because you don’t have to open each cabinet to check out what’s inside – you can clearly see that through the glass.
- Concealed furniture – if you can’t fit the big countertop we mentioned earlier or a kitchen table in your small kitchen, think about furniture that can be folded and concealed behind sliding door. Such innovative elements of furniture are available on the market for quite some time already and are rapidly gaining popularity among the owners of the smaller kitchens. If that’s not an option you like, maybe it’s time you think about a smaller table that you keep in some other room uring the day, and carry it to your kitchen when you want to prepare food or eat?
- Focal points – while this is a bit tricky to do, it can yield awesome results. Drawing the attention of your guests towards points you want them to look at will distract them from looking at the rest of your kitchen, so they will overlook your space deficits, so to speak. For that purpose, it’s best you use bold colors or fancy decorations – how about a stylish backsplash, for example? While this is basically about visually making your kitchen larger, the way to achieve this goal is doing some serious work on your kitchen furniture, and for that purpose, we put this point here and not in the previous category. It could be a kitchen island, a kitchen table, or your fridge – but whatever it is, remember it has to really stand out among all the rest of your kitchen.
- Modern appliances – equipping your small kitchen with some of the newer types of appliances will surely save you a ton of space. These days, producers do their very best to make the appliances as ergonomic as possible, which means both small and efficient. Because of that, getting rid of the old fashioned monsters like your huge fridge or oven can have a huge impact on the space available to you. Appliances made accordingly to the new standards are not only smaller, but also usually way more efficient which means you won’t lose anything, only gain a lot of space.
This sums up our guide to making your small kitchen a better place to live in and to cook in. We hope we’ve been of help – wish you best of luck, as improving your small kitchen is not an easy task, but with enough determination we’re sure you’ll achieve success!