Small Kitchen Design Ideas: How To Make A Kitchen Look And Feel Bigger

Almost everyone would like their kitchen to be bigger and better, and in fact, 30 percent of the respondents in Angi’s 2022 Home Projects Survey said a kitchen redo was a top priority among their remodeling plans. But what if you can’t literally enlarge your kitchen — due to lack of space, lack of funds, or because you’re renting?

Fear not; there are ways to enhance your kitchen size. Some of them are about appearance: “The more you can do to trick the eye by providing visual cues in your design, the larger it will appear,” remarks Maddy Kozoyed, an interior designer and owner of the blog Whatsoever Things are Lovely. But there are actual space-saving measures you can take, too.

Here are some design ideas for small kitchens — ways to make them both appear bigger and function better.

Implement wall shelves

Open shelves can be a wise alternative to closed-off kitchen cabinets. Their horizontal lines pull the eye across a wall, making it appear wider and longer, and allow more light to penetrate your space. They’ll also enhance functionality as you can grab items easily off the shelf. You can buy pre-cut kitchen wall shelves in diverse textures and colors.

Minimize the colors

The hues of your kitchen affect how it’s perceived. “Use a minimal color palette,” Kozoyed says. “It will allow the eye to perceive the whole space as larger.

“If you’ve got white cabinets and white walls you’re off to a great start. Alternatively, if you have dark cabinets, choose paint or a removable wallpaper pattern that is similar in value (or brightness), allowing your eye to simplify the walls and cabinets into one whole space.

“If you have the option to paint your cabinets, a two-tone option with darker cabinets on the bottom is stylistically fun while visually adding height on top.”

tiles, especially light-colored ones. You can even get porcelain ones that simulate wood. They have a long, narrow shape, making the space seem larger and more elongated than it really is.

Walcraft Cabinetry. “Homeowners may be able to install LED tape or rope lighting above their cabinets.”

Switch to shallow cabinets

Did you know you can buy cabinets that are super-narrow, only 12- or 15-inch deep? Adding slimmer cabinets achieves multiple benefits: It makes your space appear wider, and it increases functionality — you don’t have to reach as far back to fetch the items you need. You install as best befits your space: There’s no hard and fast rule about all your cabinets being the same depth.

compact models of only 18 inches available — which alone saves you six inches of cabinet space and makes your kitchen appear larger. Such “slimline” dishwashers are just as powerful as their conventional cousins, though of course the amount of dishes in each load is smaller.

The same applies to refrigerators. A shallower counter-depth fridge (which is flush with counter, instead of sticking out) will do wonders to create more space. Yes, the interior holds less, but that just reduces the likelihood of forgotten leftovers morphing into biology experiments.

Do it with mirrors

Create the illusion of a larger room by installing a mirror on one (or maybe more) of your kitchen walls — a traditional trick with bathrooms. “Mirrors reflect light and make a space feel brighter and bigger,” says Kate Diaz, an interior designer and co-owner of Swanky Den, a design site.

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