Make Your Small Kitchen Large

By Candice Graham

Go Light.
Becky-WorleyUtilize lighter finishes on walls and cabinetry. One of my favorites is to include upper cabinetry with glass doors and mullions to provide a larger, more open feel. If you’re limited on the number of wall cabinets, opt for the mullion door with a mirror instead of glass. You can store things such as peanut butter behind the mirror and the reflection of the mirror will make the room feel larger and more open.
– Becky Worley, Classic Cabinetry


Open up.
Jennifer-BraggCreating an open concept kitchen will help to enlarge the look and feel. Stick with one level on bars and islands, as two levels break your line of sight and make things look smaller. Use light colors when choosing your cabinets, countertops, tile, and backsplash materials.
 – Jennifer Bragg, Webco Inc.


Layer lighting.
Juliet-BralyBe sure to include layers of light, on dimmers where possible. Under cabinet lighting will highlight all that countertop space you fought for, recessed can lighting will provide general illumination, and interior lighting in glass-front cabinets or a well-placed lamp will provide visual interest.
– Juliet Braly, NCIDQ, Juliet Braly Interior Design

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Keep colors simple.
Haskell-MathenyKeep the color scheme simple: choose one color for the walls, cabinetry, and backsplash to avoid visual clutter. If all the elements blend in with each other, the result is a visually larger space. You can still keep it interesting with texture and patterns from the same family. Use lots of reflective surfaces. Chrome, high-gloss cabinetry, and polished countertops can all lead to a look that is bright and open and thus feels larger. Replacing solid wood doors with glass or open shelves for your upper cabinetry can really increase the visual space of a cramped room.
– Haskell Matheny, ASID, CAPS, Haskell Interiors


Remove a wall.
Jackie-HowardIf you can remove a wall in the kitchen and float a larger island, the space will feel larger. Although you may be giving up wall cabinetry storage, you will gain it back with island drawer storage. Another recommendation would be to have the cabinetry, wall, ceiling paint, and trim all be the same light color. This really makes a kitchen appear cleaner and larger. Every time you change a color, your eye slows down and makes the space feel a little smaller.
– Jackie Howard, Scarlett’s Cabinetry


Choose tall cabinets.
Carol-MacKinnonIn small kitchens, I design the cabinetry to install floor-to-ceiling with crown molding added at the top of the cabinets and extended around the entire room. With light colors, simple cabinetry and increased height of the cabinets will create a feeling that the space is larger than it is.
– Carol MacKinnon, CKD, Ana Woodworks

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Light wisely.
Kristen-SwansonOne of the best ways to achieve the illusion of roominess in a small kitchen is through lighting.  Be sure your light fixtures are sized appropriately and draw your eye toward the top of the ceiling, rather than hanging low and obstructing the view. Glass pendants are ideal for over island spaces. A fully functional and accessorized sink is perfect for small kitchens as well.
-Kristen Swanson, ASID, ALA, Ferguson


Eliminate clutter.
Jamie-NeeseThe recipe for making a small kitchen feel larger is to start with the obvious: Eliminate unnecessary clutter! You may use light, open cabinetry and countertops to open the space. A tone-on-tone color palette will appear larger and also soothing. Don’t forget to incorporate an interesting backsplash for a focal point in the room. Most importantly, have fun with your design.
-Jamie Neese, Louisville Tile


Use large tile.
Kelley-CarrinIf you’re using tile, try the larger 12×24 format and run it horizontally to lengthen the room. Lighter cabinets will give it a roomier feel and a light granite with linear movement will also add to the illusion. De-cluttering is a must and probably the hardest to do, but shoot for minimal clutter and you will gain a feeling of spaciousness.
-Kelley Carrin, Chattanooga Granite and Marble

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