Purrfect Properties Blog

How To Visually Increase Your Small Kitchen

Small houses may be the latest trend, but it seems as if most homeowners still want, or at least the impression of, a large kitchen. If your room is 70 square feet or less, you now know that you have a “small” kitchen.

Visually-Increase-Small-Kitchen

Visually-Increase-Small-Kitchen

You may be feeling claustrophobic in your tiny workspace, but before you tackle a major renovation, it’s time to clean out all those non-essential items that have been taking up extra space. When was the last time you used that bread maker? Time to donate it to a better cause. Do you really need three gravy ladles or five cookbooks? Purging some of under-utilized items should free up some space and make room for those things that you really can use.

So what can you do to visually increase your small kitchen? Here are some reno layouts and some aesthetic tricks you can use to make the room more efficient and look larger:

Create Some Magic

Small-Kitchen-With-Custom-Window

Small-Kitchen-With-Custom-Window

By manipulating light and shadows, you can create an illusion that your room is bigger than it actually is. Here are some features and products that will visually expand your small kitchen while improving ergonomics, saving energy, and fit your personality:

• Use monochromatic colours so the eye can scan the room without interruption. Light-coloured cabinets and paints will also increase ambient light. Paint your ceiling the same colour as the walls to create the illusion of a high ceiling.
• Hang floor-to-ceiling mirrors or use mirrored glass on cabinet doors to reflect light and make the room feel more open. Metal finishes on backsplashes will also enhance reflective properties.
• Continue the same flooring between the kitchen and hallway to make the area look more spacious. Use 18″ or larger floor tiles. The reduced number of grout lines will make the room feel larger. Use area rugs with stripes to make the room feel longer.
• Keep countertops clear by using open shelving to maintain an open feel.
Add custom windows to let in natural light. Even more light will reflect in the room with you choose white vinyl windows. To avoid mistakes while replacing windows or if you’re limited on wall space, consider creating a pass-thru to another room that will allow more light to reach your small kitchen.
• Extend curtain rods past the window height and width to create the impression of a larger window and taller ceiling. Use one curtain to cover side-by-side windows to avoid chopping up the space.

Optimize Space

small-galley-kitchen

small-galley-kitchen

If you’re planning a small kitchen reno project, you’ll want to squeeze every possible inch out of your room. Consider one of these layouts to optimize space:

• A galley kitchen layout creates two distinctive work areas parallel to each other. It provides maximum efficiency as everything is close at hand. Generally the sink and refrigerator are on one side and the stove and oven are on the opposite wall. You may want to consider smaller-sized appliances to make best use of the workspace.
• An L-shaped or U-shaped countertop configuration provides a larger counter space than the galley kitchen but smaller than a typical-sized room. You should think about including an upgraded or natural quartz countertop as the smaller size requirement may fit your reno budget.
• A one-wall kitchen places space-saving appliances and components all on one wall. Attach a wall-mounted faucet, floor-to-ceiling cabinets, and an under-counter refrigerator to make the most of the entire area.
• An all-in-one kitchen island incorporates a sink, cooktop, vented hood, slim-line refrigerator, built-in oven/microwave, dishwasher drawer, seating, and storage is surprisingly efficient and perfect for the smallest of kitchens.
• Gain counter and floor space with new cabinet options like plate wall rack, knife rack pull-down, trash receptacle drawer, pull-out pantry, utensil and spice rack inserts, plus deep-drawer storage for pots and pans.

Functional Features

ceiling-mounted-pot-rack

ceiling-mounted-pot-rack

As you probably know, every item must earn its place in a small kitchen. To do so, it generally must be multi-faceted and provide more than one use. Cabinet manufacturers have spent a lot of time designing functional, space-saving options to fit these needs with:

• Narrow, filler pullouts with adjustable shelves. These come in 3-, 6-, and 9-inch base and pantry cabinet sizes. These work well for slim items like baking sheets and racks, spices, canned goods, bottles, boxed goods and other narrow items.

• Undersink pullout is a great place to store and easily access your cleaning products. Some even come with a removable caddy for effortless clean-ups.
• Ceiling-mounted pot rack will help free up cabinet space. Some have integrated light fixtures so you can hang it over a work island or dining area without obstructing light.
• Open shelving adds an aesthetic appeal plus a space-saving storage area. Your small kitchen countertops and cabinets will stay neat and organized when you display everything from cereal bowls, coffee cups, water glasses, dishes, books, and decorative knick knacks.
• Wire racks provide an inexpensive option for maximizing cabinet space. Mix and match widths and heights to fit items of varying sizes and shapes all within one cabinet.

Convenient and Efficient Floor Plan

kitchen-work-triangle

kitchen-work-triangle

Connect three main work areas to create a time-saving work triangle. By keeping the sink, stove and refrigerator within a 4-foot by 9-foot area, you’ll expend the optimum energy during meal prep.
Your small kitchen will likely have little room for seating, so this calls for a little creativity. Add backless stools to an island or peninsula that can be hidden underneath to open up floor space between meals. Modern Lucite stools are nearly invisible so create the illusion of a larger room.
If you’ve got room for a small table, pair it with a removable bench and single chairs for maximum seating and flexibility. Push the table against the wall and move the bench and chairs to another room to allow for more floor space when it’s needed.

Think Vertical

floor-to-ceiling-cabinets

floor-to-ceiling-cabinets

Your small kitchen may lack square footage or floor space, but you can still make it up with a little vertical appeal. Floor-to-ceiling slab cabinets provide a streamlined finish, an eye-raising visual line, and extra storage to reduce clutter.

Keep an open feel to the room by installing recessed lighting and open shelves above the cabinets. Place colourful, decorative collectibles or mesh baskets there for a light, airy feel.

Keep all your kitchen tools on a pegboard sheet that’s fastened to the wall. Use hangers to keep pots and pans, utensils, and pot holders off the counter and out of the way.

Long, narrow pendant lights will provide a decorative touch over your island or table. They’ll draw the eye from ceiling to floor while illuminating the area with a warm glow.

Final Word

Whether you use cost-saving aesthetic tricks or an efficiently designed renovation to visually increase your small kitchen, you’ll improve the overall appearance and usability of the most important room in your house. With careful planning and creativity, your small kitchen will provide as many years of enjoyment as a room twice its size.

Guest Contributor – Serge Bojinski

Serge Bojinski

Serge Bojinski

Home improvement and renovation enthusiast with content marketing background. Editor at RenoHood.com. Active contributor to real estate and home improvement experts. Healthy lifestyle advocate. Adventurous person with great attitude towards life and people. Connect with him on Twitter @SBojinski

Bloggers Note

Like a good Canadian I am going to start this off with an apology for the delay on publishing this article.  Serge was pretty cool to offer this well-penned article on visually increasing the size of your kitchen, and super patient in waiting for my new website to get working (which it’s still a bit away if you really want to know, lol). The blog is ready now though, so I am finally able to offer Serge a home post with Purrfect Properties.   I know I have lived in homes with Galley Kitchens in the past and it can be a real chore to get the christmas baking done.  Thanks for the help Serge, and here’s to your future!

 

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