Small kitchen spaces can feel cramped, especially when entertaining. Creating a more open layout will make a tiny kitchen appear larger and more enjoyable by creating a space that feels more connected to the rest of the home. From simple upgrades to a full remodel, there are various ways to make that little kitchen into a big focal point.

Bring the rest of the home in

If the walls feel like they are closing in on you while you’re preparing a meal, open them up. With a little renovation, making a doorway wider or knocking out a wall will greatly increase the perceived size of your kitchen. Kitchens with smaller footprints are not suited for islands, but you can create a peninsula-style entertaining or food prep area that separates the kitchen from the dining or living room. This will allow you to further define your kitchen space while simultaneously making it a part of the adjoining room. Kitchens with open layouts like these will make the space feel less claustrophobic, even if the square footage stays the same.

If tearing up your kitchen is not an option, move up for space. Take your cabinets all the way to the ceiling to make your kitchen space appear taller. Open shelving is another way to make kitchens appear bigger.  You may consider having a single shelf above doorways and windows to showcase prized kitchen heirlooms. If your kitchen has a door, remove it to create a more open and inviting atmosphere.

The illusion of color

When choosing color, this rule of thumb is helpful: dark colors make things appear smaller and light colors make things appear larger. You will want to avoid dark colors like reds and browns and opt instead for creamy tans or airy greens. White is also a good color, but keep it from looking sterile with splashes of complementing accents. Select cabinet colors that complement your walls. Choose light wood stains or paint colors that highlight rather than detract from your wall color.

Your floors and countertops should have just as much consideration when it comes to color. Light to medium colored flooring works best in a smaller kitchen space. Select glass tile for backsplashes to have as much reflection as possible. Planning on granite or quartz for your countertops? Stay away from pieces that contain too much dark flecks or striations.

Light it up

Big, bulky lights or hanging chandelier styles bring the ceiling down. Raise it up with recessed lighting or track lighting that allows you to direct light in different directions. If you like the look of pendant lighting, keep the number to a minimum and supplement with directional recessed lighting. Consider placing LED spotlights under wall cabinets to brighten counter space. If you go with open shelving, light up each shelf as well.

If possible, bring in as much natural light as you can into your kitchen. Do this by installing skylights or enlarging a window. Choose appliances that reflect light, such as white or stainless steel. Keep decoration to a minimum. Cluttering your space with too many objects will create more shadows.

Want to know more about creating kitchens with open layouts? Contact us to learn how we can help you design a more enjoyable kitchen space.