While we would all love a big and spacious kitchen as we see in the magazines, for many of us living in cities or on carefully planned budgets, that isn’t a possibility. Kitchens in confined spaces, whether as part of open-plan living space or not, don’t have to feel small, and there are a few things that you can do to make your cooking and dining space feel much bigger than it is.
Hitch Property Constructions has an extensive range of kitchen renovation Melbourne to take the hassle out of deciding the right furniture that matches.
Add geometric patterns
Geometric patterns are highly fashionable in art and interior design at the moment. Instagram is filled with geometric patterned tablecloths, rugs, blankets and cushions, which are ideal for a small kitchen as you can use these patterns to create the illusion of more space, whilst making your kitchen look like it is straight out of an interior design magazine.
Patterns can be used to accent a small kitchen but don’t overdo it – if you use too much pattern, you can make a small space feel overcrowded and too busy.
Geometric patterns can draw the eye vertically or lengthways to give the impression of a longer, taller kitchen. Urban subway tiles can give a sense of opening up the minuscule area. The thick black lines between the subway tiles give the illusion that the kitchen is bigger.
If you can’t afford to change your kitchen tiles, a geometric floor runner can provide the same visual effect.
Avoid heavy cabinets
Closed off cabinets can instantly make a kitchen feel smaller. Shelves or glass-front cabinets have advantages such as:
- Making it easier to organise your kitchen
- Having all the things you need on display
- Making your kitchen seem larger
- Making a kitchen feel cosy and lived-in
Encouraging you to keep your kitchen organised; therefore, open shelves or glass cabinets make an excellent alternative to cabinets and have a more modern look. Get some inspiration for kitchen displays in Perth from design specialists, as they will be able to help you make this style work with your space.
If possible, consider breaking down a wall and creating a more open-plan space. Galley and U-shaped kitchens can feel tiny, even if they’re average-sized, but open them into a combined kitchen/diner and the space feels big and open plan. Look for a company that specialises in Perth kitchen renovations, and they’ll be able to advise on some layouts that could work for your home.
Bring in the light
Spaces that are dark and gloomy will often feel smaller. However, some smaller galley kitchens suffer from a lack of light, and modern homes can have small windows. Unless your kitchen is very overlooked, avoid heavy, dark blinds. An alternative to giving you privacy is a window film, which ensures no light is blocked. When looking at kitchen designs in Melbourne, consider whether there’s space for another window or expanding an existing one. Install high-quality glass from a glazier to help bring light into your rooms. If bringing in extra light isn’t a possibility, then consider adding some LED spotlights, especially in darker areas to make the room feel bigger.
Build into the wall
Traditionally, kitchen cabinets sit out from the wall, which means they take up floor space. If you have an older property with thick walls, you can build recessed cupboards into the wall, giving you extra storage space without taking up extra space.
Choose a compact dishwasher.
Most standard dishwashers come in a 600-millimetre width, but compact dishwashers in a 450-millimetre width are growing in popularity.
Saving that 150 millimetres can give you a bigger cabinet elsewhere. Naturally, a smaller washer also fills up faster, which means you can run a full load more often instead of waiting a day between washes or running the machine while only half full. For smaller households, this can be a perfect option.
Consider shallow cabinets
Here’s some outside-the-box thinking: not all of your lower cabinets must be the standard 600-millimetre depth. Most cabinet lines (even stock cabinets from big box stores) also come in a 300- to 450-millimetre depth often used for upper cabinets.
Using slimmer lower cabinets for one area has its advantages. It opens a bit more floor space, which can make a big difference in a tight kitchen. It also reduces your storage slightly, but often the backs of deep cabinets are hard to reach anyway so that the shallower cabinets can be just right for everyday items.
CLEVER FLOORING CHOICES CAN MAKE A SMALL KITCHEN FEEL BIGGER
You know how with clothes, the likes of Tan from Queer Eye always go on that stripes can have this optical illusion effect, making you look taller, shorter, wider, slimmer, blah blah blah? Well, you can put that theory to use on your kitchen floors. Dealing with a narrow galley kitchen? Using flooring boards or patterned flooring that runs parallel with the length of your kitchen to make it appear longer. If you want to make your kitchen feel wider, do the opposite, using flooring that runs across the width of the room—laying tiles? Put them down diagonally to make the room feel longer and wider.
Clutter instantly makes a kitchen feel smaller, and we are all guilty of having a lot of gadgets and utensils we don’t need. If there are kitchen items, you only occasionally use, such as large serving dishes, store them away. Outside of big occasions such as Christmas, most of us only use about half the dishes and glasses in our kitchen, and if they take up all the cupboard space, then other things have to be left on the counter. Look for kitchen designers in Perth who can add more storage space to your kitchen, and ensure things are neatly stored, so they don’t clutter your worktops. Keeping things minimal can also help make cooking easier. Ever had a situation where you open a cupboard, and everything falls out? Cut down to the bare essentials, and you’ll be able to enjoy your kitchen space better.
Keep it clean
Kitchens lend themselves to minimalism and clean lines, which is great because it helps a room feel bigger. Avoid anything fussy and too decorative, such as ornate cabinets, and avoid having too many shelves with cookbooks or kitchen gadgets on display.
LIGHTING TO MAKE A SMALL KITCHEN FEEL BIGGER
Planning good kitchen lighting will go a long way to making a small kitchen feel bigger. When planning kitchen lighting, you will need overall ambient lighting and task lighting at the very least. Adding decorative and spotlighting will also help make the space feel open and well planned. Consider how and where you’ll complete tasks in the space and light them accordingly. Remember that the colour of your finishes will have an impact as well – the darker the cabinets, counters and walls, the more wattage you will need.
Install cabinet lighting
The importance of good lighting cannot be stressed enough, and in kitchens, especially the lighting is often insufficient, coming just from ceiling fixtures in the centre of the room. Add lighting under, above and even inside the cabinets to make the room feel much brighter and bigger, as the dark shadows around the cabinets would otherwise visually shrink the space.
For a quick fix, add plug-in LED strip fixtures or battery-powered tap lights under the cabinets for extra brightness. Check out our range of kitchen renovation at Hitch Property Constructions.
Match the cabinets to the walls
Cabinets that are a darker colour than the walls will instantly make a room feel smaller. By opting for light tones in your cabinet doors, and matching them closely to the walls, the eye is fooled into thinking space is bigger. Another trick is to use light cabinets and dark worktops, as this will make it look like the walls are further back.
Reduce your hardware
It’s a no-brainer that eliminating benchtop clutter is important for keeping a kitchen looking open and breezy, but you can take this a step further by removing the hardware.
Using cabinet doors with touch-activated latches or integrated reach-in pulls reinforces the clean lines of your new kitchen, which subtly helps it appear bigger. It also gives you fewer little items to bump into or get caught on your clothing, so space will feel easier to move in too.
Rethink the double sink
Clients often request a double sink – sometimes before anything else. Large double sinks have their uses, but if you’re willing to compromise and choose a single sink (or even a one-and-a-half sink with a slim second bowl), it can open up better storage options and unbroken bench space.
This applies especially to stock cabinet lines, which include a limited number of size options.
If your sink is centred on the window, without a tonne of room on either side, this can create a ‘dead zone’ next to it that can’t accommodate anything. Using a smaller cabinet for the sink frees up room on either side, which can open up new options for adjacent cabinets.
For example, switching from a 900-millimetre sink cabinet (for a double sink) to a 600-millimetre cabinet (for a single sink) frees up 150 millimetres on both sides. This can turn 150 millimetres of adjacent space into 300 millimetres, which is enough for a usable cabinet.
If you don’t think you’ll use that second sink bowl frequently, it’s worth exploring what else that space could be used for. Looking for kitchen renovation Melbourne? Look no further? Hitch Property Constructions has you covered.
Opting for gloss, rather than matte finishes, will reflect the light and make your kitchen feel bigger. If you look at modern Perth kitchens, glossy cabinets are a big trend, and an easy way to update your kitchen space.
Think tall and slim
Avoid furniture that takes up large areas of your floor, or has heavy, thick legs. For example, a breakfast bar with stools will make the room feel much larger than a traditional dining table, and take up much less of the room. Another trick is to opt for vertical patterns. Perhaps go for a feature wall with thick vertical stripes, which bring the eye upwards to make the room feel bigger. Having shelves close to the ceiling also makes a room feel taller, don’t fill them with clutter.
Slimline base cabinets have a reduced depth – a handy trick which instantly provides that little bit more floor space, whilst visually looking like a standard cupboard. You won’t be able to fit bulky items in slimmer cabinets but can hang your pots and pans from the ceiling and utensils from hooks underneath cupboards.
Changing the colour of your kitchen is a low-cost, simple update that will immediately make space feel bigger. White kitchens are on-trend, and this is the best colour for visually opening up space.
If you want to go for something brighter, yellow can create a welcoming, sunny kitchen, giving a country vibe even in the middle of a city.
Green is a colour that symbolises the natural world and tranquillity. Pale green and teal are on-trend shades and the perfect colours for adding touches to a white kitchen. Complement this look with some delicate green plants or flower arrangements.
The specific colour you choose is a completely personal decision but keep that choice to one or two predominant colours, and you will make a small kitchen feel bigger easily. This technique also creates a more coordinated look without you being a master decorator.
Feel free to use different shades of the same colour as you mix and match to create some visual texture but avoid big blocks of contrasting walls so that the eye sees the room as one continuous unit rather than smaller blocks.
Add a colourful backsplash.
A bit like a feature wall, a colourful backsplash can make a room feel bigger. Whether it’s a solid colour or a mosaic design, there are endless style options, and they’re very good at making rooms feel taller and wider. A small kitchen doesn’t have to feel claustrophobic. With the right colours, plenty of light, and the right furniture, even a tiny kitchen can feel open and modern. It’s just a case of finding ways to work with space, and fooling the eye into thinking the room is larger than it is.
USE LIGHT-REFLECTING, DECORATIVE ACCESSORIES
Once you have a well-designed kitchen layout, don’t stop there. Treat the kitchen as you would any other room. You don’t stop decorating your bedroom with just a bed, so why stop in the kitchen with just the cabinet and appliances? Used sparingly and in the right scale, small decorative touches add personality to a kitchen. To make a small kitchen feel bigger, pick out accessories that will bounce light around the room. That means all the metallics. We already mentioned using metallic pendant lights, so get some pieces to match – plant pots, picture frames, even practical things like copper pans and metallic utensil pots can help. Not into metallics? White will do.
Use panel appliances
Not prepared to choose compact appliances? You can still get a much lighter look.
Panel-ready appliances (usually fridges and dishwashers) are designed to be able to receive a door in front of your choosing so they can blend into the look of your kitchen cabinets. The resulting look is more fluid, which creates an overall larger, airier appearance. It’s usually not an inexpensive upgrade, but it creates a look of sophisticated luxury.
Unwrap your range hood
You may not want to eliminate any true upper cabinets, but the partial cabinets that wrap around a range hood usually have little function other than hiding ductwork. Choose a beautiful range hood that is meant to be seen, and let it create a visual break from the cabinets. Even this small bit of depth can make a kitchen feel less claustrophobic.
Use shelf uppers
In a small kitchen, removing all the upper cabinets may not be a practical option, but you can always use as much or as little as you like to house just your most attractive everyday items.
A few open shelves on one wall will perfectly hold daily-use tableware, storage jars and bins, and cookbooks, and give the room a much more open feel. It can also give a beautiful window a little more space to breathe so the whole room feels less stuffed.
You don’t even have to commit to shelf uppers fully. Try simply removing the doors from a cabinet to simulate this breezy look. You can always put the doors back on later if you want to.
Cramped and dark rooms can make us feel low, whereas walking into a lighter, brighter room can instantly lift your spirits.
There is no reason why a small kitchen can’t exude some serious style and feel more spacious than it is. A kitchen of any size can feel roomy if you know some simple design tricks to make the most of the space.
After all, the kitchen is where we spend a lot of time, not only cooking but also eating and entertaining. However, while we can’t all have massive kitchens with islands and stainless-steel appliances, there are ways to make a kitchen look bigger, as well as giving yourself more space. Above are a few tips to try in your home.