Thinking about how you can make your tiny kitchen bigger without breaking the bank or tearing out walls? Well, worry no more, we’re here to give you a few ideas.
First of all, you’ll want to keep “functionality” first and foremost if you’re working with limited space. However, there’s no reason you can’t have function and beauty if you plan things carefully. Another “plus” to remember, the smaller the kitchen, the smaller you can keep the total cost of remodeling.
Where to Start
Measure! The old saying “measure twice and cut once” is really important to remember when you’re working with small spaces. If you’re a DIYer and don’t plan on hiring a professional, most of the home improvement stores have free tools available on their websites to help you figure out quantities and even tips as to what will work best.
|Cabinet Buying Guide
| Paint Buying Guide
|Home Depot App
| Paint Calculator
Selecting Cabinets and Counter Tops
When selecting your cabinets and counter tops for your small kitchen remodel, there are quite a few things to consider. Most of your kitchen is filled up with cabinets and counter tops, so choosing the wrong ones for a small kitchen can overwhelm the design or severely disrupt the flow of the décor.
There are a few basic rules that you want to follow for both cabinets and counter tops when remodeling a small kitchen:
- Make sure to measure everything properly to insure that the cabinets and counter tops you put in are not too big. Overly large cabinets and/or counter tops can severely overwhelm a small space, and make your kitchen seem even smaller.
- Try to avoid painting or choosing materials that are too dark. For small spaces, lighter colors help to make the space look more open. Incorporate darker colors with accent pieces or accessories.
- To make your small kitchen functional, look for methods of extra storage.
- The right lighting can make all the difference. Avoid bulky and overwhelming chandeliers or lighting pieces, and choose simple designs that offer a lot of bright light.
- Look for pieces that offer multiple uses. For example, a pull out drawer can also be home to a cutting board or the backs of cabinet doors can be made useful with extra racks or hooks.
- When trying to make the most of a small space, think vertical. Tall cabinets that reach all the way to the ceiling not only offer more storage space, but make the room seem larger than it is.
- You can make your small kitchen seem more open with glass front cabinet doors. For a splash of color that gives the room extra depth, paint the back of the cabinet walls with a bold color that compliments your décor.
- Open shelving might be a good idea in part of your kitchen, if not the entire project. Open shelving gives the appearance of more space. The only drawback is keeping everything as uncluttered as possible since it is all visible.
- Make use of small spaces by installing thin pull out cabinets for spices and other small kitchen items.
- For more counter space, look for expandable counter tops. These extremely useful counter tops look small and stay hidden to increase room, but then pull out for much needed extra work space.
- Because you will have a smaller amount of workspace to work with, it will get used a lot. Therefore, the increased amount of wear and tear can make your kitchen look and feel old and worn out. Choose a counter top material that is durable and easy to clean and maintain.
There are a ton of ways that a small kitchen can be just as useful and beautiful as a large kitchen. When you are remodeling your small kitchen, what you do with your cabinets and counter tops will be the most important part of the project.
Making Use of Hidden Spaces
For small kitchens, making use of the smallest spaces can make the biggest difference. A remodel project is the perfect chance to utilize those little spaces that you might not have considered before. Give yourself more room and storage space with these tips for making use of small hidden spaces in your kitchen.
Islands are the answer to almost every small kitchen problem. Islands come in a variety of shapes and sizes and don’t have to be stationary or permanent. As long as you have somewhere to store it when it isn’t being used, a rolling island can be the answer to so many of your small kitchen woes.
An island can act as much needed extra counter space, shelving, and extra storage. Simply roll it out when you need it, and tuck it back into its nook when you don’t. So many problems solved, and it’s almost too simple to be true.
Secret shelving is an excellent idea. In almost any kitchen, there are a few inches of extra space either between the cabinets, in the space between the cabinet and stove hood, or at the end of the cabinets. You can order or have a custom cabinet built in that pulls out like a vertical drawer. This is a perfect place to stash spices and other small items, freeing up much needed cabinet space in your small kitchen.
Double Duty Drawers
Not all drawers are created equal. You can make your drawers do double duty for you with some simple upgrades that won’t break the bank on your remodel project.
First of all, just what is the point of “vanity drawers” that don’t actually open or have a real use other than looks? For small kitchens, this is much needed real estate that can be put to use. That vanity drawer right below the kitchen sink can be transformed into a pull out cubby for extra sponges and other small items.
The top drawer in any cabinet can be lowered to add room for a pull out cutting board. This frees up a lot of counter space when you are cooking and helps the room feel less cluttered.
Every cabinet and pantry door is another opportunity for more storage. For a super simple remodel project, install racks on the inside of cabinet and pantry doors. These are a great place to store small items, spices, packets of seasoning, or small boxes and bags.
Hook It Up
The space under cabinets is a very under-utilized area that you can make use of to free up much needed cabinet space. Small hooks under the bottom of your cabinets can give you a place to hang your coffee mugs so they aren’t using any cabinet space inside.
In a small kitchen, every little space counts. You can make use of the smallest hidden spaces to create the biggest difference. Most of these ideas can be done in any kitchen, and all of them are a great addition to kitchen remodel projects.
Painting Tips That Deceive The Eye
When it comes to remodeling small kitchens, the colors that you choose, and the way you paint, can make or break your remodeling project.
Certain painting techniques and the right use of colors can deceive the eye and make small spaces look bigger. Follow some of these tips and techniques to make the most out of your small space and transform it into the kitchen of your dreams.
Chose The Right Colors
When painting a small space, especially a small kitchen, the colors you choose are extremely important. For small spaces, dark colors can make your already small room seem even smaller and crowded.
Instead, brighten up the space to make it look and feel more open. Lighter, cool colors not only brighten up the room and make it seem larger than it is, but they also help you accomplish a cleaner, more polished look.
Neutral colors tend to work best with small spaces, but that doesn’t mean that your new kitchen has to look boring. For a pop of color, choose boldly colored accent pieces or fun patterns to draw the eye.
Erase Visual Boundaries
For small spaces, especially kitchens, it is important for everything to flow. Over patterned, busy wallpaper confuses the eye and makes the room feel stifling.
To create the right flow in your kitchen décor, erase any visual boundaries. One popular way of doing this is to paint the cabinets the same color as the walls. This technique creates the impression that the walls are farther back than they actually are, making the room look larger.
Clean lines in your paint and décor will keep the eye moving smoothly over everything and give the room a more spacious feeling.
For your back-splash, continue with clean lines and choose an uninterrupted pattern so that it does not overwhelm the space. The pattern should fit in with your color scheme so it doesn’t make the kitchen look choppy.
Draw The Eye Upward
To make your kitchen seem larger, start thinking vertically. There are a few ways of doing this easily and effectively.
When choosing your cabinets for your kitchen remodel, you can choose extended height cabinetry to make the room seem bigger. This, paired with painting the cabinets the same color as the walls, makes the ceilings seem higher and the room bigger.
If you have existing cabinets that are not so close to the ceiling, draw eyes upward with decorative items placed on top of the cabinets. The items should flow well with the color scheme and not be too noticeable as you do not want them to overwhelm the space.
Paint your ceiling a color that is lighter than the walls. Using white is always a safe choice, and using a high gloss white paint can create the slightest reflective surfaces which will brighten the light and make the room seem larger.
When remodeling a small kitchen, a little bit of paint can make all the difference. Use these tips and techniques to make the most out of your small space by deceiving the eye and making the room look larger and more open.
Flooring Tips That Make Your Space Seem Larger
The flooring you choose gives you yet another opportunity to make your small space seem larger. Certain flooring materials or décor patterns can create the illusion of a larger space.
For a tiled kitchen floor, go for larger tiles rather than smaller ones. Small tiles can clutter a small room and make it feel claustrophobic, while larger tiles actually open up the room and make it feel bigger.
When installing tile or any other flooring, you should apply a diagonal placement. The diagonal tiling will elongate the room, and create the illusion that the room is larger than it is.
For a hardwood look, whether you are using true hardwood or laminate, pick larger plank-type pieces rather than long, thin pieces. Just like the larger tile, the bigger pieces will help open up the room and make it seem bigger.
Patterns are a great idea for kitchens, but there are some rules to follow. Stick to larger, chunky patterns rather than small intricate patterns. Just like the tile, the busyness of the small details will draw the room in and make it feel small.
Avoid busy patterns as they will overwhelm a small space. If it fits with the pattern scheme, keep patterns at a diagonal angle.
Play Off The Walls
Create depth and contrast by playing off of the colors of your walls. As a general rule, cooler and neutral colors in your kitchen create a more open looking space. If your walls are painted a light color, create contrast by choosing a darker flooring. If your walls are a dark color, choose a lighter colored flooring.
The contrast of light to dark creates depth and makes the room seem larger. The lighting you choose will also add to this effect.
Let It Flow
If you have an attached dining room or other space that flows into the kitchen, try to use the same flooring throughout. The flow will create clean lines that will make the space feel more open.
A hardwood look or tiling with a continuous pattern will help bring the rooms together and flow from one space to the next. Otherwise, a small kitchen can look and feel cut off from the rest of your house, causing it to feel closed off and smaller.
For small kitchen remodel projects, the flooring you choose can make a huge difference. With the right flooring and placement of tiles or patterns, you can create an optical illusion of a larger space and really open up your small kitchen.
Create The Illusion of More Space With Lighting
As you get ready to remodel your small kitchen, make sure to take time to really consider your lighting options. Especially important for small kitchens, the lighting can really open up a room and create the illusion of more space.
Here are some tips and ideas for lighting ideas that can create the illusion of space in your small kitchen:
Natural lighting is the best kind of lighting for any room, especially the kitchen. The light is always soft and welcoming and fits in with any décor.
If you are remodeling, put serious thought into skylights. Natural light is always best, and the skylights make the room seem a lot bigger than it actually is. Solar tubes are another method of bringing natural light in to the kitchen without huge skylights. Solar tubes are tubes that run from the roof to your kitchen, reflecting light off the roof and pulling it down into your room.
Natural light can come from skylights or windows and even from adjacent rooms if they connect with the kitchen. The more natural light you can bring into the room, the more open and spacious it will feel.
Mix Up Your Lighting
Use a combination of atmospheric as well as task lighting to open up the space and give the illusion of more room.
Install incandescent lights on the bottom of cabinets pointing down towards the counter tops. This will counteract the shadows caused by overhead lighting and make the counter space seem larger.
To counteract florescent lighting that can cast an unappetizing hue over your kitchen; install small hanging lights to bring the light closer to your work space. Colored fixtures will bring more color to the space as well as make the lighting more appetizing.
Light Up Your Cabinets
Using lights inside glass front or open shelving brightens up your kitchen and makes the space seem larger. The lights not only highlight your beautiful shelving and dishes, but they create the illusion of a bigger space by playing with the shadows in your kitchen.
Where you install your cabinet lighting will depend on your particular shelving, so play with the angles. In most cases, putting the lights at the top of the cabinets draw the eye upward and create the illusion of a larger space, while putting them at the bottom can create shadows.
Avoid Florescent Lighting
If you can, avoid florescent lighting. It can give any kitchen a sterile, clinical feel. For small kitchens, overhead florescent lighting can make the space feel smaller by casting shadows.
Try replacing your old florescent lighting fixture with track lighting. Track lighting can light up a room without making it feel clinical, and the tracks can be pointed at different angles to minimize kitchen shrinking shadows.
For your small kitchen renovation project, look to the lighting to create the illusion of more space. With these clever tips and techniques, you can really open up your kitchen and brighten up your work space.
Space Saving Appliances
A lot of today’s kitchen appliances are larger than they used to be, and while they certainly have the appeal of great features, they can be hard to fit into a small space without overwhelming the room.
Luckily, there are space saving options and appliances. You can make the most out of your small space with these clever tricks and smaller appliances.
The microwave is probably the easiest appliance to find space saving options for. You might be surprised how much counter space can be opened up by simply moving the microwave, and when any little bit of counter space is prime real estate you will be thankful for the extra work space.
Over The Range
It is a pretty popular and excellent space saving technique to install an over the range microwave rather than a counter top model. These microwaves have all the features of a typical range hood like the vent and lights, underneath the bottom of the microwave, so it acts as sort of a two for one deal.
The only catch about these appliances is that you might need help with installation. If the existing wiring isn’t already appropriate to handle the wattage that your new microwave needs, you may need an electrician to help you rewire and install.
Pull out microwaves are another new and popular options for getting those microwaves off the counters. Instead, these microwaves are built into the cabinetry at hip level. When you need to use the microwave, you pull it out just like you would another drawer.
Again, you might need help with wiring and installation, but this is a great space saving option and it looks great.
While all of these extra large refrigerators are certainly tempting with all of their high-tech features and so many drawers and extra doors, you can find smaller versions.
More standard sized refrigerators are still available, and a lot of them employ space saving drawers and door racks to give you the most storage space possible while still taking up less space. A lot of these smaller versions still have some of the great features still available.
For small kitchens, drawer dishwashers are a wonder to behold. They take up so much less space than conventional dishwashers, and although they are small they have adjustable racks to fit a maximum amount of dishes.
You do not need to sacrifice function, durability, style, or beauty in a small kitchen. There are many space saving options available to you. Remember to always take correct and thorough measurements. Also, keep in mind the size of your particular dishes when it comes to choosing smaller appliances. It wouldn’t do you any good to install a microwave or dishwasher and then have to buy all new dishes to fit a smaller size. There are plenty of smaller, space saving options that you won’t have to sacrifice for.
Small Kitchen Shelving Ideas
Not having enough shelving or cabinet space is a common inconvenience for small kitchens. Not only does there never seem to be enough space, but large cabinets can make a small kitchen feel even smaller and create a claustrophobic space.
For your small kitchen remodel, consider some of these alternative shelving solutions to make the most of your limited space.
Visible shelving, such as glass front doors, can really open up the space in your kitchen. The glass fronts leave the space open, while the backs of the cabinets create the feeling of more depth.
To create an optical illusion of more space in your kitchen, glass front cabinets really open up the space. For an extra pop of color and to draw the eye to create the illusion of a bigger room, paint the back wall of the cabinets. A darker or bold color really accents the décor.
If you like the concept of glass front cabinets, but don’t really want the glass to be that transparent, no problem. There are multiple choices for glass transparency and different tempered glasses so you have a lot of choices.
Floating or open shelving is another alternative to everyday cabinets that can really make a big difference for small kitchens. With floating shelving, a simple freestanding shelf is installed directly to the wall. Open shelving is a lot like typical cabinetry but without the doors and a lot of times without the separators. When you are remodeling, forgo the usual cabinets and try floating or open shelves.
Floating shelves work well for small kitchens. They take up very little space, especially when compared to the usual bulky cabinetry. The open scheme of floating shelves allows the room to flow, making the room look larger than it actually is.
This open design for shelving is a very contemporary and fashionable design technique, and is becoming very popular. Floating shelving is also fairly easy to install, especially compared to ordinary cabinets.
If you do not have enough cabinet space, sometimes the answer is simply bigger cabinets. In a small kitchen, bigger, bulkier shelving just won’t work. So instead of thinking that the cabinets need to grow outward, instead build them up towards the ceiling.
Tall cabinets that touch the ceiling not only give you a lot more shelving area for storage, but they create the illusion of a bigger space.
Whether you decide to use glass front shelving, open shelving, or floating shelving, you can build your cabinets higher to make use of underutilized space. Keep items that you do not use as often on the top of the shelves to free up much needed cabinet space.
When remodeling your small kitchen, your shelving solutions can make a big difference not just to your décor scheme, but also to your storage possibilities. If you think outside the box, however, you will find alternative solutions for shelving that are not only functional, but beautiful.
No matter how small your kitchen is, a kitchen remodel project is a big deal. Being prepared before you begin your project can make the entire venture more successful and a whole lot less stressful.