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How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger: 7 Smart Tips

According to the National Kitchen and Bathroom Association (NKBA), a small kitchen is one that is smaller than 70 square feet. Even kitchens with around 100 square feet will still struggle to accommodate standard elements and appliances. Without a well-thought-out strategy, a small kitchen will look cramped and messy. But, take heart! It’s not always about the real estate — if you know how to remodel your kitchen, you can build a functional and stylish kitchen space.

In this guide, we will walk you through different strategies to make a small kitchen look bigger than it is.

Consider Slimmer Cabinets

you might want to go with slimmer cabinet units, e.g, around 15” or lower.

The standard depth of base cabinets is 24” and most homeowners go with it for their kitchen remodeling. At 24” depth, kitchen cabinets offer a lot of storage space; however, they also take up floor space. Therefore, if you have a small kitchen and you want to leave adequate floor space for traffic movement, you might want to go with slimmer cabinet units, e.g, around 15” or lower. Depending on the layout of your kitchen, you can install slimmer cabinets on one side for storing items that you need for quick access. On the other side, you can install the regular 24” cabinets.

Reduce Your Hardware

you can opt for touch-activated latches, integrated reach-in pulls and cut-out cabinet pulls.

Apart from the spacious floor layout, a clutter-free countertop and minimalist lower cabinets can also make your kitchen look roomier. As opposed to the standard cabinet hardware accessories such as handles and knobs which usually protrude and impede free traffic movement, you can opt for touch-activated latches, integrated reach-in pulls and cut-out cabinet pulls. This not only creates a cleaner facade but exudes a minimalist look.

Recommended Reading: 6 Shaker Cabinet Hardware Accessories that Transform Your Kitchen

Use a Single Bowl Sink

With a single bowl sink (around 24” wide), you can save as much as 12” which is a lot in a small kitchen space.

If you have a small kitchen layout, you should go with a single bowl sink in order to save precious real estate. The standard width of a double bowl sink is around 36”. With a single bowl sink (around 24” wide), you can save as much as 12” which is a lot in a small kitchen space. Even better, you can use that space to install a small base cabinet unit and add additional storage space.

Recommended Reading: Double-bowl Sink vs Single-bowl Sink: Which One is Right for Your Kitchen?

Choose a Compact Dishwasher

While a standard dishwasher is about 24” wide, for small kitchens, you can go for one with 18”.

Dishwashers come in different shapes and sizes. While a standard dishwasher is about 24” wide, for small kitchens, you can go for one with 18”. This not only saves crucial space for you but makes it possible to install it in many different positions — at the end of your base cabinet run, under the sink, or in the corner.

Open Shelves and Shelf Uppers

Using open shelves and shelf uppers is a popular technique to avoid visual clutter in small kitchens.

Using open shelves and shelf uppers is a popular technique to avoid visual clutter in small kitchens. Many homeowners find it hard to choose between open shelving and wall cabinets. While wall cabinets offer a wide range of benefits, they also take up much space. For a smaller kitchen layout, you could try a different combination — wall cabinets + open shelves, wall cabinets + shelf uppers, wall cabinets + open shelving + shelf uppers. It all depends on the available kitchen space and individual preferences.

Recommended Reading: Open Shelving vs Wall Cabinets: Which One is Right for Your Kitchen?

Use Glass Door Panels

you can also use glass door panels on your wall cabinets to create an illusion of openness in your kitchen.

While shallow-depth base cabinets serve the purpose of leaving your floor space, getting rid of wall cabinets may not be a practical option for all homeowners. In addition to using open shelving and shelf uppers, you can also use glass door panels on your wall cabinets to create an illusion of openness in your kitchen. Plus, doing this gives you an opportunity to showcase your prized dinnerware.

Install Cabinet Lighting

You could use a variety of lighting sources including plugin LED strip fixtures, recessed lights, and pendants lights to avoid any potential claustrophobia.

By and large, all kitchens suffer from poor lighting. However, large kitchens enjoy the advantage of getting natural lighting via windows. Unfortunately, small kitchens don’t often have that liberty. In order to make your small kitchen appear larger, you need to make sure your kitchen is adequately illuminated. You could use a variety of lighting sources including plugin LED strip fixtures, recessed lights, and pendants lights to avoid any potential claustrophobia. Here’s a detailed guide on how to choose lighting for your kitchen.

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