How to create the illusion of space in your kitchen

The kitchen is one of, if not the most, important rooms in your home. Not only is it somewhere to cook nutritious meals, but it’s somewhere that you gather with your family to catch up on the day’s events, or somewhere that you host friends at a party. If you’re not blessed with the large kitchen of your dreams, it can put a dampener on using it as a communal space. Here are some great tricks to help you make your kitchen look bigger, so you won’t be shy when you invite your friends to a dinner party.

Colour Scheme

White will be your new best friend in a small kitchen. Light colours lift the whole room. If you don’t want to go for all-white everything, try to use low-contrast colours that are in the same colour family. Think about white & grey, white & black or lots of neutral cream tones.  Paint your cupboards the same colours as your wall and it will look like your walls are further back than they actually are, making the kitchen look bigger.

You should aim to keep all your surfaces shiny. Stainless steel appliances, glass tiles, glossy floors, satin paint and shiny cabinets will reflect the natural light and give your kitchen the illusion of space.

Use light or wooden flooring to make your kitchen floor space look larger.

Furnishings

It can be easy to think you’ll have to avoid furnishings altogether if you only have a small space for your kitchen. However, this isn’t the case – you just have some more things to consider. You’ll have to keep the furniture minimalist, so think backless barstools, pendant lights, slim chairs and narrow tables – no chunky legs or bases. If you don’t have room for a table, why not consider a breakfast bar. It doubles as both a seating area and an extra area to prepare food if all of your work surfaces are full.

For larger appliances, you should integrate them into your worktops to keep them neat. Keep any unnecessary small appliances (like that smoothie machine you never use) hidden away to avoid cluttering your surfaces. Little clutter will ensure your kitchen maintains clean lines, which help to make it look bigger.

Shelving and Cabinets

Using shelves and cabinets can help to detract from clutter at eye-level, but with a small kitchen you have to be careful. Rather than using closed cabinets, why not replace them with glass-fronted ones. This way, you still get the storage but the glass looks much lighter. If you’re committed to keeping your kitchen tidy, you could even get rid of the cabinets altogether and go for open shelving. You could even put your pantry and shelving into the wall if you have the space on the other side!

Direct the Eyes

There are two ways that you can draw the eye to distract from the size of your kitchen. The first is to use elongated patterns on your floor to draw the eye vertically – think stripes or geometric squares. It will make the room appear longer. If you can’t change the flooring, consider vertical stripe wallpaper which will draw the eye upwards – keep the stripes thin though, or your kitchen will look gaudy (which I’m guessing isn’t the look you are going for!)

Lighting

When you have a small kitchen, the best thing to do is flood it with as much natural lighting as possible. Keep windows airy and use blinds rather than curtains. For night time, you’ll want to keep the same natural look, so use ambient lighting to recreate the natural vibe. Lighting which hangs from the ceiling is your best bet, as it doesn’t take up any space and will draw the eye upwards – particularly if you opt for a statement shade such as a chandelier.

Merge into a larger space

If your kitchen is the smallest room and you’re lucky enough to have a larger living/dining space, why not merge the rooms together! You could knock the wall through to create a completely open space, or add a serving hatch. A serving hatch looks really homely whilst still opening up your kitchen and making it look bigger from a different perspective.

Your kitchen should be a room that you enjoy, so don’t let a cramped space take the enjoyment away!

Leila Jones is a content writer for First Lighting. She is a Public Relations graduate from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. Leila enjoys interior design, fashion and travel.