The size of your kitchen affects the way you use it, your design options, and the way you feel while spending time there. Now, unless you’re building your own home, chances are that you won’t be able to do much about the actual size of the kitchen. Sure, you can make a layout tweak or two, but nothing really major. You can get one appliance out, change the size of your kitchen island and add a minor tweak or two. Still, the size of the place is what it is.
On the other hand, you can always change the place’s design and there are numerous visual tricks to make the place look bigger. A properly illuminated place with an adequate color palette will always look bigger. This already addresses the psychological aspect of wanting to expand your kitchen. Moreover, there are some materials that will make your kitchen more reflexive, thus also creating an impression of a much larger place.
Options are many and not all of them will fit your kitchen. So, you need to start your research and make a selection of items that will work the best.
1. Light colors
The first thing you need to do in order to make the place look bigger is to find a way to work with light and bright colors. Dark colors tend to make the place look smaller while light colors visually expand it. Moreover, warm colors make the place look cozier, and more intimate but also, smaller. On the other hand, cold colors like white, cold gray and light blue will make the place appear larger. In this respect, the color palette that you opt for changes everything about your kitchen.
Keep in mind that you really don’t have to go with a monochrome design, however, going with a strong visual contrast can have an adverse effect. A single dark item in this setting will, naturally, drive all your attention. This will create a dominant focal point, which will make all the other efforts to make the place look larger null and void. This is also why the idea of an accent wall, which can be great in so many other areas of your home, is not necessarily a good idea for making your kitchen look larger.
Wrap up: The color palette of your kitchen can make it look larger but it can also make it look tighter. The key thing is knowing both types of visual tricks in order to avoid making a mistake and nullifying all your work.
2. An illusion of outdoors
One of the ways to expand your kitchen visually is to make it look like an extension of the outdoors. The simplest way to do so is to combine natural materials. Metal is a reflective surface (something we’ll address in detail in a bit) but stone can be just as useful. One of the most luxurious ideas you could introduce into your kitchen is to install stone tiles. This is a particularly good move, seeing as how you might already have a stone countertop. If not, this is something you should definitely consider (provided that your budget allows it).
Keep in mind that there are other ways to make your kitchen feel like an extension of the outdoors. A lot of kitchens have that one window facing the backyard. Keep blinds and curtains on this window light in order to get a clear line of sight. Adding an indoor plant or two is also a good idea. Just keep in mind that a plant you choose for the kitchen needs to be able to take this kind of setting. Also, you should focus on keeping the place feel fresh. This is why installing a range hood pretty early on should probably be one of your top priorities.
Wrap Up: Making your kitchen feel like it’s outside or relatively close to being outside will completely alter your perception of it. A window facing the backyard garden can help you envision yourself in a much different setting while spending time in the kitchen.
3. Reflective surfaces
Another thing you can do in order to make your kitchen look spacious is to decorate it with reflective surfaces. What does this mean? Well, a kitchen is an area that probably contains the most glass in the entire home. Why not crank this up to 11? You can go for glass tiles and even furniture elements with mirrors in them. However, glass is not the only reflective surface out there. Stainless steel can achieve the same effect and it’s a standard type of material for the kitchen. Overall, you need to understand the full significance of this optical illusion and the fact that it works only if you commit to maintenance.
Cabinets and countertops are not the only are,m as that you should focus on. Instead, you should also go for glass tiles, and shiny flooring surfaces, and cover your walls with high-gloss paint. How do you get your glass kitchenware to contribute to this objective? Well, that one’s simple, as well. You go for open shelving. Now, remember, open shelving is much more practical and provides you with more room on its own, however, it requires a far greater commitment. The dust will settle on your kitchenware at a higher rate and everything needs to be transparent all the time, seeing as how it’s transparent at any point. No one knows how your glasses and plates are aligned if the cabinet doors are closed.
Wrap up: Reflective surfaces create an illusion of a far larger space than you actually have available. This is what makes this idea so compelling. Still, this might make your kitchen somewhat harder to maintain.
4. Consider minimalism
The fewer the items in your kitchen, the bigger it is. This is actually one of the few tracks on this list that has nothing to do with optical illusion, it’s simple geometry. A certain object takes a certain space and if there’s no object, there’s more space. Luckily the concept of minimalism is exactly that. All you need to do is make a priority list and try to figure out which items in your kitchen are essential and which are those that you could do without. We’re, of course, not talking about functional items but those that are there simply to add some extra flavor.
Having great storage for your kitchen is one of the ways to make this work. Sure, having every single small appliance and piece of kitchenware at your hand’s reach is the most convenient option but is it the best option available? By simply keeping the items you use every day in the kitchen and keeping everything else in the storage, even the maintenance will become easier. It will also make decluttering a piece of cake.
Wrap Up: Decorating your kitchen in a minimalist fashion is one of the best ideas that you could possibly come up with.
5. Slimmer option
Another thing you can do in order to make the place bigger is to simply pick slimmer alternatives to all appliances, cabinets, and work surfaces. While some may believe this to be too restrictive or counterproductive, the truth is that this downscale in storage space isn’t necessarily game-breaking. Sure, organizing your supplies and kitchenware will become more challenging but it won’t be impossible. In return, you’ll get more kitchen space.
Nowadays, you can easily find a slimmer fridge and oven and the size of your countertop and cabinets are customizable. Sure, buying hand-crafted cabinets is incredibly difficult but it allows you to choose your own dimensions (provided that everything fits). Now, keep in mind that finding the right carpenter and the right appliances is far harder than just settling for a standard option. Still, it will be worth your while.
Wrap up: One of the biggest issues you need to address is the size of your kitchen elements. By picking slimmer options, your kitchen space will expand.
As you can see, with the right attitude and a couple of tricks up your sleeve, you can manipulate space both visually and physically. This will help expand your kitchen and make it feel less… well, claustrophobic. The benefits are many but not all of these adjustments are cheap. Moreover, some of them may fundamentally change how you use your kitchen, which means that it will take some getting used to. Still, if expanding your kitchen is something that you want, these are your options.