If there’s one thing most people would agree you can’t get enough of, it would be space in the kitchen. The kitchen is an increasingly busy room in the home. It’s the home’s beating heart and its hub. There’s a lot going on in most kitchens. This is why it is really important that you make the most of space in the kitchen.
For many of us, moving to a bigger property or building an extension to our current home simply aren’t viable propositions. But, all is not lost, you can address the need for space in the kitchen in two main ways: 1) Make the most of what space you have by using a range of space-saving tips, tricks and hacks, and 2) Doing what you can to create the illusion of space.
Here’s how to go about it.
Space in the kitchen: Making the most of what you have
Making the most of what you have is the key to everything. It involves thinking of as many space-saving ideas as possible. Some of these are blindingly obvious. Others are incredibly ingenious and clever. But this is really what it is all about: being clever and cunning with the space you have! It means being efficient and effective.
The starting point should be a thorough spring clean and clearout – with the emphasis on the clearout. Don’t wait until spring and don’t think you can get away with just one a year either. Clutter accumulates remarkably quickly. Throw out things that are past their expiration date, dirty, or that you don’t use much. Be ruthless! De-cluttering is the way forward! And if, like most people, there are drawers or units that seem to be used as the dumping ground for all manner of items – keep on top of things to stop it getting too untidy.
However, being tidy – although vital if you want to make the most of space in the kitchen – will only get you so far.
Some space saving ideas for the kitchen
An obvious way to make the most of space in the kitchen is to make use of the walls, cabinets, and splashbacks. A simple space-saving solution is to install hooks under a cabinet or shelf. These are perfect for hanging mugs by their handles. Hooks can also be used to hang utensils. On a similar theme, a stainless-steel pegboard splashback can serve a double purpose. Not only will it protect the wall itself from splatters and spills, it’s also a clever way to keep things neat, tidy, and to hand. They are available from most home improvement stores and sites.
Another ingenious, but remarkably simple, way to save space is to get a cutting/chopping boatd that will fit over the sink. This is a quick fix if you are a bit short of counter space.
Space in the kitchen: Reorganising and adding extra storage
Decanting bulky items into large jars and containers is a good way of reorganising things in the kitchen, but another way to make the most of space in the kitchen is to add extra storage space. Why not add a magnetic shelf to the side of the fridge? You can make the most of vertical space by adding a pot rack. This is much better than having the pans either sitting on the stove or taking up valuable space in your cabinets. If you have a low ceiling, using the space above the sink is a smart move.
If you have a shallow drawer available, make the most of it by getting an in-drawer spice rack. Corner space is often wasted all around the home. However, if you’re trying to make every square centimetre count in a small-sized kitchen, corner shelving could well be the answer.
Space in the kitchen: Creating the illusion of space
If you really want to make the most of the space you have in the kitchen, you need to use what you have cleverly. However, you will also benefit from doing what you can to create the illusion of space in the kitchen. Here are a few tips and tricks to consider.
First of all, if you happen to be blessed with high ceilings, you really need to make the most of them. Building up the cabinets high up the wall is the most obvious way of doing this. Open shelving works well too.
Drawing the eye up to the ceiling makes the space appear bigger: mouldings and painted ceilings do this with aplomb.
Even if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a high ceiling in the kitchen, you can use the same principles when you think about vertical storage. What’s more, a light colour can make a clear statement and be effective, even on a low ceiling.
Be clever with lighting
If you think carefully about your kitchen lighting, it will go a long way to making a small space seem bigger. As a minimum, you need to have task lighting and ambient lighting. By adding spot lighting the space is made to feel open. You need to make the lighting work with the colour scheme you have chosen. Essentially, the darker the countertops, cabinets and walls are, the more light wattage you will need to compensate.
Creating the illusion of space in the kitchen: Choose your colours wisely
Don’t be afraid of being bold with colours. You might not think it, but dark colours can work well even in small spaces. The most important thing is to limit your palette to either one or two predominate colours. This is what you need to do to make a small space seem bigger.
Different shades of the same colour can be very effective. It adds texture to the space. Having said that, one thing to definitely avoid are big blocks of contrasting walls.
Or… go for all white
On the other hand, you could save a lot of thought and a fair bit of time. Instead of agonising over which colours to go for, keep things as simple as possible – go for an all-white scheme.
Of course, this is nothing new. It’s not rocket science, and we’re not letting you into some kind of special secret here. It’s simply that white reflects light superbly. This is also a sure-fire way to make a small space appear larger straightaway.
Flooring choices can make a room look bigger
You can actually be quite canny with your flooring choices too. Get it right and this is a fabulous way to create the illusion of space. For example, if you have a narrow galley kitchen, use boards or patterned flooring than runs with the length of the kitchen to make it appear longer. If, on the other hand, you want to make it look wider, ensure that the flooring runs across the width of the space. If you are using tiles, laying them diagonally will make the space appear wider and longer. Genius!
Other tips and tricks to consider
There are several other ways that you can make the most of the space in the kitchen by making it appear bigger. Consider incorporating glass cabinet fronts into your kitchen design. This lightens the kitchen and makes the space appear to expand, as the naked eye essentially travels through the cabinets as you look. However, you do need to be careful, if the cabinets are cluttered with stuff it will defeat the object! For the places you need to store any unsightly bits, use solid cabinet door fronts instead. Reserve the glass-fronted cabinets for your best – and the things you really want to display.
Be careful not to go overboard, but accessories and decorative touches can add a real personality to a kitchen space. And you can make this work for you too. Choose accessories that will bounce light around the space as this make the kitchen appear bigger. Anything that is metallic or white will do the job.
Conclusion: space is what you make of it
So, even though we might all want a bit more space in the kitchen, it’s clear that are many ways that you can make the most of what you do have. You simply need to explore all your options and opportunities. Use as many space-saving ideas as you can think of to squeeze the most out of every inch of space.
Similarly, never lose sight of the fact that there are many things you can do to create the illusion of space in the kitchen. By making clever choices to your colour scheme, ceiling and flooring, you can make the kitchen seem much bigger than it really is.