Want to make your kitchen look bigger? Size isn’t everything, but it certainly helps. While we can’t bend space and time to make our kitchens bigger, we can make the most out of the space we have.
We’d all like a nice spacious kitchen. Unfortunately, the physics of space can be limiting. The good news is that there are plenty of simple tricks which could give your room the Tardis treatment and make it look bigger on the inside than the out.
How to use colour to make your kitchen look bigger
Colour has a tremendous power to shape our mood, but it can also affect our sense of space. That’s one reason why white kitchens are a favourite. It reflects light, making the walls appear to recede and enhancing the sense of space. When you extend the white from the walls and down onto the surfaces, you create a seamless space in which edges are blurred and borders fade into the background.
To avoid white coloured kitchens look sterile, it’s easy to introduce pops of colour to draw the eye and provide more warmth.
Widen your tiles
You know how horizontal stripes can make you appear a little wider than you are? The same applies to your kitchen tiles. They can have a subtle, but profound affect on how we perceive a room. Using wide tiles stacked in a horizontal arrangement, can make even the smallest kitchen appear much wider than it actually is.
It’s also wise to consider the pattern of your tiles. Striped tiles can make a space look smaller, whereas choosing a plain tile, or one with a groove effect can help with the illusion of space. Additionally using reflective splashbacks can also help to make your kitchen look a little more roomy than it really is.
How reflection makes space look bigger
People often use mirrors around the house to give the appearance of more room. However, most people only use them in bathrooms, bedrooms or perhaps the living room. If you bring mirrors into your kitchen behind counter tops, you’ll be amazed by the impact you can have. For example, a supersize mirror stretching across one entire wall can look fantastic, especially if you have a table or another piece of furniture in front of it.
You can achieve the same affect, albeit on a slightly smaller scale, by using mirrored splashbacks and reflective surfaces elsewhere.
Another way to use reflection to make the space appear larger is to choose gloss kitchen units. They will reflect light back into the room, tricking the eye into believing the area is bigger than it really is.
Bring the outside into your kitchen
This may depend on your personal situation, but a good way to expand your kitchen is to make use of outside space. Throwing open doors and connecting the kitchen to the garden will transform a tight, cramped kitchen. Adding windows which connect you to the green space outside, will help even the tiniest little area feel much lighter and airier than might otherwise be the case.
A popular option is to add skylights to a single-storey kitchen extension to allow light to flood into the kitchen, providing light and a less cramped feel, even in the smallest of spaces.
Avoid clutter in the kitchen
A cluttered kitchen is a claustrophobic kitchen. If you have a lot of stuff clogging up the place you can feel as if the walls are closing in. Try to ensure that the surfaces are clear at all times. Have a designated storage space for everything – if possible one which is out of sight.
Clutter plays a trick on the mind. It subconsciously makes you feel as if you don’t have enough room for everything. Your stuff literally looks like it is bursting out of the cupboards and onto the surfaces.
The same applies to your decoration. Overly ornate or complicated designs can make your design feel busy and give the impression of the walls closing in. Cleaner, minimalist designs not only look tidier, but they give the room a lighter and more open feeling.
Choose clever kitchen storage options to help to keep your kitchen space clutter free.
Use open shelving
If you have lots of cabinets in your kitchen, you’re effectively closing off space. Keeping things more open plan, on the other hand, has the impact of opening things up and making you feel that there is more space than there is. As an experiment, try opening up your kitchen cabinets.
If you have plenty of open shelves, it gives the appearance of a larger room with space to store stuff. One word of warning though. As we saw in the last point, it only works if you aren’t struggling for space as things stand. If your shelves are heaving and your cupboards bursting at the seams, it will only make things look worse.
A great big hulking fridge or freezer can take up a huge amount of room. That’s why, when possible, it’s great if you can integrate your appliances into the rest of the countertop. It might cause problems for guests who’ll have to open several doors before they get the one they are looking for, but it can do wonders for your design.
It effectively blends your appliances into the existing design creating a much cleaner and less busy feel. It avoids the need to have a large fridge or freezer taking up space in one corner and generally makes it feel as if there is less ‘stuff’ in the room.
Using lighting to make your kitchen appear more spacious
Light has a profound effect on how we feel. A dark room will feel small and claustrophobic. A lighter space will feel much more open. Ideally, you’ll opt for natural lighting, so if you can add a window or skylight to your design, so much the better.
If a kitchen redesign is a little out of your budget, you can use cabinet lighting to increase the amount of light in the room. If possible, keep this lighting white to make it feel as natural as possible. Little touches such as downlighters over workspaces, or under unit spotlights can also transform your kitchen aesthetic.
Use tall cabinets
If you’re thinking of installing new kitchen units for more space opt for taller than usual upper cabinets. These draw the eyeline up above the horizontal creating the illusion of a higher ceiling and, as a result, a bit more space.
Try to keep the colour scheme light and bright in keeping with the rest of the room and avoid intricate door designs which can create a busy and cluttered feel to the room. Avoid large, bulky doorknobs and instead go for lower profile bar pull door handles to keep everything as minimalist and simplistic as possible.
Open up floor space to make your kitchen look bigger
Table and chairs can quickly make a small kitchen feel even more cramped than it is. Try to cut down on the size of your kitchen table or choose one which can fold down when not in use. This will maximise the amount of floor space you have to play with and make it easier to move around.
If you have other floor devouring items, such as an island, get rid of them. You’ll be amazed at how much more comfortable you feel.
Even in the smallest of kitchens, it can be surprising how moving a single item can make the space feel easier to navigate. Even doing something like moving your kitchen bin from being freestanding, to tucked away in a kitchen unit can help to give you more floor space.
Doing more with less
We can’t all afford the perfect kitchen we want. However, with a little design know-how we can do the best with what we have. By using light, colour and being picky in our choice of furnishing it is perfectly possible to make even a tiny kitchen feel much bigger than it really is.