January 17, 2019

How to Make a Small Kitchen Look and Feel Bigger

It would be great if we all had kitchens the size of Masterchef’s but the reality is that we often have to prepare, cook and eat our food in more cramped quarters.


Don’t worry though, you don’t need a lot of room to cook up a storm; small kitchens can still be big on style and practicality. All you really need is some smart small kitchen ideas to make the most of your space.


Read on for our top tiny kitchen tips to make your small kitchen look and feel bigger.


Which colours make a kitchen look bigger and brighter?


If you want to give the illusion that your kitchen is larger than it truly is, a simple colour scheme will be your friend. Too many clashing colours may make a small space look and feel cluttered, so opt for lighter shades or white tinted paint. This will help reflect the light and open up the room.


If you’re really keen on a splash of colour in your kitchen, try painting an accent wall in a soft pastel shade. Be sure to steer well away from deep colours, which will absorb the light and make the room appear darker and smaller.


Avoid patterned walls and overly busy floors too, as these will only add visual clutter and accentuate how small your kitchen is. Larger floor tiles, on the other hand, will make the room feel more spacious.


Use lighting to make your kitchen appear bigger


Try to let in as much natural light as possible to create a more open space and an airier feel. You’ll also want to stay away from patterned or coloured window blinds that will block out daylight.


When it comes to artificial lights, don’t just rely on one or two overhead lights to do all of the work. Instead, use multiple sources of light across the room, such as wall sconces and floor lamps, to open the whole space up.


Adding spotlights underneath cabinets will also help to avoid taking up too much valuable ceiling space, while helping to illuminate your worktops.


If you lack in square footage yet your kitchen ceiling is reasonably high, long pendant lights will help to make the room seem bigger. This is because a hanging pendant light will draw the eye up and down and distract from how small the kitchen actually is.


In addition, reflecting light helps to trick the eye into thinking there’s more space. This means that reflective or glossy worktop surfaces and cabinets, stainless steel taps and handles and white splashback tiling are all really helpful for creating the illusion of a larger kitchen.


How do you organise a small kitchen?


Effective small kitchen designs require substantial storage, as cluttered worktops can make a space feel even smaller.


Floor to ceiling pantry cabinets will provide you with lots of room for your bowls and plates, while deep drawers are perfect for storing larger pans and items that you wish to clear away from the counter.


Keep anything that you don’t use often on top shelves, such as those special glasses and large serving dishes that only come out when guests are round. Everyday items, however, should be easy to reach and to put away.



Corner cabinet carousels are a dream for tiny kitchens; these inner shelves make the most of space that would otherwise go to waste and are perfect for storing condiments and spices out of the way.


Drawer dividers will help you keep the worktops free of clutter and help you to remember where your various and sundry utensils are kept. Likewise, popping baskets or containers in or on top of your cupboards will make way for equipment you might not use that often.


Work within the confines of your small kitchen layout


Finally, consider what your kitchen’s limitations and possibilities are according to its existing layout.


For instance, small one-wall kitchens are common in open-plan studio apartments; in this type of room, all your countertops and cabinets are in a single row.


Make the most of this sociable open-plan layout by adding a small table that can double as both a dining space and an extra work surface. This will also help provide a distinction between the kitchen and the rest of the living area.


If your one-wall kitchen faces onto a blank wall, however, try installing a folding table. This flexible design allows you to put the table up when you need extra counter space and then down again when you’d prefer maximum floor space.


Another common small kitchen layout is the galley kitchen, which has a hallway-esque layout with two parallel walls.


As galley kitchens have a greater tendency to feel cramped, your priority should be making the space feel as open as possible. A great way to do this is to not have too many tall cabinets and to replace high cabinets with open shelves.


Asymmetric galley kitchens also help prevent the room from feeling like a narrow corridor as it breaks up the continuity of the space. So try having large wall units only along one side of your galley kitchen and open shelves on the other. This will give the eye a bit of variety and make the space feel larger.


If you’re looking for more tips on how to maximise your compact spaces, read our blog post How to Make a Small Room Look Bigger: Nine Tricks That Work.


How much is your home worth?

Let's crunch the numbers