26 March 2021

How to make a small kitchen look bigger

By Brooke Crisp Manager
painter in kitchen
Quick and easy home renovation tips

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. For some, it’s no longer just where we cook and eat, it’s also a temporary office – thanks to 12 months of homeworking in the pandemic. For those of us with smaller kitchens, this can be a real challenge. Luckily, you don’t have to invest in an expensive home renovation to make your space feel bigger. There are lots of quick and simple tricks to help you make the most of a small kitchen. Here, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite handy (and cheap) renovation tips.

Be clever with colour

Updating your colour scheme is one of the easiest ways to open up a small kitchen. Clean neutral colours, such as white and white tints, help reflect light – giving the impression of more space and banishing any dingy corners. If you can keep cabinets and furniture a similar colour to your walls, that helps too, as it removes any barriers to the eye.

There are plenty of light colour options to choose from – whites, creams, pale greens, blues and yellows are all on-trend right now – with splashes of colour from greenery or fresh flowers adding the perfect finishing touch.

Cut out the clutter

It’s all too easy for clutter to gather in the kitchen – whether it’s cookware on surfaces, to personal items like collectibles or photos on the fridge. But too much can make a restricted space feel overcrowded. Bring some space and order to your kitchen by clearing countertops, cabinets and windowsills, and finding homes for everyday items behind cupboard doors or in quick-access storage, for example magnetic strips for your cutlery. Not only will this make your kitchen feel larger, it will help it feel calmer too.

Open up your storage

This goes hand-in-hand with sorting out your clutter. Storage such as open shelves or replacing solid cupboard doors with glass, can immediately make your kitchen feel roomier. This is because it tricks the eye into looking to the back of the shelf or cupboard – making the walls feel like they’re further away. It’s a simple trick but a clever one, and it’s even more effective when you arrange your stored items by colour or size.

Let the light in

Filling your kitchen with natural light will make it feel airy and generous, especially when combined with shiny surfaces, like tiles or marble countertops, which reflect the light back around the room. So, to help your kitchen feel bigger, make sure you free any window space from heavy curtains or light-blocking blinds. If you don’t want the neighbours peering inside, you could choose opaque blinds that still let in the sun.

If you have a little budget to spare, improving your electric lighting will go a long way towards making your kitchen feel more open, with warm ambient lighting and see-through light fixtures brightening up the room. Decorative lighting can perk up a space, while undercabinet lights not only brighten your countertops, but come in handy when prepping and cooking too.

Line it all up

If you want to make the most of a small kitchen, optical illusions are your friend. Using striped patterns in your tiles or flooring can trick the mind into thinking a space looks bigger. If you want to widen your kitchen, go for horizontal stripes in your tiles, flooring or even wallpaper pattern. In light colours, this can really expand a room.

In the same way, if you have a narrow galley kitchen, you can run floorboards, tiles or striped lino along the length of your kitchen to make it feel longer. Putting down a striped rug or runner will give the same effect.

Look to the ceiling

A high ceiling is a great gift if you want to create a feeling of space. Adding decorative touches up high is a surprisingly effective way of expanding a small kitchen – guiding the eye up to the top of a room and adding style without taking up floor space. Framed prints, decorative tiles, pot plants or even mirrors can all help draw your gaze upwards and increase the feeling of space, especially when you choose decoration that co-ordinates with your colour scheme.

Bright blue kitchen

Share your kitchen ideas

So, do any of these ideas get you thinking? We’d love to know. If you’re inspired by our kitchen renovation tips, send us your before and after shots and we’ll share them on our Instagram account. Don’t forget to tell us your handle, so we can tag you!