Does your kitchen sometimes feel like it was built for ants. You’re not alone–anyone living in a studio apartment, vintage ranch home, dorm room, cramped urban apartment, or cabin understands the same struggle. The cabinets are packed, the floors are cluttered, and if there’s more than one person in the kitchen, you’re doomed to crash into each other as your struggle to cook.
Luckily, there are some clever tips you can put to use that will make your kitchen feel roomier, more comfortable, and better organized. And not one of them includes a wrecking ball and construction crew! All you need is a bit of ingenuity and the right equipment.
Drop leaf tables
Drop-leaf tables are game-changers for small kitchens. They’re basically two tables in one convenient package. The normally diminutive table can grow to accommodate guests by simply raising the drop leaf. When your guests go home, the drop leaf table shrinks back into a postage-stamp size perfect for small kitchens.
When you have limited floor space, even small pieces of furniture can make the room feel crowded. You can free up space by trading your bookcases for floating shelves. Like the name implies, floating shelves look like they’re hovering off the ground because they’re wall-mounted. And unlike free standing shelving units, you can get creative with floating shelves by spacing them as far apart–or close together–as you want. You can also create cool visual effects by staggering the shelves in a zigzag or diagonal pattern.
Under shelf storage
Do your shelves have tall gaps between them? Then there’s probably room for some clever under-shelf storage solution. Baskets for cooking supplies and hooks for hanging mugs are some of the many ways you can tap into that under-utilized space.
Light color walls
Do you avoid wearing dark colors on sunny days? That’s because dark colors absorb light while light colors reflect it. The same principle is at work when choosing paint colors. Light colored paints like white, beige, and light gray, are much better at reflecting light than darker shades like black, gunmetal gray, and navy blue.
Island with built-in seating
When you’re trying to make a small kitchen work, it helps to think of furniture that serves multiple purposes. An island with built-in seating, for example, doubles as a kitchen table and a food prep surface. Not only is this is a practical use of space, but you can also get away with one large island instead of trying to cram a dining table and a food prep cart into the room.
High-gloss paint on the ceiling
Glossy paints are pros at reflecting light and making a room appear larger than it actually is. So why don’t we see glossy paint everywhere? Mostly because it has its downsides, too. High-gloss paint has a way of making every scratch, bump, and irregularity glaringly obvious. This is especially problematic in older homes with lump, textured walls. That’s why a high-gloss ceiling is a comfy middle ground. Ceilings typically have way less wear-and-tear than walls, so they’re a smoother, more attractive surface for high-gloss paint.
As you can see, making a small kitchen feel bigger doesn’t mean tearing down walls or spearheading a pricey kitchen renovation. There are many ways you can make the space look and feel larger simply by using some clever design tricks.
What are your favorite tricks for making a cozy kitchen feel roomier? Let us know in the comments!