How To Make A Small Kitchen Look Larger

Are you tired of feeling like your kitchen is small, cramped and gloomy? Would you like to make it feel larger and more inviting? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, you’re about to learn 19 tricks and techniques that will help you make even the smallest of kitchens feel more welcoming, inviting ,and larger.

So without any further introduction, let’s take a closer at the most popular and successful methods for making a small kitchen look and feel bigger than it really is!

# 1 – Maximize Lighting

ceiling lightsMaking sure your kitchen receives enough light (both natural and artificial) is critical for making the space feel open, inviting, and larger.

First, try to avoid blocking out too much natural light with a heavy blind or curtain. Instead, choose a lighter, opaque window treatment that still manage to let plenty of sunlight shrine through.

Next, aim to make clever use of artificial lighting to lend additional height to the room. A good way to do this is by pointing the focus of your lighting upwards, and draw focus toward the ceiling. For example, putting lighting above your cabinets can work very well.

# 2 – Reduce The Clutter

cluttered kitchenKeeping the clutter to a minimum is a very important aspect of improving a small kitchen.

Therefore, its a smart move to keep your counter tops and surfaces clear at all times. Additionally, it’s worth investing in some quality storage solutions that’ll help you make sure everything has it’s own storage place.

Good organisation can really help to reduce the amount of surface clutter that may be clogging up your kitchen. Ultimately, clear visual space along your counter tops will create the illusion of additional space.

# 3 – Use Glass Doors

glass cabinet doorsIf you have several cabinets in your kitchen, it’s worth considering the benefits of switching the doors to glass.

Not only will the reflective nature of glass create additional light in your kitchen, but the glass also allows you to see into the cabinet themselves. Doing this will add a sense of depth to the cabinet, rather than blocking off the space entirely.

# 4 – Use a Simple Focal Point

focal pointWhen you have a small kitchen it pays to have a focal point that draws your attention towards a more ‘open’ area of the room.

Perhaps this focal point could be an interesting kitchen appliance, a unique sink, or a visually interesting cooker hood.

Picking a focal point is a great way to liven up a small kitchen and draw the eye towards an open area, and away from any of the more restricted spaces which may exist.

# 5 – Pick a Slender Cooker Hood

cooker hoodMany cooker hoods take up a wide expanse on the wall, which can block off a good deal of space and make the wall look smaller than it really is.

However, it’s quite possible to find sleeker models, which are more advantageous inside a smaller kitchen. Having a narrow vent will make the wall feel larger, and even provide an interesting focal point to the room.

# 6 – Use Small Furniture

small furnitureUsing small furnishings in a small kitchen makes sense for several reasons.

By  opting for clean lines, slender legs, and minimal detail – you’ll free up plenty of visual space and avoid making the room feel small and cluttered.

Small footprint items are ideal to keep things from looking bulky. Lightweight furnishings not only take up less space, but they free up wall and floor space, making the room feel larger.

# 7 – Paint Cabinets and Walls the Same Color

luxury-kitchens-with-white-cabinets-designIf you paint your cabinets and walls the same color you will greatly reduce the amount of visual contrast within the room.

By doing this, you will make the walls seem more ‘open’, less cluttered, and ultimately make the room feel a great deal larger than it really is.

Of course, this is a great technique for any sized kitchen – but it’s especially effective when used in a more compact sized kitchen, where space is more of a premium.

# 8 – Use White Paint

white wallThe color of white will make sure your walls and surfaces reflect the most light- and by reflecting this light, the room will feel more open and less closed off.

It’s always smart to use lighter, pale colors and avoid dark colors whenever possible. The more light you let in, the larger the room can feel.

While it’s possible to use a variety of shades to create some visual interest, white is perhaps the optimal choice if you’re picking a color scheme for a small kitchen.

# 9 – Choose Reflective Surfaces

stainless steelAnother way to increase the light in your kitchen is by choosing surfaces which have light reflecting properties. For example, stainless steel appliances, light reflective counter surfaces, and ceramic tiling all have great potential for reflecting light.

What’s more, you could even use mirrors to add to the illusion of space that reflection creates.

One way of doing this is by using a mirrored surface for your back splash. In fact, this can be very clever and deceptive for giving an illusion of extra space.

# 10 – Use Wall Storage

wall storageMaking good use of wall storage is very useful for small kitchens, especially if you’re lacking in cabinet space.

There’s also plenty of options to choose from. Perhaps a simple wall storage rack can be used to store your pots and pans, or even for a small selection of wine glasses (which an make for an excellent focal point, too).

Remember that your wall space is a valuable asset, and it’s quite possible to use a quality wall-mounted rack to hold a wide variety of items, leaving you with extra room in drawers and cabinets to keep any counter top items safely stored away.

# 11 – Creative Open Shelving

Ycorner shelfou can also use open shelves to give a greater impression of space – and they’re often more inviting than closed cabinets, because of the depth that open shelving lends to a room. For a minimal kitchen, these can provide fantastic detail as well.

See if you can make use of tight spaces within your kitchen, such as the corners of your room. There’s plenty of corner shelving designs to choose from, as well as creative shelves that can be installed on the inside of doors – or even in the gap between your wall and your fridge.

# 12 – Choose Large Geometric Patterns

floor tilesUsing large geometric patterns in your kitchen can make the room feel bigger and more inviting. In particular, certain floor patterns can make a real difference, because they allow the eye to follow the length of the room.

If you were to use small, dense patterns – you’ll end up with a cluttered, enclosed feeling to the room – but large patterns will give a very different feeling.

The key to using large geometric patterns is to pick widening horizontal stripes or large rectangle and diamond shapes. Fortunately, these styles are very popular and easy to find in most home stores (or even online), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that adds a sense of width and space to your kitchen.

# 13 – Choose Small Appliances

small applianceThese days it’s possible to buy smaller versions of most kitchen appliances, and these are the perfect solution for the smaller kitchen.

Not only will these appliances perform just as well as their larger counterparts, but the smaller footprint left by small appliances gives you a real, tangible increase of available space – which also helps to reduce clutter and save counter top space.

# 14 – Create An Open Plan Layout

open planIf you really want to increase the actual size of your kitchen, consider knocking through an adjoining wall and connecting the room to your diner or living room.

While open plan may not be for everyone, there’s no denying that it makes a kitchen feel larger.

Alternatively, you could merge a kitchen into a breakfast room with a half wall.

Update: Bonus Tips

# 15 – Use Recessed Shelving

It’s possible to add a great deal of storage space to a small kitchen by carving out a recess in your kitchen wall, and using this newly created space to install a set of shelves.

This can become a fantastically unique design feature thanks to the visual interest it provides – but more than that – it offers you a highly useful storage space, without taking up any floor space in the room.

# 16 –  Avoid Too Much Contrast

Small kitchens really benefit from low contrast colors. Too much contrast draws the eye and makes the environment feel smaller, often by drawing attention to the cramped corners where the colors meet, and causing a jarring effect that makes the room feel more enclosed.

The wiser alternative is to choose subtle, matching shades that gently segue into each other. If you keep to the main colors within the same color family then you’ll be safe in most cases.

# 17 – Choose Light Color Schemes

Using light and pale colors is a good idea in any kitchen, but even more so within a small one. Light colors tend to be more inviting and open, whereas dark colors can make the room feel more shut off and restrictive.

Choosing light shades will make the room welcoming, inviting, and allow more light into the room.

# 18 – Use Height to Your Advantage

Even the smallest of kitchens can take advantage of their height to give the impression of a larger overall size. Choose vertical patterns, upward facing lights, and other visual features to draw the eye upward whenever you can.

A clever trick is to use lighting above your cabinets which point towards the ceiling – this gives a nice illusion of increased height.

# 19 – Keep Things Simple

When you want to increase the sense of space in a small kitchen, it’s important to keep things as simple as possible. Having too much clutter will really make a tiny kitchen feel even smaller, so aim to keep things clean and clear at all times.

Try to reduce the quantity of unnecessary appliances left on your counter tops, and remember to put away everything after you’re done using it. When everything has it’s own space, a room will feel more inviting, regardless of its true, objective size. This is where creative storage solutions become highly advantageous, too.


As you can see, there’s many tricks and techniques you can use to lend a sense of increased size to a small kitchen. Even if you’re short on space, you can certainly make the room feel bright, open, and inviting to use.

Pick a few of the suggestions on this list, incorporate them gradually over time, and you’ll be shocked and delighted to discover how much you can improve even the tiniest of kitchens.

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