Use of space in kitchens is a recurring theme in interior design, and in home renovations too. And when you’ve got less of it than perhaps you’d like, what are some of your alternatives besides moving, or a very expensive and intrusive home renovation project for your kitchen?
Many of us have kitchens smaller than we would like them to be, but it’s possible to have tons of storage space without giving up style. Here are some helpful kitchen decorating ideas to maximize the kitchen space that you do have.
Making efficient use of the space can make your kitchen seem much larger than it is.
Finding the right sized kitchen appliances
Smaller and more compact gadgets and appliances are better for smaller kitchens, especially when these gadgets need to stay on top of the counter. Huge appliances can swallow up an entire counter, even when there are only a couple of them. Consider buying a stove with two burners instead of four, and a smaller oven and fridge.
De-clutter and Maximize Storage Space
Any unneeded clutter, whether on the counter or on the floor will definitely make a small kitchen feel cramped. If you get rid of anything that is not essential and put things where they belong when not in use, your kitchen will surely appear larger.
Even after de-cluttering, you will probably need some storage space. Splurging on deeper than normal cabinets or shelving units on top of counters can be great ways to make use of small spaces.
If you’re lucky enough to have very high ceilings, you can hang more overhead cabinets. Hanging a ladder on the wall to reach those high cabinets can be funky and functional. Use any empty wall space for extra cabinets. Glass-fronted cabinets and cabinets and shelves of different sizes can be a great way to use the space and give a great hip look.
Lighting a small kitchen
Lighting under cabinets or under counters can create an illusion of more space, too. Using lights like this as well as mirrors along walls opposite windows can make a small room to look almost enormous. Speaking of windows, the bigger, the better, if you have the choice.
Flooring fit for kitchens
The use of big, glossy kitchen tile can trick the eye, too. The gloss will toss the light around and your vision won’t be broken up by many lines of smaller tiles. In tight spaces, it’s best to use light-colored flooring.
Minimalist kitchen furniture
Smaller, minimalist furniture is best for small kitchens. Use chairs with no arms and place a long table along a wall instead of in the center of the room. If at all possible, use stainless steel, which will cause light to bounce around and make the room feel bigger and look gorgeous.
Using hanging pot racks is a fun way to show off your goods as well as save space. If you’ve got the budget for it, sliding counter tops are terrific space savers. Try utilizing the space over and around your sink for open shelves for fruit bowls and glasses. Don’t be afraid to move furniture and large appliances around to see what works best.
Work with color
The use of contrasting colors such as white walls and dark cabinets can add depth to the room. You could also paint the walls in contrasting colors, for example, by painting a small wall a really bright color while making the rest pale.
A lot of home decorating ideas, especially for smaller spaces, has to do with light and correct utilization of space. Remember that small kitchens don’r always have to be the “everything room” – used for laundry, schoolwork, recipes as well as cooking.
Enjoy your small kitchen in style
In a small kitchen, try to keep everything that doesn’t specifically have to do with cooking out of the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of most homes, so this might make for quite an adventure, but if you utilize as many of these tips as you can, you’ll be enjoying a nice cup of tea with a friend comfortably in no time.
Dorit Levi is an interior decorator and world traveler. She has decorated large and small kitchens in Israel, Brazil, Ireland, the United States and France. She is married with three children and lives in Baltimore.