These eight tricks from interior design professionals will have your small kitchen looking large.

By Isadora Baum
August 04, 2020
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Have a small kitchen? Don't sweat it. You can make your kitchen look so much larger with a few simple hacks that require little effort. There's no need to stress about making sure you find a home that has plenty of space, because unless you're a top chef for a living, you really only need a basic amount of room to whip up recipes and stash appliances that you use every day.

If you're in a smaller kitchen, look to these tips to brighten and widen up the space, so you won't feel so cramped when making meals:

Make Pieces Match

Don't bring in a bunch of different patterns and colors, which can make the kitchen look small and cramped. Instead, match everything so it all works well together, says Liz Jenkins, certified professional organizer and owner of A Fresh Space in Nashville, TN. "Use matching or coordinating bins or baskets. This makes a space feel less visually chaotic which translates into feeling larger," she says. "The consistency of materials is critical when creating a space that feels open and tidy," she explains.

Keep Countertops Clean

Keep out the appliances you use regularly but put the others away in shelves or in storage so the counter has a nice amount of open space. "Clear the counters of excess items! We will often install an in drawer knife dock to get the ugly knife block off the counter, corral like items in decorative canisters or bowls, or add additional shelves or wall mounted racks to get items up and stored properly," says Jenkins.

And go through drawers and cabinets, and see what you actually need. "Edit the items in the kitchen to those people actually use or want. Too many times drawers and cabinets get cluttered up with things they don't really need — and when those are full — new items end up on the counters causing the space to feel small and cluttered," she says.

Hang Pots and Pans

"If you were to hang some of your pots and other tableware instead of having them in your cabinets, your kitchen will not only feel bigger, but modern as well," says Keith Melanson, project manager of RenosGroup, a home renovation company. And if you can make your pots and pans match in color, even better, as then it'll look more pieced together and sleek.

Make Cabinets Slimmer

If you're willing to pay for renovation in your kitchen, go with a cabinets upgrade by installing slimmer versions, says Melanson. "These types of cabinets do have reduced depth compared to other standard ones," he explains, which make the space feel bigger. And they'll look pretty to the eye!

Go for Integrated Appliances

An excellent way to make your kitchen feel bigger than it actually is to have integrated appliances. "By doing so, your appliances will be flush against the wall and will save you plenty of space," says Tonya Bruin, CEO of To Do-Done. "Integrated appliances are also very stylish [and] can go with just about any type of design, be it a modern, traditional, or even country style," she says.

Use Lighter Colors

Get rid of blacks and go with nice pastels. "When it comes to colors take advantage of light colors that open up space. This is commonly used throughout the whole house," says Harris. "You can also use contrasting colors to make the kitchen look bigger than it is but you need to use it sparingly, otherwise it can seem cluttered," she says.

Play With Height

Take advantage of height. "Have additional cupboards and shelving put in blank spaces, have a hanging rack for pots and pans. The height of a kitchen is usually forgotten about but it can be extremely advantageous when it comes to keeping organized and making space look bigger," says Harris. Keep things away from the ground and countertops to have more space to move around.

Add in Little Details

Fun details will pop and add personality. "Add touches that personalize the kitchen. Use a mirror or two, which always makes space seem bigger than it is," says Harris. "You might also want to opt for a few little hanging pots of fresh herbs," she adds, which create some greenery and make the space feel more relaxing and restorative, too.

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