In real estate, kitchens and bathrooms are one of the biggest deal makers or breakers. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a gorgeous, chef-style kitchen, well…congrats. But those of us living in condos or small bungalows without the ability to expand square footage understand the pains and joys of cooking in a kitchen the size of a shoebox. On the other hand, there is no rule that says a kitchen can’t be functional, adorable and compact, all at the same time. It’s true that in many cases, you can take down walls and create an open-concept space but that is not a cheap affair. Many times there are structural and electrical issues that might make the project quite pricey. So while you’re saving up for a bigger house or a major renovation, how do you make the most out of this claustrophobic, cluttered and tiny space in your home? Here are a few ways to make your small kitchen seem a little bigger and brighter.
Keep it light and bright
Keep your walls and cabinets light and bright by choosing white, cream or soft beige paint colour. Light colours will help the space feel brighter and bigger. If you like a pop of colour in your interior decor, why not paint an accent wall but choose a colour equally light like a blue grey, or pale yellow. This will help the space feel open and airy.
Try open shelving
Having a small kitchen usually means having inadequate cabinet space. Additional shelving is a great solution to clutter and can serve as a decorative way to display kitchenware and cook books. But remember to keep them tidy as messy shelves create visual clutter. Also, try to fill the shelves with light objects like glasses, plates, bowls or small colourful food items for a pop of colour. Reserve the bulky kitchen appliances like mixers and juicers for the cupboard.
Keep only what you need
We tend to think that in order to be a great cook, or have a chef’s kitchen, we need every appliance available. This usually happens when I’m walking through the housewares section of a department store or I’m under a spell of Williams Sonoma. The reality is that we actually only need three pots, four knives and a blender. If you can streamline your kitchen and only keep the essentials, it’ll make it easier to use what you have and you’ll have more storage space to work with.
Add a splash of art
Many hang art in the living room, dining room or bedroom, but leave the kitchen walls empty and uninspired. Adding a splash of art to your kitchen walls is a great way to keep a decorative flow throughout the entire home. Also, if you love to cook, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so why not surround yourself with prints you love or are inspired by. Kitchen art doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive either. It can be anything from prints that depict food to inspirational quotes.
Let the sunshine in
Letting in a lot of natural light is one of the best ways to make a small space feel bigger and more open. If you have kitchen windows, don’t put heavy curtains or blinds over them. Of course, for those of you with knowsy neighbours, keep the curtains or blinds for the evenings, but let that light shine through during the day.
Keep it green
Nothing brightens up a small space like a vase of fresh blooms, so try displaying small potted succulents, bowls of fresh fruit or planted herbs in your kitchen. The best part about showing off your potted herbs is that you can pinch them off and use them to cook. Eliminate the trip to the store for fresh basil!