Your kitchen’s footprint may be small in terms of square footage, but that doesn’t mean it has to look, feel, or function “small.” Instead, your upcoming kitchen remodel should focus on top industry tips that make a small kitchen feel bigger.
7 Things You Can Do To Make a Small Kitchen Feel Big
Here are eight places we start when working with clients to optimize their small kitchen space:
1. Eliminate Anything You Don’t (or Rarely) Use
Purging and decluttering are the first and most essential steps when remodeling a small kitchen. Get rid of any kitchen repeats, non-essentials, or those random serving and dishware items you never (or very rarely) use.
Cabinets and drawers take up significant visual and air space, so the less you have, the larger the kitchen feels. By eliminating items you never or rarely use, you decrease the storage space required to house them.
2. Replace All (Or a Portion of) Upper Cabinets With Open Shelving
Along those same lines, boxy cabinets hog air space. So, we recommend replacing all or a portion of the upper cabinets with open shelving. If you’re having difficulty imagining that, we recommend reading Why I Don’t Regret My Kitchen’s Open Shelving by Caroline Mullen.
Mullen remodeled her small apartment kitchen and swapped upper cabinets with shelving. It was a gamble since she had the same concerns as most homeowners do (not enough storage, bumping into items stored on kitchen shelves, and missing her cabinets.) Instead, she found that the ease of access and wider-open wall spaces was precisely what her small kitchen needed to look bigger – and function better.
Your kitchen designers should work closely with you to ensure you swap out the specific cabinets in the best locations. When the project is complete, you’ll appreciate every change – including the open space and having everything you need at hand (no more wasted time scrounging through cabinets and drawers for what you need). If you have a galley kitchen, you may want uppers on one side and shelves (or nothing) on the other.
3. Ask About Removing the Soffits
Soffits are those box-like things that connect the kitchen ceiling to the upper cabinets. Sometimes, they’re empty boxes; other times, they hide things like ducts, electrical materials, or plumbing. Removing them goes a long way towards making a kitchen feel more spacious. Ask your kitchen remodeler whether removing the soffits is possible and within the budget.
If the answer is yes, eliminating kitchen soffits is almost always a preferred aesthetic. Once they’re gone, you can take existing upper cabinets to the ceiling – elongating the appearance of height. Removing upper cabinets and replacing them with shelving or expanding a window is an automatic space gainer.
4. Enhance Daylighting Wherever Possible
Light and bright is the best motif for a smaller kitchen. Removing upper cabinets around the kitchen window (#2) has the added benefit of allowing more daylight into the kitchen space since sunlight isn’t blocked. If you have a small kitchen window and opt to remove a cabinet or two, you might be able to enlarge the window for more light.
If adding or enlarging widows isn’t possible, but you want to increase daylighting, we recommend installing solar tubes or a skylight, both of which enhance daylighting while simultaneously reducing utility spending during daytime hours.
5. Leverage Cabinet Door & Drawer Organization Options
Cabinets and drawers have come a long way in the past 20 years. We can’t speak enough about the invaluable benefits of personalizing cabinet spaces. Think about how you use your kitchen daily and for special events or family gatherings. What do you use the most or the least? Which cabinets have cavernous unused spaces? And which drawers are an overflowing jumble?
We’ll go through your cabinet design options with you and customize the cabinet spaces so no square inch is wasted. You’ll be amazed at how much we can reduce your need for cabinets and drawers when they’re efficiently designed to match your workflow.
6. Integrate Glass Cabinet Doors
Swapping standard cabinet doors for their glass counterparts is another way to open things up. With this version, you gain the open aesthetic of shelves but with a bit more protection for the cabinets’ contents.
Glass doors are also the way to go in a more open-concept kitchen where a bank of upper cabinets divides a kitchen from the dining or family room space. Replacing those with glass doors on both sides of the cabinet opens up the view between spaces and makes a kitchen feel larger.
7. Stick to a Lighter Color Palette
Consider lightening things up as much as you can. Light objects and paint colors reflect rather than absorb light. If you have dark cabinets, consider a lighter wood finish or paint color this time around. If you’re hooked on darker hues, find ways to balance them with lighter colors (for example, enjoy your dark cabinets but select lighter countertops and walls). Choosing reflective kitchen remodel accents can also help brighten things out.
Details Construction Group Is Ready to Guide Your Small Kitchen Remodel
Are you ready to plan a small kitchen design that blows your kitchen wide open? Schedule a design consultation with Details Construction Group. Our owner-operated design-build firm is committed to delivering superior results, without exception.