4 ways to maximize space in small kitchens

November 6, 2014

Find out how some of these simple design tips can make your small kitchen look and feel much bigger than it is.

4 ways to maximize space in small kitchens

1. Brighten it up

Use light-coloured finishes to invite as much natural light as possible into your kitchen. Select wood finishes such as maple or hickory, and choose paint and tile colours such as cream or white. If you really prefer dark wood finishes for cabinetry, be sure to install plenty of under-cabinet lighting to brighten the space.

Glass and metal surfaces also brighten dark corners by reflecting light. Put glass insets in cabinets or install a metallic back splash in a warm copper, rustic tin or modern brushed steel finish. The lighter look will make the kitchen appear wider.

2. Make the most of your island

Some designers recommend foregoing the island altogether in a tiny kitchen and opting instead for a small kitchen table. Don't give up if you want the extra counter space because there are island solutions that work in small spaces. Choose a square-shaped island to fit better in a tight area or find an island that has slide-out surfaces.

If you're really pressed for space, like in a studio apartment, go with a complete self-contained kitchen in an island. These are manufactured to include everything you need in a kitchen: the cooktop, hood, sink, seating area and storage.

3. Maximize storage space

Cabinetry with efficient storage features can make your space feel much more spacious than it is. Look for features such as spice tray inserts, a knife rack pull down, a plate wall rack and rolling shelves inside the cabinets.

Also, make the most of unused space with hanging storage. Create storage space on the inside of cabinet doors by installing peg boards, hooks or cork boards. You can even hang plastic storage tubs with hooks. Adhere button magnets to plastic storage tubs and hang them on the refrigerator to store small items like spices. Looking to save even more space? Hang a pot rack from the ceiling for storing pots and pans and install open shelving on unused wall space.

A rolling kitchen cart provides extra storage and counter space, and you can conveniently move it around to get it out of the way when working in the kitchen. Not only will you be able to store all your things, but it'll keep clutter out of the way.

4. Pick the right design

Many design styles work well in a small kitchen. Modern decor has sleek lines and cool, neutral colours that invite light in and make a tiny kitchen look bigger. Rustic design features, such as an apron sink or a butcher block countertop, can also make a compact space feel warm and inviting.

No matter how tiny your kitchen or your budget, with a little ingenuity you can find some useful solutions to make the most out of your space.

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