The kitchen is the hub of any home. Everyone ends up in the room with the food eventually, and you can spend a lot of time here preparing and enjoying meals. So if you have a small kitchen, you could spend that time feeling cramped and trapped.
Remodel using creative DIY ideas to get the most out of your space, and make it even more stylish and comfortable than it already is.
Remodel Your Kitchen in White
It's an old design trick, but it's old because it works. When you want to make any small space feel bigger, grab a bucket and a brush. A coat of light colored or white paint will give your cabinets a fresh look, and make the whole room feel brighter and more expansive.
If you're not a fan of white cabinets, consider installing white countertops instead. This creates a smashing contrast against dark cabinetry, allowing you to keep those heavier colored spots without making your small kitchen feel too cramped. If you use dark cabinets and dark counters, at least opt for cabinet pulls in bright or white finishes to add a little pop of light.
Take Out a Wall
If your kitchen still feels way too small, think about deleting a wall or a portion of a wall. Open floor plans are popular in postmodern design, because they allow free motion and increase the sense of space. If the wall is load-bearing, you can always install a beam that will become an architectural feature.
If wall demolition is out of the question, think about knocking out just a piece to make a cut-out. Opening up any part of a kitchen wall will immediately make the room feel larger and more comfortable.
Take the Doors Off
There are no rules that say your kitchen cabinets have to have doors. Removing cabinet doors or replacing cabinets with shelves will make the room feel much bigger. You can always keep the doors on your lower cabinets and remove the doors only from the cabinets above, in order to keep some sensitive items protected from pets and children. Alternately, you can replace any or all cabinet faces with windowed doors to create a roomier feel.
Make your kitchen feel airy and large with pastel paint. Strip away wainscoting and tiles—these elements can make your space feel smaller—and stick to soft colored paints. A gentle pastel keeps the room bright and creates the wide-open feel you want. If having only paint on your kitchen walls feels a little too plain, add a backsplash in bright, white tile to give the space a finished look.
Replace Pendant Lights
Chandeliers and hanging lights are all very nice, but only when you have a space suited to this sort of design. In a small space, hanging lights are only going to take up extra room and make you feel hemmed in. Make the most out of your vertical space by using recessed lighting. These lights are designed to fit up into the ceiling, so they take no space from your kitchen. If recessed lighting is too big of a project to take on, look for lighting fixtures that sit flush against the ceiling, or stick to sconces that can sit against the walls.
Stainless steel appliances have the high-end look everyone wants, but that's not the only reason you want them in your small kitchen. Stainless steel is reflective, and it's a well-known design trick that reflections can make rooms look bigger. Black appliances, by contrast, tend to soak up more light than they reflect. Black will make your space feel closed in and small, while stainless steel creates a more open feeling.
If you can't afford stainless steel appliances, you can always fake it with stainless steel paint. Apply the paint evenly, and it will be very difficult to tell the difference between this and genuine stainless steel.
Get Really Creative
There are tons of ways to maximize small spaces and make more out of what you have. If you're up for a challenge, you can get super creative with your small kitchen by adding features like recessed shelves, pocket doors, and lazy Susans. Hidden storage areas like this allow you to prevent clutter on the counters and in kitchen cabinets, which will make the room feel more spacious.
Even a small kitchen can feel big and airy with the right design and a few inexpensive remodel ideas. Let us know if you create something exciting by sharing your work in our Project section—your cool design might inspire others, or even start a trend!