8 Tips for Making Your Kitchen Feel Bigger

New Spaces Design-Build
December 20, 2021

Few things are more stressful than trying to relax in a room that feels cramped, cluttered and crowded. Cooking in your kitchen shouldn’t feel like a stressful experience. If you have a small kitchen and can’t physically extend its borders, there are still ways to make your kitchen feel bigger within the space you have.

1. Choose Light Colors

a kitchen with white cabinets, a deep sink and a gorgeous window

If you want to make your kitchen look visually larger, opt for the lightest colors for paint, cabinets and countertops. White cabinets will reflect the most light. Choosing light colors doesn’t mean you have to go for an all-white look, however: you can still bring in accent colors for a pop or choose a pastel for a similar effect.

2. Avoid a Strong Contrast

a kitchen with white cabinets and gray countertops, showcasing a serving hatch

Another easy way to make your kitchen feel bigger when choosing a color palette is to avoid strong contrasts. Instead of black countertops and white cabinets, choose light gray countertops and white cabinets. Choosing colors with similar tones will help make your space look larger to the eyes.

3. More Lighting

Dark or inadequate lighting is a surefire way to make any space look smaller than it actually is. Ensure that your kitchen has ample overhead and accent lighting to make it look like a bigger space. This has the added benefit of making it easier to see while cooking.

4. Let the Sunshine In

a kitchen with natural lighting, white cabinets and gray countertops. there's also a backsplash with a distinctive, rustic pattern.

Aim to let in as much natural light as possible. If your kitchen has window(s), remove heavy blinds or curtains in favor of something lighter-colored or easier to pin out of the way. If your kitchen doesn’t have window(s), take a moment to figure out the path natural light takes from your other windows into that space. Remove as many obstacles as you can to help bring light into your kitchen.

5. Incorporate See-Through Elements

a kitchen remodel in eagan, showcasing an island with gray countertops and white cabinets. above hangs two open-sided hexagonal chandeliers.

Another way to increase sight lines is to choose see-through objects. For example, glass pendant lights, backless chairs or glass cabinet doors. These remove visual barriers, which make a space feel larger.

6. Choose Reflective Materials

Another way to make a kitchen feel bigger is to choose reflective materials. A shiny countertop or silver appliances will bounce light around. Select a glossy finish on surfaces instead of a matte look if you want to create reflective areas.

7. Create a Super Pantry

A super pantry is a way of optimizing storage in a smaller area vs creating a larger, walk-in pantry. This includes using lazy susans (rotating trays), cabinet door shelving, adjustable shelves and other ways of getting the most storage out of a smaller area.

8. Knock Down Walls

This is a much more extreme solution to making a kitchen feel bigger, but it’s also by far the most effective. Creating an open floor plan instantly makes a kitchen feel bigger by removing barriers in your sight line and letting in light and airflow from other rooms. This also allows other family members or guests to be outside of the kitchen while still being able to talk to those in the kitchen, which helps it be much less crowded.

A small kitchen is the number-one reason why people consider a kitchen remodel. If you’re looking for ideas on transforming a cramped kitchen, take a look at our kitchen gallery to see how we made smaller kitchens feel larger – even without expanding their space.

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