Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Visual Tricks for a Too-Small Kitchen

by Melissa Bullard
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

If you're stuck with a kitchen that's half the size of the cooking space that you need, relax. There are a variety of small visual tricks that can help you increase the size of your kitchen. If you've been thinking about refacing your kitchen cabinets, now is the perfect time to incorporate other small visual tricks that help your kitchen seem bigger and enhance its best features.

Visual Tricks to Increase Kitchen Space

  • Get rid of all the clutter you can. The less clutter you have on the countertops, the more spacious they appear. Clear countertops by storing items such as toasters in the cabinets. If you're short on cabinet room, store items you use once a month or less in a nearby closet.
  • Increase the lighting. A brighter kitchen looks larger, and there are simple ways to increase the lighting in your kitchen, including under-cabinet lighting, brighter paint on the walls, or a small row of track lighting to highlight various workstations or decorations.
  • Add a mirror. If you have any blank wall space, consider hanging a mirror on it. A mirror's reflection can make your kitchen appear larger and brighter.
  • Use visually receding colors. Cool-toned colors are visually receding, making spaces seem to expand. If you're wondering what colors to paint your kitchen cabinets or walls, go for cool tones. You can also paint the ceiling a slightly lighter color than the walls, which makes it look higher.
  • Stick with fewer colors. When you have too many colors in a room, it can make the space look crowded and smaller. So use one color or just a couples shades of the same color throughout the kitchen.
  • Change the lines. Lines in a kitchen can change its appearance. If your ceiling is short, find a way to put vertical lines on the walls; this visual trick can increase the height of your kitchen ceiling. If you want to expand the entire kitchen, use tile or a linoleum pattern of 12" or larger squares and lay it in a diagonal pattern across the kitchen floor. This visually stretches both its length and width.
  • Use glass kitchen cabinets. Refacing your kitchen cabinets using glass-paned cabinet doors can make your kitchen seem larger. Glass cabinet doors allow light through them and open up cabinet space, making a kitchen seem roomier.

You don't have to knock down walls or complete a full-scale remodel to add the illusion of roominess to your kitchen. Just incorporate a few visual tricks, and your kitchen could go from too-small to just right.

About the Author
Melissa Bullard earned a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, then a Master's Degree in Spanish Language and Literatures from the University of Nevada, Reno. She has taught writing, literature, and Spanish classes, and is currently working as a fre

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