ProSource | 3/13/2016 | Expert Advice
Regardless of its size, the kitchen still remains the heart of the home. If you’re planning a remodeling project in a kitchen that is square foot challenged, don’t be discouraged. With some tricks from the pros, small kitchens can take advantage of some big design ideas.
1. Get Creative With Storage
Replace standard above-counter cabinets with tall cabinets. You’ll get more storage and the extra height will draw your eye upwards, giving the illusion of space.
Add some bells and whistles to your existing cabinets, such as pullout shelves, rotating inserts and tilt-out bins, to increase accessibility and cabinet storage. If possible, have an electrician add an outlet inside the cabinet so that you can use small appliances right where they’re stored.
Light colored cabinets, open shelves, wire organizers and glass-front doors will help to lighten the space. Consider open display shelves and cabinets, pot racks and magnetic knife or spice holders. These work twice as hard because not only do they do a beautiful job of displaying your kitchen wares, but they double as extra storage space and serve as eclectic artwork!
2. Choose Appliances Wisely
High efficiency appliances allow homeowners with small kitchens to have the same luxuries as those with larger kitchens. Keep your cooktop and oven close together to save valuable counter space. Have your microwave built into the cabinetry to increase counter space. Keep all small appliances stored in an appliance garage or pantry to leave your countertops free for prep work.
You may be able to save a bit of space by using scaled-down appliances, including refrigerator and freezer drawers, pint-sized microwaves and single sinks.3. Lighten Up
Natural light does wonders to open up a space. Consider a skylight, bay or greenhouse window where possible to create a more open feel. Complement natural light with a mix of ambient and task lighting to set the same mood during evening hours. A small kitchen requires a combination of task and ambient lighting.
To counteract the bluish cast of fluorescent light and add a unique design element, install pendant lights in the eating area and incandescent lighting both above and underneath upper cabinets.
4. Stay On Task
A small kitchen can’t be expected to do all the work that large kitchens can, such as serve as a space for homework, mail storage and laundry. So focus on your kitchen’s primary function: meal prep. Be sure you have the appliances and work areas you need. Consider adding a small-scale island or a counter-topped cart that can be rolled into a closet or out of the room when not in use.
5. Glass And Mirrors
One of the easiest ways to visually expand a kitchen is to incorporate glass or mirrors. Try a glass counter or tabletop, tile, door cabinets or kitchen doors that lead to the outside world or to the next room. Mirrors in a backsplash or strategically placed around a room or pass-through windows into the next room also lighten up the look and make a room appear larger.
6. Flooring Matters
Flooring in a small kitchen is important – it’s the first place our eyes go when we walk into a room. And because small kitchens have much less square footage, you’re more likely to be able to afford a higher quality floor, such as a beautiful tumbled marble or an eco-friendly cork.
7. Put Color To Work
The color of walls, appliances, countertops, stools — even the dishtowels — can change the atmosphere of a small kitchen. Pastels or light colors, with good doses of white, reflect light and draw the eye up, making ceilings appear higher.
8. Embrace It
Rather than using tricks to visually enlarge the space, consider embracing your kitchen as-is. Instead of going light or sleek, opt for cozy. Create a nook for sitting with visitors over coffee. Or choose a rich, dark color that sets a sophisticated mood — and use accessories that emphasize that look. Your kitchen might be small, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be inviting.
And remember that less square footage means you’ll spend less on things like a backsplash, countertops and flooring, so you might be able to splurge on higher-end products. Spring for that gorgeous reclaimed hardwood floor or the beautiful granite countertop you’ve had your eye on. With less square footage, you won’t spend as much, but you can still get the kitchen of your dreams!
Review the kitchen inspiration for ideas, and add images you like to your myProSource Project Center.
When you’re ready to begin your kitchen remodeling project, contact your local ProSource Showroom. You can take advantage of their expert kitchen design services to help you create the perfect space, and our dedicated staff will put you in touch with the right trade professional who can help turn your design idea into a reality!
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