We can all wistfully dream while looking at high end designer kitchens, with their large open plan spaces and built in banquet seating for 12. The reality is that many of us don’t have the space or budget for an enormous kitchen. And while homeowners across the country have resorted to extensions to get that dream kitchen, the truth is, there are plenty of ways to maximise the kitchen you already have.

Kitchen in black and white

With clever storage and tricks of the trade, your small kitchen may actually end up your dream kitchen after all. Here are just a few ways to maximise the space you’ve got and create a kitchen that appears bigger than it actually

smart kitchen storage

There’s little doubt that the kitchen is one place that seems to breed clutter. With clever storage solutions like a revolving corner unit, you can go ahead and keep your sandwich maker without it taking up precious room on the counter top.


Consider using the vertical space as well. Shelving creates an open and airy look and takes advantage of wall space where you can’t fit an upper cabinet. You do need to keep these tidy and clean (ie. no boxes of the kid’s cereals on display here) but they are great for your simple everyday dishes or glasses that you use often or pretty kitchen pieces that add a touch of personality to a space.

glass front kitchen cupboards

If you are afraid of the dust that can gather on open shelves, consider glass front cabinets. They have a similar effect to open shelves in that they allow the eye to continue through to the wall (making a kitchen appear larger) but will require the same tenacity in keeping them looking clean and tidy.

hanging storage in the kitchen

You may also want to think about utilising the space under your cupboards or along the backsplash for some hanging storage. Small baskets or utensils on S hooks will add to a personality-filled space without adding to the visual clutter of a crowded worktop.

White kitchen with black accents

The colour you choose can also lend itself to creating a larger-look kitchen. White and pale colours recede to our eyes and visually expand a space, so consider using a lighter colour scheme in your kitchen. White kitchens are very popular now but pale wood finishes, light grey and pastels also work nicely to create interest and warmth while creating a feeling of openness. Also consider glossy tiles which will bounce any existing light around a space.


You may also want to pare back extraneous details to keep things simple. Consider cupboard doors that simply push open and give a quietly Scandinavian approach to simplicity. Again, this plays off the idea of visually quieting a space, making it appear calm and organised.

white tiles to ceiling

To really take advantage of a higher ceiling in a bijou space, consider tiling all the way to the ceiling. Your eyes will naturally be drawn up, maximising the height and creating a visually bigger area.

light filled kitchen

Ensure there is plenty of light. A bright space always looks larger than a space that is dark, and when working in a kitchen, it’s important to be able to see what you are doing – especially when handling sharp knives and hot appliances! Consider both overhead ambient lighting as well as some task lighting by way of under cupboard and cooker hood lights. Resist the urge to hang any kind of heavy drapery on your windows, which will not only block precious sunlight light but will also absorb kitchen smells.

small breakfast bar

And finally, opening up any walls that surround your small kitchen will go a long way towards creating a larger look. This keeps the kitchen area separate but allows any light from the surrounding areas to come through, giving an impression of more space. If you can create a small breakfast bar at the same time, be sure to use stools that neatly tuck underneath to maximise floor space.

So those are just a few things to consider if you want to really maximise the space in a small kitchen and create what appears to be a larger room. Do you have a small kitchen? If so, what tricks have you employed to make it look bigger?


Image sources: H2 Design and Build / The Hunted Interior / Bliss At Home / H2 Design and Build / Apartment Therapy / Beatriz Da Costa for House Beautiful / Stylizimo / Christopher Sturman for Elle / Swoon Worthy / Jean-Marc Palisse for Cote Maison



By Kimberly Duran on 08.02.16

Guest Contributor

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