Big Appetite, Small Space: Remodeling Tips for a Small Kitchen

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The kitchen is inarguably the most important room of your home, and updating the kitchen is one of the most worthwhile renovations you can complete to add more value to your investment. However, if you have a small kitchen already and not much spare space to expand, you might be unsure how to make your remodel count.

Though roomy, open kitchens are the current trend, small kitchens can be just as attractive with the right design and decoration. As long as you have an appetite for challenging renovation, you should end up with a stunning kitchen.

Splurge on Details

In a larger kitchen, details can get lost amidst the palatial room; guests will be awed by more general aspects, like the spaciousness and the layout, instead of the fine aspects, like the countertop color or the cabinet door scrollwork. However, in a small kitchen, every minute detail becomes supremely important, and there is little opportunity to include competing styles or clashing elements. Fortunately, because you have a smaller space to work with, your budget should be able to accommodate luxury details that remodelers with larger kitchens wouldn’t be able to afford.


Noteworthy smaller kitchens should absolutely feature dazzling granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, quality wood cabinets, and other lavish details. Splurging on these design elements will pay off when your guests forget about the size of your kitchen due to its gorgeous personality.

Don’t Waste Vertical Space

You probably already know that a small kitchen creates many challenges, not the least of which is storage. When eager remodelers simply cannot expand outward to add more storage space to their kitchens, the only way to go is up. You can use the vertical space all over your kitchen to make up for its meager storage capacity.

For example, a pot rack is an excellent use of vertical space, but small kitchens usually aren’t broad enough for such a showpiece; instead, wall-mounted pegboard is strong and flexible, so you can hang pots, mugs, utensils, and more. The insides of cabinet doors are also an excellent place to hang items you don’t want on display. Using pegboard or other hooks, you can efficiently squeeze out that last inch or so of space in your cabinets. Finally, amongst postcards, to-do lists, and other scraps of paper stuck to your refrigerator, you can add small baskets that can hold spices, tea, or other small, lightweight kitchen items.



Add Greenery

It may seem counter-intuitive to fill the precious space in your kitchen with a plant, but actually greenery serves many purposes in room design. You can use plants to:

  • Soften harsh architectural elements. Stone and wood can be hard and cold, but you can temper them by a soft plant, like reeds or grass.
  • Fill an empty corner. Kitchens contain many corners that are too deep or too angular to use practically; instead of leaving those corners empty and open, you can add intimacy with a plant.
  • Balance the design. Taking into account the height and density of a certain plant, you can use greenery to add symmetry to the room.
  • Provide fragrance and flavor. Not all plants are just pretty on the eyes; you can select ornamental herbs like oregano and anise for their look and usefulness in culinary pursuits.

Take Advantage of Color and Light

If you’ve ever seen pictures of a celebrity off the red carpet, without makeup and other enhancements, you understand how powerful lighting and color are at making something more attractive. You can trick your guests into seeing a larger and more beautiful kitchen using the same principles.

When it comes to kitchens, natural light is always best. The more windows you can add to your space, the airier it will feel. However, if your kitchen doesn’t use many outside walls, you can still add sunlight though the ceiling. Skylights are impressive, but sun tubes are usually more workable, as they are less invasive than skylights (which require framing) and more energy efficient.

Most designers advocate sticking to a bright monochrome palette for small spaces, as a single hue will blend the room together and make it seem roomier. White is an excellent choice, as it brightens while providing a neutral backdrop that makes accent colors pop.

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