The Tiny house Blog

How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Updated on:
May 18, 2024
How to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger

Image Source: Canva

You've got a small kitchen and you're looking for ways to make it feel larger. Have you considered how light, color, and clutter can affect your perception of space? How about clever storage solutions, like open shelving, or creating depth with mirrored backsplashes?

There's a multitude of strategies you can employ to visually expand your kitchen's dimensions. It's not just about the size of your kitchen, it's about how you use it. Intrigued? Let's explore this further.

Maximize Natural Light

To maximize natural light in your small kitchen, consider using light-colored curtains and placing mirrors strategically to reflect sunlight. Light curtains aren't just about aesthetics; they let the sun's rays pour in, making the kitchen brighter and seemingly larger. Make sure you hang them high to give the illusion of height.

But what if your kitchen doesn't have large windows? Don't worry. That's where mirrors come in. When placed correctly, they bounce light around, illuminating even the darkest corners. Try hanging a mirror opposite a window or even consider using mirrored backsplashes. They'll not just brighten up the space but also add a unique touch to the decor.

Furthermore, keep window areas clear. Don't block the light with large appliances or tall pieces of furniture. Allow the sun to freely stream in without any hindrance.

Use Lighter Colors

Switching to lighter colors can dramatically open up your small kitchen, making it appear larger and more spacious. Dark colors tend to absorb light, making a room look smaller, while lighter hues reflect light, creating a sense of openness.

You should consider repainting your cabinets, walls, and even your ceiling with light shades. These don't have to be stark white, but could be soft creams, pastels, or cool blues. You'll be surprised at the difference it can make.

Flooring also plays a crucial role. Opt for light-colored tiles or wood. If replacing flooring isn't an option, consider using a light-colored rug to break up the darkness.

Lastly, some small appliances and kitchen accessories come in lighter colors. By replacing dark-colored items with lighter ones, you'll further enhance the spacious feeling.

Install Mirrored Backsplashes

Adding mirrored backsplashes can dramatically enhance the sense of space in your small kitchen. They reflect light, visually doubling your kitchen's size. Instantly, your kitchen will feel larger and brighter.

Begin by selecting the right mirror. You might opt for a simple, clean design or a more complex pattern. Either way, it should complement your kitchen's overall style. Measure your wall area and get your mirror cut to fit. It's crucial to work with precision here - an ill-fitting mirror won't give the desired effect.

Installation is your next step. You'll need a strong adhesive, always following manufacturer's instructions. Ensure the wall is clean and dry before applying the mirror. For best results, hire a professional - they'll ensure a secure fit and flawless finish.

Maintenance is straightforward. Regular cleaning with a soft cloth and glass cleaner will keep your backsplash gleaming, maximising its light-reflecting properties.

Opt for Open Shelving

Consider open shelving as a game-changer for your small kitchen, as it creates an illusion of more space by eliminating bulky cabinets. It's a simple but effective way to give your kitchen a fresh, airy feel. Without cabinet doors, your kitchen instantly becomes more accessible and functional.

Open shelves also allow you to display your dishes and kitchenware, turning them into charming decor pieces. They can add a touch of personality to your kitchen without consuming extra space. You can arrange items on the shelves in a way that's visually pleasing yet practical.

When choosing shelves, opt for ones that are proportional to your kitchen's size. Don't go for excessively large or deep shelves as they may overwhelm the space. Similarly, the color of your shelves should complement the overall color scheme of your kitchen. This helps maintain a harmonious, cohesive look.

Image Source: Canva

Declutter Your Countertops

To make your kitchen appear larger, it's essential to declutter your countertops, keeping them as clear as possible. It's easy to let various items accumulate on your countertops, but each item can make the kitchen feel smaller. So, start by removing everything from your countertops. You'll instantly notice the space feels more open and bigger.

Next, critically examine the items you've removed. Only put back what you regularly use. Store less frequently used items in cabinets or drawers. If you don't have enough storage, consider getting rid of items you rarely use. Remember, every item on your countertop takes up valuable space.

Adopt a minimalist approach to your kitchen decor. Small appliances, utensils, and decorations can quickly overwhelm your space. Choose just a few items to display. This not only maximizes your counter space but also gives your kitchen a clean, streamlined look.

Try Vertical Storage Solutions

Expanding your storage upwards can significantly enhance the spaciousness of your small kitchen. Don't underestimate the power of vertical space; it's a hidden treasure you've got, and you should use it.

You can start by installing open shelves or hanging racks on your walls. They're not only practical, but they also add a decorative touch to your kitchen. You can display your beautiful dishes, cookbooks, or even your spice collection. That way, you're freeing up your limited counter space and making your kitchen look bigger and more organized.

Another great vertical storage solution is to use magnetic strips for your knives or spice jars. It's a smart, safe, and space-saving strategy that also keeps your tools within reach for your cooking tasks.

Don't forget the space above your fridge or cabinets. It's an excellent place for storing items you don't regularly use, like your baking trays or large pots. Invest in stylish baskets or crates to keep these items neatly tucked away, and your kitchen will instantly feel more spacious.

Use Multifunctional Furniture

Switching your attention from vertical storage, you'll find that incorporating multifunctional furniture into your kitchen can also maximize your space. Multifunctional furniture is designed to serve more than one purpose, making it perfect for small kitchens. For instance, consider an island that doubles as a dining table or a kitchen cart that gives you extra prep space, storage, and can be moved around as needed.

Choosing furniture pieces that have storage options is another smart move. A bench with hidden storage under the seat, for example, can hold your pots and pans or your table linens. Likewise, stools that slide under a counter or table keep walkways clear when not in use.

When shopping for multifunctional furniture, it's essential to keep your kitchen's dimensions in mind. Make sure you're choosing items that fit your space and don't overcrowd it. And remember, quality matters. It's better to invest in a few well-made, durable pieces that will withstand daily use and last for years.

Play With Scale and Proportion

Understanding the concept of scale and proportion can significantly change how spacious your kitchen appears. It's not just about selecting small or big furniture, but rather harmonizing the sizes of all elements. The goal is to create balance, without overcrowding your space.

First, consider your kitchen's layout. If it's square, larger items can center the room, while smaller ones can fill the corners. In a long kitchen, use elongated furniture to emphasize the room's length.

Next, focus on your fixtures and appliances. If you've a small kitchen, don't overpower it with a massive fridge or stove. Instead, opt for slimline models that offer the same functionality but take up less space.

Lastly, think about your countertop appliances. You may love your large mixer or espresso machine, but do they need to be on display all the time? Storing these items when they're not in use can instantly make your kitchen feel larger.

Playing with scale and proportion is like a visual trick. It doesn't physically increase your kitchen's size, but it can make it feel more spacious and comfortable. With careful planning and thoughtful design, you can make your small kitchen look and feel bigger.

Invest in Transparent Furnishings

Consider incorporating transparent furnishings into your kitchen design to create an illusion of more space. You might think it's a small detail, but it's a clever trick that can make a huge difference. Transparent chairs, tables, or storage units don't block views, allowing your eyes to roam freely around the room. This gives the impression of a more open, airy space.

Glass or acrylic furniture is an excellent choice. They're sleek, modern, and blend seamlessly with any decor style. A transparent dining table, for example, won't dominate the room. It'll provide the function you need without the visual bulk. The same goes for clear bar stools or chairs. They're there when you need them, but they don't clutter up the space.

Remember, every detail counts when trying to make a small kitchen appear larger. So, don't overlook the potential of transparent furnishings. They're not only stylish but also space-enhancing. But keep balance in mind. Too much transparency may lead to a lack of coziness. Mix transparent items with solid pieces to maintain a warm, inviting atmosphere.

Making your small kitchen look bigger isn't as challenging as you might think, and transparent furnishings are a great place to start.

Choose Slimline Appliances

Often, opting for slimline appliances can significantly help in making your small kitchen seem more spacious. These appliances are designed with a smaller width, reducing their footprint in your kitchen. They're a great solution when you're struggling for space but still need all the functionality of a full-sized appliance.

Start by assessing your current appliances. Are they bulky and taking up too much space? If they are, it's time to consider replacing them. Dishwashers, refrigerators, ovens, and even microwaves come in slimline versions. They're as effective as their larger counterparts, without the bulk.

When purchasing these slimline appliances, keep an eye on their specs. Ensure they fit the available space in your kitchen. It's also crucial to consider their capacity. Make sure they can accommodate your needs. For instance, if you frequently host dinners, a slimline dishwasher with a large capacity would be ideal.


In conclusion, you can easily transform your small kitchen into a seemingly larger space. Let in more natural light, use lighter colors, and install mirrored backsplashes. Opt for open shelving, declutter your countertops, and invest in multifunctional and transparent furniture. Choose slimline appliances to save space.

With these practical tips, you're on your way to creating a kitchen that's not only bigger in appearance but also more efficient and inviting.

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