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  • Writer's pictureBob Slater

7 Ways to Optimize a Small Kitchen

We’re all spending more time in our kitchens now, thanks to life in lockdown. And if you have a small kitchen, you may be wishing you had more room. Even if you can’t blow out the walls, there are some easy ways to make your kitchen appear bigger than it is.

Stick With Neutrals

The right paint color can make any small kitchen feel bigger. And paint is one of the cheapest, fastest makeovers you can do. So, choose your small kitchen paint color wisely and you’ll be getting a high impact look for a budget price.

If you’ve got a small kitchen, your best bet is a neutral paint color. White paint is your best friend, for walls, trim and even cabinets. To keep it from feeling stark and cold, layer in several layers of white on the walls, fabrics and accessories.

White isn’t the only neutral, though. Gray, greige or creamy tan create a fresh, on-trend look that won’t overpower the small square footage.

Use a Pinch of Color

Just because you’re going neutral doesn’t mean you’re going colorless. Bring in a pinch of color here, a dash of color there, to make a space that’s pleasing to the eye. One easy way to do this is to pick a color you love from your rug, curtains or even your stand mixer, and pull that color throughout the room. It makes the space look unified, which in turn makes it feel bigger.

Paint Your Cabinets

If your kitchen has dark cabinets, and you want to make the room feel larger, paint the cabinets a lighter color. This is a bigger project than painting the walls, because it involves taking off the doors, sanding, and cleaning the cabinets before you paint. But, the outcome is worth it when you see how your small kitchen seems to double in size.

Use the Same Color for Walls and Trim

Going monochromatic on walls and trim means there’s no visual gap between the trim and the wall. This will make the ceiling feel higher, giving the room a spacious feel.

Match Your Backsplash and Countertops

For a cohesive look, match the materials or colors of your countertop and backsplash. Extending the countertop up the wall visually draws the eye upward, making the room feel more expansive. Even if you can’t duplicate the countertop material, you can get a similar look with tiles or paint in the same color, like the kitchen shown here.

Go Up With Storage

Speaking of drawing the eye up, think vertical when creating storage. Going up the wall with shelves, and using the ceiling space to hang pots and pans, makes the entire space feel taller. This is a tiny kitchen, but thanks in part to the open, vertical storage, it still feels lovely and spacious.

Avoid Flat Paints

There are two reasons for choosing eggshell and satin paints over flat. The first is that their slightly reflective surfaces bounce light, making the room seem lighter and brighter — and light is your best friend in a small room. They’re also easier to clean, which is a necessity in a room where spaghetti sauce is sure to spatter.

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