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Big Design Ideas for a Small Kitchen

by Clare Kaufman

Repair-Home Columnist

Your small kitchen might look like a cramped space, but it also represents a valuable opportunity to simplify your life. With a little kitchen remodeling and some clever design ideas, you can bring efficiency and elegance to your space-challenged kitchen.

Design Ideas for Efficiency

These kitchen remodeling and design ideas can make your small kitchen feel big.

  • Focus. Kitchens are the heart of most homes, and as such can serve double duty as the homework or bill-paying station, the telephone center, and/or the junk collection zone. The stove, sink, refrigerator, and counter space are essential. Anything unrelated to cooking may be better off in another room.
  • Open. A little home remodeling can go a long way. Remove those clunky kitchen cabinets and replace them with open shelving. Many small kitchen design consultants recommend keeping closed cabinets underneath counters, and replacing only the claustrophobia-inducing overhead cabinets. Then go restaurant style with open shelves, storage bars, hooks, and pot racks.
  • Declutter. Clutter and appliances have the power to cramp any kitchen's style, big or small. Clear the countertop by finding alternate places for items you use, and getting rid of the rest. Some cooks store appliances on moveable carts, or in the pantry.
  • Reconfigure. Some kitchens suffer from an inefficient layout, which contributes to the sense of cramped space. If your home remodeling budget permits, consider rearranging major appliances, extending countertops, or adding (or removing) a center island.

Design Ideas for Illusion

Kitchen remodeling can not only make your kitchen work well, but also give it the illusion of size. Try these small kitchen design ideas to make the space look big.

  • Lighten up. Light can make a small space appear bigger. Designers recommend installing incandescent lighting underneath upper cabinets and adding ceiling spot lighting. Floor lighting has also emerged as a trend in small kitchen design.
  • Big color. Pastels and whites reflect light, and can make a room feel taller. But a bold wall color can also make a small kitchen seem spacious by accentuating the perimeter of the room.

Try these design and remodeling ideas and you'll find that even the smallest kitchen has big potential.


Kitchen Countertops.

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About the Author

Clare Kaufman works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has completed a graduate degree in English.