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Big Renovation Ideas For Your Small Kitchen

by Sonja Albrecht
Repair Home Columnist

Fed up with your elbow-knockingly small kitchen? Before you flatten a wall to solve this classic home repair problem, try these space-creating kitchen renovation ideas. A few minor remodeling projects can give a small kitchen the function and feel of a space twice its size.

The Modest Reality

First, face the reality of your limited square footage. Decorative antiques will not be lining this countertop. The good news is that there are kitchen renovation ideas to make every square inch count:

  • Redesign Small Kitchen Space. Deeper countertops, cabinets that extend to the ceiling, one large sink rather than two small ones... remodel the kitchen with an eye to efficient layout. Retrofit formerly worthless space beneath the sink with shelves, drawers, and hooks.
  • Store Everything in its Place. Logical storage is important; store according to frequency of use, and dedicate drawers to specific items. Take advantage of unused space with corner cabinets, pot racks suspended from the ceiling, and utensil hooks inside cabinet doors. Lazy-Susans and pull-out drawers make the most of hard-to-reach rear storage space.
  • Get Small Appliances. The last thing you want in a small kitchen is clutter. Keep appliances discreet by buying compact models, such as a 24-inch deep refrigerator. Microwaves and other appliances can be hung underneath cabinets, freeing up counter space.

The Grand Illusion

Your small kitchen feels roomy, thanks to its new, efficient layout--now it's time to make the room look big too. These kitchen renovation ideas create the illusion of space.

  • Recessed Lighting. Recessed and under-cabinet lighting make a room appear larger than it is.
  • Color and Pattern. Dark mahogany has no place in your small kitchen; stick with light-colored cabinet models with glass doors and add light flooring to match. Diagonal patterns on the backsplash tiles and on the flooring also create an expansive effect.
  • Open Storage. Cabinets are great storage workhorses, but floor-to-ceiling cabinetry can cause a sense of claustrophobia. To get the same storage without sacrificing an airy look, install open shelving, storage bars, and pot racks--restaurant-style.

Feeling Roomy--and Looking it, Too

Small kitchens may seem to present a real home repair problem--short of knocking down walls, how can you find more space? But space isn't always a matter of square feet. An efficient layout and strategic optical illusions go a long way to making a small space feel big.


About the Author
Sonja Albrecht works as a writer and editor for an online media company. She has also taught college writing and completed a Ph.D. in English.