They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that’s doubly true if you love to cook. But we can’t all have the kitchen of our dreams. Sometimes we need to get creative and make the most of a small space.
Having a small kitchen might not be ideal, but there’s plenty you can do to transform your compact space into a chef’s dream! With the right cabinetry, appliances, colours and design elements, you can transform a small kitchen into a super-functional workspace.
In this article we’ll explore how to make a small kitchen look bigger, and some of the tricks you can use to get more from your space.
1. Opt for Light Colours
Using light colours is a tried and true way of opening up compact spaces. You don’t need to go for white on every surface, but choosing whites, greys, bright pastels and light natural tones (such as stone benchtops) can make a huge difference to your kitchen.
The easiest place to start is with your cabinets. Kitchen storage is crucial, but cabinets can be visually bulky. You could replace cabinetry entirely, or you could opt for a budget-friendly option, like new cabinet doors, or laying a coat of paint over the existing cabinets.
2. Play with Splashback Tiles
Kitchen splashbacks serve a critical role in protecting your walls from moisture, grease, splatters and other messes. You can’t make do without a splashback, but you can use it as an opportunity to expand your space!
Try opting for something simple and linear, like subway tiles. The straight, elongated lines of rectangular tile formats will stretch out the space, creating the illusion that your kitchen is larger than it really is. And, as above, opt for light colours!
3. Upgrade to Glass Door Cabinets
We mentioned that kitchen cabinets are often the most visually bulky part of a kitchen. One of the ways you can fix that is with glass door cabinets.
Glass cabinet doors have a section of glass (that’s often frosted, fluted or textured in some way) that offers a glimpse of the cabinet’s contents. The glass cutout breaks up the surface and reduces the apparent bulk of each cabinet.
This is a simple swap that’s especially effective on overhead cabinets. Since overhead cabinetry is often in your line of sight, glass door cabinets can dramatically reduce the impact it has on a small space.
4. Compact Appliances
Small kitchens are becoming increasingly common. With our cities growing upwards, apartment living is taking over, and that often comes with a compromise on kitchen space.
One of the most practical solutions for small kitchens is choosing compact appliances. These days it’s possible to find fridges, freezers, dishwashers, microwaves, ovens and all sorts of other appliances in small sizes. Often, compact appliances are designed to fit in a standard cabinet opening, and they can even be built right into your joinery.
Compact appliances reduce visual clutter and serve as a functional way to simplify your kitchen design, which will make the space feel more open.
5. Bask in Natural Light
It’s all about the lighting! Not everyone will have the luxury of bringing natural light into their kitchen, but it’s a fantastic way to enlarge a space. Make the most of nearby windows and doors, or go big and swap your tiles for a window splashback.
6. Borrow Space from the Dining Room
Sometimes visual tricks aren’t enough, and you need to find extra space somewhere else. That additional space often comes from the dining room!
Opening your kitchen onto a dining or living space instantly increases the amount of room you’re working with. Even if you don’t extend the kitchen itself, the connection between rooms will make both spaces feel less enclosed.
You can make the most of this option by installing counter seating at an island. Or, add a return to the end of your benchtop and create a little breakfast spot!
7. Elongate Your Flooring
Kitchen splashbacks aren’t the only place where you can put tiles to good use!
Your kitchen flooring has a big impact on how large the space feels. Opt for tiles, hardwood or laminate flooring with elongated shapes and grains. If you run these types of surfaces along the length of your kitchen, they create an illusion of additional depth and extend the space dramatically.
As with tiles and paint colours, opt for lighter shades, but don’t be afraid to choose a colour that contrasts against your cabinetry and appliances.
8. Under-Cabinet Lighting
It’s no secret that bright spaces feel bigger. In kitchens, there’s plenty of creative ways to bring additional lighting into the space.
Under-cabinet lighting is a stylish and functional solution that can make the space seem larger. These LED light strips are installed beneath your overhead cabinets, and they typically shine down onto your benchtop. This not only brightens the kitchen, it provides a functional worklight without the need to dramatically alter your lighting plan.
9. Hanging Storage
You can’t get away without kitchen cabinets, but the fewer you have, the larger your kitchen will seem. A great way to get around having lots of bulky cabinets is to opt for alternatives like hanging storage.
Hanging up pots, pans, knives and mugs reduces the need for cabinet space, and it can make your kitchen look like it belongs to a real chef!
Getting these things out of the cupboards and onto the walls can make a big difference to how the space feels. Just be mindful that your kitchen doesn’t feel cluttered with too many hanging items – it can be easy to overwhelm a small space.
Turn Your Small Kitchen into a Chef’s Dream with Surfaces from Stone3!
If you love to cook but are working with limited space, there’s no need to compromise on the beauty, style and functionality of your kitchen! With tiles and surfaces in thousands of styles, colourways, finishes and formats, Stone3's tile shop Melbourne and Brisbane can help turn your kitchen into a masterpiece.
Stone3 is a boutique supplier of tiles and surfaces that works with clients across Australia. At our Brisbane and Melbourne showrooms, we showcase our extensive selection of kitchen tiles, splashbacks and flooring, and our team is always happy to lend a hand. Whether you’re working on a new build, renovating an apartment, or looking to fit out a commercial kitchen, our tiling is the perfect base layer for kitchens of every size.
You can browse our range of kitchen tiles or outdoor tiles Brisbane and Melbourne wide online at any time, or contact us for help selecting surfaces for your project!