Design a small kitchen with big impact

Small spaces create a design challenge, especially in a room as busy as the kitchen. In most homes, the kitchen is the hub of activity. Meals are prepared, food is stored, and family members buzz in and out all day long. Without the funds to completely remodel, you may think you're stuck in an inefficient kitchen with no room to work. Not true! Use these small kitchen design and decorating ideas to make a big impact on efficiency, functionality, and appearance.

No empty spaces - When you're short on cabinet and wall space, you have to be creative with every empty space. Think of how you can use the inside of cabinet and closet doors to store spices, pot holders, cleaning supplies, paper products, and so on. For example, over the door shoe racks can be used on the back of pantry doors to store many things. Press-on hooks can be used inside cabinet doors to hold hanging items. And door-mounted cabinet accessories can hold foil, parchment paper, and more to free up extra space.

Opt for shelving - When a small kitchen is stacked to the ceiling with heavy cabinetry, it can make it feel closed in and small. Replace small cabinets on one wall with open shelving to give the appearance of a larger space. Your kitchen will feel more spacious, and you'll appreciate having a handy spot for storing plates, cups, canisters, baskets of spice packets, and much more.

Maximize light - Remove window blinds and other window treatments and let in the light. By doing so, your small kitchen will immediately feel more open and inviting. Natural light is especially beneficial as it complements colors, energizes the mind and body, and makes for a more productive household. Use these Affordable Ways to Maximize Natural Light.

Bright up walls - Brighten things up with a new paint color on the walls. Decorate a small kitchen with cool colors, such as a muted yellow, light blue, or sage green, which help give the illusion of a larger space. Accent the room with a white semi-gloss paint on baseboards, door frames, and molding for a fresh new look.

Reflective appliances - Stainless steel appliances are very popular, and with good reason. Not only do they blend with any décor, but they are a great way to incorporate reflective surfaces to a small kitchen design. By reflecting light with these glossy appliances, it opens up a room and makes it feel larger. Don't have the money to buy new appliances? Try covering them with self-sticking stainless steel sheets instead.

New backsplash - Add something special to your small kitchen design with a new backsplash. Consider using mirrored or stainless steel tiles behind the cook top, which will add depth to the room. It will also protect the area from grease and food splatter.

Incorporate space savers - The biggest challenge with a small kitchen is lack of storage. Without adequate storage, we begin to accumulate clutter. And, as we all know, a cluttered room looks messy and small. To combat this dilemma, use Space Saving Cabinet Accessories to maximize space and keep things neat and orderly. From Lazy Susan circular inserts, to built-in spice racks and drawer organizers, there are a fabulous assortment of products that will help improve efficiency in the kitchen. Learn more.

Lighten cabinet finishes - A smart kitchen design will include light colored cabinetry, but if yours doesn't, consider refinishing or repainting. After all, light colors will open up a room and make it appear larger, while dark colors close things in. If repainting isn't an option, consider replacing dark cabinet doors with glass inserts. This will lighten things up in itself.

Refresh dated countertops - If your countertops are dark, dingy, or outdated, they can really bring the entire look of your kitchen down. Replacing them is expensive, but refinishing them yourself is an affordable option. Brighten them up and give them a highly attractive textured finish with Modern Masters Countertop Transformations.

More from Jennifer Wagner:

Unique Ways to Organize the Kitchen

10 Ways to Refresh Your Cabinets

Tips for Cleaning Kitchen Cabinets Inside and Out


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