Kitchens tend to get a lot of action. In fact, even the smallest kitchens play an oversized role in each of our homes. But for those who live in small apartments, usually with one-wall kitchenettes and narrow galley-style kitchens, whipping up a dish can certainly be a challenge.
But don’t worry! With a few space-saving tips, even the most slender of galley kitchens or studio apartment kitchenettes can be efficient, well-designed spaces you’ll love cooking in. Here are a few expert tips on how to style small kitchens and make them look more spacious.
1. Stick With White and Off-White Tones
To make small kitchens look larger, consider adding as many white and off-white elements as possible, as these tones tend to add more visual space to any room. White and off-white tones don’t just provide a sense of balance, calm, and light. They also add to the room’s negative space, especially when contrasted with heavier elements such as cabinets, appliances, cupboards, and shelving.
To add more white tones to your kitchen, try painting your kitchen walls white, and complement it with white or cream rugs, cabinet doors, tiles, and light-colored stone countertops.
2. Use Rugs to Add Depth and Dimension
Kitchen rugs are another fabulous and easy way to instantly add depth in your kitchen. If you have a narrow kitchen, consider using a runner rug. This will help provide dimension and elongate your space. If your kitchen has more space, a 3’x5’ rug might work better.
Kitchens have a lot going on. Find a rug that complements your kitchen decor but doesn’t feature overwhelming patterns that could clutter your space. For marble kitchen counters, consider the Marble Golden Ivory Rug, which incorporates simple touches of cream and gold swirls in its design. For a more neutral option, try the Maral Heriz Creme Rug, or add a striped rug like the Hudson Stripe Black Rug to make your space look wider.
3. Use Unique Overhead Lighting
Sconces and traditional lighting are definitely great for older houses with larger kitchens. But many newer kitchens, especially those in smaller, urban homes, need lighting that plays up an airy, open, and unfussy vibe.
To achieve this, Meggan Fadden Wynja, Interior Designer & Co-Founder of Color Cord Company, suggests using unique overhead plug-in light fixtures. “These are versatile, easily-customizable designs that lend themselves to any space,” she says. “If you’re a renter moving from home to home every few years, go for plug-in lights that can be packed up and ready to install in a new kitchen.”
4. Get Creative With Storage
Traditional cabinets, unfortunately, are bulky and waste a lot of space. Jenna Shaffer, Senior Marketing Communications Associate for Sugatsune America, recommends upgrading your standard storage setup with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.
“Using space-saving lateral opening hardware and foldable table brackets can enhance your working area when needed,” she says. “The use of cabinet pulls or touch latches can also create a minimal backdrop that won’t look cluttered if your home needs to be an efficient, multifunctional space.”
“The functions of your cabinetry may seem limited at first, but there’s actually quite a bit that can be done,” adds Henry Hernandez, Marketing Director of Builders Surplus Kitchen & Bath Cabinets. “Be on the lookout for drawer dividers, roll-out trays, and lazy susans to cut down on the number of external storage pieces in your small kitchen.”
5. Consider Modular Furniture
This tip tends to get overlooked, but if you’re dealing with a particularly small kitchen without a lot of counter space, consider getting a rolling or modular island. Not only will this give you more storage space, but you can also roll it to the side or coordinate it any way you like to maximize space.
Feeling inspired? Whether you’re working with a small, apartment-size kitchen or just trying to economize storage and counter space, these tips can help make the most out of your kitchen space.