Wanting to create more space in your simple kitchen to give it a bigger feel? these simple kitchen ideas will help. If you are renovating your small “can’t-swing- a-cat-in-it” kitchen and are not able to add or move walls, you need to take some design advice that will help you in establishing a bolder and more impactful look. Most of all, though, a look that looks big.
They are fairly simple tips and nothing too drastic on your purse strings.
I recall when my husband and I first moved in together he took one look at the kitchen which to me looked like a shoe box and regaled – “Perfect. Only one cook and bottle washer in this kitchen at one time and clearly it is not going to be me!”
That is so not the case today and we are constantly reminded that no matter what the size or shape of the home, the kitchen is still one of the most important rooms in the house. In my dealings with small space design, the kitchen is the focal point of a home! And will be for a long time to come.
Within all these tips, I am starting with a clean palate and suggesting that you focus on using lighter colours. Before you do anything then, select a group of complimentary hues that are, what I refer to, as MILD. Neutral is too bland for me. Mild allows you to feel the space and be happy in it. This does not mean you can’t have a bright red fridge or yellow bar stools, it means that the feel of the surround is calm and peaceful. A mild colour palette will open up the space and visually add dimension and light.
I recently was involved in a pink-hued kitchen. Wow – it turned out to be fabulous! Who would have thought about doing this a few years ago?
Designer Tip No. 1
Space and light and order.
Trash and rehash to make the most of your natural light. Yup folks, spend the money and get rid of any dinginess in any cabinetry, countertops or floors. Kitchens cannot be dingy; they must be clean and orderly.
I am assuming here that you have some natural light in your kitchen coming from a window. This is a huge plus and must be honoured with pride of place and treated as a focal point. The colour of the cabinets should be, as I say, mild and this will allow reflection to take place from the natural light.
The latest fad is to go for grey-whites or green-whites. A hint of colour to a white foundation will add a touch of warmth and prevent the dreaded stark feeling of a space. We may differ here, but stark is not in my vocabulary when you are designing an interior. Stark is for hospitals and morgues.
Add a touch of texture here with similar hued tiles, or plank-flooring and a graphic printed fabric on the window or as in this instance a fabulous splashback to adds a sense of prismatic colour.
Designer Tip No. 2
Streamline the look by integrating appliances and using similar materials.
Face the fact that you cannot have that country kitchen that you have always yearned for. But you can achieve, within a very small space on open and clean feel by utilising the same materials throughout. A small-scale kitchen needs to be as streamlined as possible to open the area and allow you to have as much counter space to work on. Think about tucking the microwave and coffee machine into a cupboard and hide the fridge behind a cleverly designed wall panel. Ask yourself where you will put any other gadgets out of the way, but mostly ask yourself do you actually use all your gadgets and hand-me-down pots and pans? Will you one day have only the top of the range stuff and not a medley of bric-a-brac?
By using the same material, i.e. in this instance wood/white cabinetry and countertops you will immediately achieve a feeling of symmetry and one theme throughout. You can always choose a different colour for the base cabinets and the top ones – just remember to work within the same palette of colours.
Designer Tip No. 3
Upper cabinets can be upped and away sometimes.
If you have smart cabinets below that are able to efficiently tuck away your kitchen necessities, then ask yourself if it is really necessary to have upper cabinets that in many instances are design obstructions rather than efficient storage.
I am totally in favour of hanging artwork in a kitchen. But you do sacrifice that upper cabinet. You weigh it up. I think that open shelves give a much lighter and interesting design to a kitchen. You can of course, not put your artwork on the walls, but rather fill the shelves with beautiful ceramics, herbs, cookery books and your collection of antique teapots, for instance. Quirky and artistic. Like the rest of your home.