Whether it is grabbing a snack or spending hours preparing a feast, kitchens really are the heart of any home. Unfortunately for a lot of us (myself included) we live in innercity apartments where every square meter is valuable, and the small kitchen is usually then crammed in the corner. While we may not be able to change the actual size of the kitchen there are some clever tricks that can be applied to give the illusion of a larger, more welcoming kitchen that everyone will want to spend more time in.

6 tips to make your small kitchen feel grand

1. Colour

Colour is the easiest way to visually manipulate the size of your kitchen and make it seem much larger than it is. When dealing with small kitchen spaces, I would always recommend painting the walls, skirting and trims all the same colour. No breaks in the paint colour will visually open the space, giving the illusion of higher ceilings and a grander space. Nice trick is to paint only till ca.10cm from the ceiling, which also brings the illusion of higher ceilings. I also recommend choosing cabinetry and countertop finishes that are within a similar colour family to your walls. Again, this avoids any sharp contrasts that create visual boundaries contributing to a space feeling small.

2. Vertical lines

Drawing the eye up rather than horizontal is a principle used in not only fashion but also interior design. Less visual breaks is the paramount way to increase the ‘size’ of your small kitchen. A great design idea is continuing the same finish along the countertop and up the wall, preferably the whole way (if possible) as this gives the illusion of a larger space. A finish such as stainless steel or a large stone slab as a splashback will give an unbroken, seamless appearance.

3. Open shelving

Open shelving is a recommendation that come with a warning sign. Replacing your overhead kitchen cupboards with open shelving will make your small kitchen feel more open and therefore larger. This is as it reduces the visual heaviness that closed cabinets create. In saying this however, there is no point in swapping to open shelving unless you are able to hide cutter away. A disorganised display of plates, pots and pans will only make the space feel more crowded.

If you need some inspiration for your open shelving at home, at Ask og Eng you will find wonderful wooden shelves to visually enlarge your kitchen.

small kitchen My Nordic Studio Journal
Photocredit @Ask og Eng

4. Light

Light alongside the right colour has the ability to amplify a space by making it feel brighter and more inviting. It is important to ensure, you have enough light and specially of the right temperature. I always recommend to my clients either 2700k or 3000k for kitchen downlights as it is still a warm, homely white, though cool enough to give your kitchen a clearer appearance. As in the home in general, it is important to consider multiple sources of light in the small kitchen, not just bright ceiling light. Led lights under the upper cabinets provide a nice working light for evening meals or a table lamp creates a nice atmosphere for reading the morning paper, especially in winter when it’s dusk in the mornings.

5. Integrated appliances

By integrating appliances such as dishwashers and fridges into the joinery, the kitchen will feel more unified, fluid and therefore larger in appearance. Just like breaks in finishes or colours tend to contribute to a room feeling smaller.

6. Storage

If your kitchen is so tight that two people can’t squeeze past each other, you may want to consider changing the depth of the cabinets on one side. The standard depth of cabinets is 600mm but you can reduce them to 300mm or 450mm and believe me, this will make a huge difference to your narrow kitchen. Shallow cabinets, especially for plates and dry food are often even better and more convenient storage as deep cabinets. We all know the feeling when you can hardly reach to those deep cabinets and have to first clear the stuff in the front row.

small kitchen My Nordic Studio Journal
Photocredit@Nordiska Kök
small kitchen My Nordic Studio Journal
Photocredit @Nordiska Kök

For more inspiration check out the Swedish brand Nordiska Kök, there you will find many ideas for wonderful kitchens in Nordic style. Another tip: if you can’t or don’t want to completely redesign your kitchen, and you currently kitchen cabinets are from Ikea, you can replace it with very stylish fronts from Reform.

In addition, my Pinterest boards “Small homes” and “Nordic kitchens” are also a good source of inspiration and contain beautiful ideas for your (small) Nordic home!

If you have any questions or would like to hear my opinion about your kitchen and possible improvements, I would be more than happy to help. Feel free to contact me and let’s talk about the possibilities!

Yours sincerely,

My Nordic Studio Blog by Piritta