Is your kitchen cosy and cramped rather than spacious and expansive? Well, not to worry.

With some clever techniques and a little illusion, you can trick the eye into thinking that your small kitchen is big, and create a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere. Here are some tips for you to try:

1)    Reflection, reflection, reflection

Kitchen with mirror tiles - Photo from confettistyle.wordpress.com

Smoke and mirrors; it’s the oldest trick in the book. Although actual mirrors may look out of place in a kitchen, chrome or stainless steel surfaces help to reflect light and essentially achieve the same effect as their shinier relatives.

Use such substances on your surfaces and appliances, remembering to match accordingly.

2)    Transparency is the Key

Glass walled kitchen - Photo found on arkpad.com.br

On those surfaces where reflection is not possible or desirable, try see-through materials.

For example, cupboard doors with glass windows allow the eye to see the full depth, adding to the sense of space in the kitchen as a whole.

Similarly, transparent furniture, such as seating made from Perspex, means that you can see right through them to the space behind, further reinforcing the idea of an expansive area.

3)    Light is your Friend

Small kitchen with lots of natural light - Photo from Chelsea Carr at Pinterest

Maximise the ingress of light into your kitchen as best you can.

This may entail installing a skylight – which has the added advantage of drawing attention upward and taking in the whole room, rather than settling at eye level – or simply using lightweight blinds or trim to allow as much natural sunlight into the room.

As well as allowing a view onto the outside world, sunlight also brightens a room and makes it feel instinctively bigger.

4)    Paint it White

White kitchen with black and white rug and features - Photo found on thekitchn.com

The Rolling Stones may be great musicians but they have no clue about interior design.

Instead of black, painting it white is really where it’s at when it comes to creating an illusion of space.

White reflects the light and tricks the mind into thinking that the walls are further back than they are.

To avoid a clinical and soulless feel, try to combine different shades and tones of white.

If you must use colour, try to stick to pastel tones that don’t clash or contrast with each other.

This will not only create a tranquil atmosphere but encourage the belief that there is more space than there really is.

5)    Build from the Floor Up

Small kitchen with mosaic floor - Photo from House Beautiful

More than time than you think is spent looking at the ground.

Accordingly, it is important to choose a flooring pattern that compliments the idea of space.

Diamonds draw the eye along the diagonal line, maximising the potential floor area, while horizontal stripes have the same widening effect on floors as they do on humans… though more flattering.

If you can’t afford all new linoleum or floorboards, a striped rug will achieve much the same effect.

6)    Stow Away and Stay Away from Clutter

Clutter free worktops - Photo via Simone Taylor at Pinterest

Nothing reduces the idea of empty space more than unnecessary clutter.

Use recessed shelving where possible to store crockery, utensils or food and keep worktops clean at all times.

You could even store seldom-used appliances such as toasters or microwaves in easy-to-access cupboards or drawers to free up more surface space, thus creating a greater sense of tidiness, order and expansiveness.

About the author

Rob Truslove

Rob Truslove, Owner of Pink Kitchen – the UK home of pink kitchen appliances and accessories.

Colin

Interior design nerd, co-owner of CSW.