A big, bright kitchen might be a dream come true for the majority of homebuyers these days, but restrictive budgets and limited square footage can be huge obstacles to overcome.
Luckily, there are clever ways you can expand the look and feel of your kitchen without breaking the bank.
1. Knock a Wall Down
If your kitchen is separated from an equally small living room by a wall, consider knocking it down. In fact, knocking down a wall is one of the easiest ways to open up the space in the kitchen, especially for experienced renovators and contractors. Sure, it might be the more expensive suggestion on this list, but for the price, it makes a massive difference.
If the wall is not load-bearing, you can expect to pay anywhere between $2,000 to $4,000 to take it down. However, if the wall is bearing the load of the second story, you could be faced with a much bigger bill considering the fact that structural issues will need to be factored in. But it could well be worth the cost when you see the finished product. Homeowners spend thousands and thousands of dollar on a brand new kitchen, and sometimes tearing a wall down is all it takes to completely transform the space.
2. Replace a Dividing Wall With a Raised Breakfast Bar
Instead of completely knocking a wall down, you could just tear down the upper half and leave the lower half intact. But to make it useful, consider turning that half wall into a raised breakfast bar, which can provide the space with some great functionality and practicality for more casual meals. Making the bar counter height is a contemporary way to update the kitchen while making it feel bigger at the same time.
3. Use Plenty of Layered Lighting
Lots of light is always a good thing when it comes to opening and brightening up a small space. To maximize the effect that lighting has on your kitchen, consider adding layers of different fixtures throughout the room. Add a chandelier over the dinner table; hang pendant lights over the breakfast bar; install under-mounted lighting your cabinets; and brighten the inside of your cabinets with pot lights.
Keep the color of the lighting the same as the wall color and/or cabinets to boost the effect of the lighting in the kitchen. Lighter colors are always best in small spaces, as they reflect light and create a sense of space. When the same light colors are blended throughout various components, the effect of a larger space is even more enhanced.
4. Use Glass-Fronted Cabinets
Adding cabinets with glass fronts will draw the eye to the back of the cabinet, which helps expand the look of the space. Not only that, but glass is highly reflective; any light coming through the windows or from all the light fixtures will reflect off the glass surface, making the area look larger than it actually is. Playing with illusions such as these is great when there’s little you can do about the square footage in your kitchen.
5. Consider the Scale of Your Cabinets and Furniture
Having too many cabinets or an oversized dinette set will only make the kitchen look cramped. Instead, you should focus on things like a slim kitchen island, streamlined furniture pieces, and just enough cabinets to house all your utensils without taking up every square inch of the wall space. Everything that’s installed in the kitchen should fit to scale in order to avoid making the space look smaller than it really is.
6. Clear the Clutter
Nothing encloses a space more than clutter. And when it comes to the kitchen, the countertops can be easily crammed with dishes, utensils, bills, and anything else that you didn’t have the time to put away. For a cleaner, more streamlined look, clear off the clutter. It’s easy, fast, and doesn’t cost a cent.
While there are invasive and expensive ways to enlarge your kitchen space – such as physically expanding your home – there are simpler, more affordable ways to do so. Use a little imagination, and play up visual illusions in your space to make your kitchen look and feel more spacious.