Simple Kitchen Renovation Ideas to Make Your Space Brighter and Appear Larger

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You love cooking shows and you wish you could cook like a top chef. Ideally, your kitchen should be big enough to accommodate a variety of appliances, not to mention, a huge island that allows ample room to prep meals. Don’t let your small kitchen limit your culinary dreams. There are tons of small kitchen design ideas that can make your cramped dark dreary kitchen more efficient and look bigger and brighter.

1. Lighten up.

Every designer will tell you that dark colors almost always makes a room feel smaller. Replace that busy maroon or navy print rooster wallpaper with light neutral color (creamy white, soft warm gray or light gray-blue). Satin finish is preferred because it makes clean-up a breeze and reflects plenty of light.

2. Try different tile.

Put your backsplash to work reflecting light, not just water. Light-colored tile, metallics, or glass tiles can almost serve as mini-mirrors and help increase the light in your kitchen.

3. Change your kitchen cabinets.

Deep mahogany is classy for sure, but painting your cabinets off-white can trick the eye into thinking your kitchen is roomier (or match cabinet color with wall paint color so the eye glides smoothly over them). Glass doors instead of wood will open up the space as well. Or remove the cabinet doors altogether for a more open look.

4. Accessorize with knobs.

New cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can quickly and inexpensively update your kitchen. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind. Intricate, complicated designs will attract more dust than a simple round knob, and a high-gloss finish will show fingerprints. Instead, opt for oil-rubbed bronze, which will hide dirt thanks to its rich color and copper undertones. Another wise choice is a brushed metal satin finish in stainless steel or nickel, depending on whether you prefer chrome or beige, respectively. These finishes all look modern and will for quite some time.

5. Be strategic with your floor.

High-contrast colors will make your kitchen look smaller, so ditch the bright kitchen rug for one that’s a closer shade to your wood or tile. Try not to break up the visual flow of the floor; long lines and large tiles are better than small grids.

6. Out with big bulky furniture.

Replace your heavy wood kitchen tables and ornate chairs with slender table designs, translucent materials, and armless chairs. They reveal more of your space as you scan the room.

7. Downsize your appliances.

Swapping a family-size coffeemaker for a modest french press is one way to save big on space. If your appliances are old and bulky, take the opportunity to upgrade to a sleek, small, mordern model instead. Or embrace the liberating feeling that comes with decluttering and get rid of an unused kitchen gadget altogether.

8. Think upwards.

Vertical space is your secret weapon. Get things off the floors and counters with high shelving, a magnetic knife strip instead of a block on the counter, and pegboards for pots and pans.

9. Lighting can be tricky. 

Make sure to pick appropriate sized light fixtures and hang them an appropriate height. The pendant lights or chandeliers should not block your view of others at the dinner table.  They need to emit enough light so that you can easily see while making your first cup of coffee!