Where do most families gather to gab? In the kitchen. Where do most people eat their meals? In the kitchen. Where do kids often do their homework? At the kitchen table. There’s a reason they call the kitchen the heart of the home.
However, for such a popular, well-used space, most kitchens are smaller than homeowners want. If you have the time and money now, a complete kitchen remodel is definitely the way to go. But, if you’re not ready for a full remodel yet, there are some smaller-scale things you can do to at least make your kitchen appear larger.
1. Streamline Your Inventory
Kitchens hold a whole lot of stuff, but do you really need it all? You can open up a lot of space in your kitchen by eliminating the clutter.
Dishes, small appliances, mail, schoolwork, keys, etc., all tend to find their way to our counters. We’ve all heard the saying, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” Applying this advice in your kitchen can help dial down the clutter. File away your mail instead of letting it pile up on the countertop. Have hooks or baskets for things like keys, schoolwork, etc.
Another way to cut back on clutter is to get rid of duplicates. You will very seldom need four spatulas simultaneously, so get rid of at least two of them. Go through your plates, appliances, coffee mugs, and pots and cut out the unnecessary extras in your kitchen.
As you go through your kitchen, take inventory of your small appliances. If you have several single-function appliances, try to look for an alternative that performs multiple tasks.
Also, if you can get away with it, switch out some of your bulkier small appliances for more compact ones. This will help you save space on both the counter and inside the cupboard.
2. Make the Most of Your Cabinets
There are some very inexpensive organization hacks to help you keep your kitchen clutter-free. First off, if you have extra space above the cabinets, add some nice baskets to hold seldom-used kitchen items instead of displaying decorative items.
This will free up cabinet and drawer space while keeping the top of your cabinets looking organized. If you have a lot of extra space above your cabinets, you can install an open shelf for additional storage.
To make the most of the space inside your cabinets, look in the storage solution section of your grocery or hardware store. Cheap wire magazine holders can be mounted to the inside doors of your cabinets to hold cutting boards, cling wrap, and foil.
If you install a spring-loaded curtain rod underneath your sink cabinet, you have an extra place to hang your cleaning solutions so that the shelving can be used for other things. Some stores even have small shelves that hang down from upper shelves so that you can use up every last inch of space inside your cabinets.
If you have the budget to splurge on some improvements, consider switching a few of your cabinet doors with glass front cabinets. The clear or frosted glass creates the illusion of space while lightening up the entire room. They also allow you to display some of your pretty things while keeping them out of the way.
3. Turn Up The Lighting
One of the best ways to make your kitchen seem a little bigger is to utilize your natural light. Open your blinds, or eliminate the blinds altogether, to let the sunshine in. If you have the space, hang a mirror opposite the natural light to maximize its effect and make your kitchen appear deeper than it really is.
You can also get some attractive pendant lamps or canned lighting to illuminate the space. These can highlight your favorite parts of the kitchen or some attractive accessories.
4. Optimize Every Last Square Foot
Is your trash can sitting out on the floor? That may seem like a small thing, but it’s taking up space and making your kitchen seem smaller. Move it into a cabinet if possible. Your eyes (and nose) will thank you.
If you have furniture pieces in your kitchen, make sure that they lend themselves to storage. Kitchen islands can add counter space and, if you choose the right one, give you plenty of storage space, too. You can find kitchen tables that include drawers up the center (for holding kitchen tools, towels, flatware, napkins, etc.) There are even some low-profile tables that mount directly to the wall. You can put them down when you need their surface and raise them up when you aren’t using them.
Bonus: More Space–Saving Hacks
Want a few more surefire tips for opening up your kitchen space? Try installing magnetic strips onto your kitchen walls. These strips let you toss out the knife block that is taking up space on your countertop or get rid of the knife drawer.
Additionally, if you hot glue magnets onto the bottom of your spice containers, you can hang those up on your magnetic strips or on your refrigerator. This keeps them visible, within arm’s reach, out of your cabinets, and off your countertop.
For more of a change, consider using open shelving instead of, or in addition to, your existing cabinets. Open shelving can create the illusion of space within a small kitchen and add much-needed storage when organized well.
You could also think about swapping your traditional backsplash with a full-height pegboard to hold your frequently used utensils. These pegboards are paintable, functional, and customizable.
If there’s one room to upgrade that makes your home more livable and maximizes your home investment, it’s the kitchen. These tips can make that room much more bright, beautiful, and livable. And when you’re ready for your custom kitchen remodel in Austin, call us. We’re known throughout Austin for doing quality work the first time so that you don’t have to redo it later. We’ll start with a free consultation to bring you one step closer to creating the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.