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Studio Blog

July 6th

Small to Sensational: Tips to Maximize Kitchen Space

Although this kitchen’s footprint did allow for an expansive island, eliminating the soffit above the cabinets creates height around the perimeter as well.

With kids or grandkids home for the summer, your kitchen might be feeling smaller. And perhaps it is, especially if you have a vintage San Diego home where the kitchen wasn’t given as much space as it is in today’s new builds. In either case, here are some ways you can make your kitchen – the place in your home where everyone gathers! – look and feel larger.

Changing out flooring is a relatively easy and inexpensive way to visually develop space. Yet many people make the mistake of thinking a smaller room requires smaller tile. Instead, choose a large format – such as 24” x 24” – and set it on a 45-degree angle. Place the tiles close together to reduce grout and joints, which will “expand” (to your eyes, at least) the room’s overall length and width.

If you are remodeling your kitchen and replacing cabinets, extend them to the ceiling. Leaving a soffit at the top cuts off the room’s height, and is basically useless space anyway. Even if you need a step stool to reach those higher shelves, you will appreciate the extra storage room with ceiling-height cabinets, particularly in a smaller kitchen.

A colorful, artsy backsplash draws the eye upward and adds stylish flair.

Another trick is to install a free-standing range hood over the cooktop. Much like eliminating the soffit, the vent’s elongated neck brings the eye upward and generates height. Similarly, using a backsplash design that contrasts with the countertop and reaches from the counter to the bottom edge of the cabinet keeps that vision line moving higher rather than cutting it off. Colorful tile in a mosaic pattern also adds a bit of artwork in a smaller space that might not have any otherwise.

Don’t forget the lighting! Under-cabinet LED strips are not only functional, but they produce depth in a space. They also highlight that gorgeous new backsplash. Overhead, use recessed lighting if your ceilings are standard height to avoid anything hanging down that can eliminate the loftiness you are seeking to create.

As for appliances, a counter-depth refrigerator will help the kitchen feel less cramped. Limit the number of small appliances you keep on the counter to avoid encroaching clutter. If you must leave items on the counter, give them design quality, such as a coffee maker on an attractive tray with decorative sugar and creamer accessories.

Need some help making your kitchen feel larger? We do it all, from simple decorating tips to complete remodels. Please contact us for more information.