This post originally appeared on Century21.com and was republished with permission.
Does your kitchen feel cramped? If you want to create the illusion of a bigger kitchen without remodeling or tearing down walls, don’t fret. There are plenty of creative hacks for organizing your small kitchen. Here are some ideas:
It’s possible that the reason your kitchen feels small and cramped is that you’re keeping a lot of stuff in it. Cookbooks, pots and pans, vases — these can all clutter the space. Take the time to clear off the counters and workspaces. To take the next step, declutter cabinets and shelves. Get rid of dishes that you rarely use and toss pots and pans that have rusted over time. This is a good opportunity to make room for new items or just free up space in general. Don’t forget about your floor space. If there are shoes or other items that don’t belong in the kitchen, now is the time to move or remove them.
#2 Add more white.
A dark color scheme can make small spaces feel more cramped or narrow than they are. If you have the budget, think about repainting your walls white or a lighter shade. If your cabinets are white, then transition the color onto your walls. If your cabinets are a different color or retain their natural wood grain appearance, now is a good time to paint them white. It creates a seamless, open feeling in your kitchen.
#3 Install additional lighting.
The more light in a space, the brighter and more open it feels. When you combine light with white, the light is reflected and makes the walls seem further away. Just make sure to install soft lighting. If you can, make the most of natural light during the day with windows. You can replace a single-pane glass window over your sink, for example, with its more efficient, double-paned alternative. It creates just as much natural light and increases your home’s efficiency. The cost of a replacement window is about $500 depending on the size you’ll need.
#4 Remove barriers.
Your island, bar stools or hanging lamps may also be the reason your kitchen feels cramped. Islands are great for baking bread or preparing meats, but if you rarely use yours, why keep it around? The same goes for barstools — keep them aside and pull them out when needed. Replace hanging pendant lamps with recessed lamps so you can avoid hitting your head. The kitchen shouldn’t have too much going on at once, so keep it focused on the essentials: countertop, sink, stove and refrigerator. Everything else should be open floor space.
#5 Do you need all the cabinets?
Do you use all of the cabinets in your kitchen? If you have cabinets around the entirety of your kitchen, there’s a chance their color and depth will make your kitchen feel smaller. If you don’t use them all, think about removing a few. If you do use all of your cabinets, think about replacing some with open shelving or putting in glass doors. As previously mentioned, white paint is also good for making the room feel less cramped.
#6 Geometric patterns help.
Geometric patterns can make your kitchen feel bigger. Stripes, in particular, can help draw the eye and make the room feel larger or taller than it actually is. Add a runner or rug with a geometric pattern. Or, if you have the budget, replace your current flooring with geometric tiles. The cost to install a ceramic tile floor averages between $900 and $2,300 depending on the square footage of the kitchen.