How To Make The Most Out Of A Small Kitchen

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The kitchen is easily the room in our house where I spend the most amount of my time!  If you have been following my blog for a while, it’s no secret that I LOVE to cook!  I love tinkering around with recipes, re- organizing my fridge and of course watching my children play in our backyard through the oversize window above my kitchen sink.  Even when I have friends over we often end up standing in the kitchen chatting over numerous pots of tea and snacking on treats.  When we first walked through the house we live in now, one of the first things I loved about the house was the kitchen.  It was charming and cozy and I LOVED the window above the sink over looking the backyard!

In one of my past blogs I talked a bit about the little condo we recently purchased.  You can read more about that here: http://http://cleanlifehappywife.com/2015/07/22/5-tips-for-decorating-for-cheap/

When I first walked through the condo, there were so many great things about the space.  It was perfect and exactly what we were looking for in almost every way.  There was only one space in the condo that really left something to be desired and that was- sadly, the teenie, tiny kitchen.  The photo below is the “before” photo and it was taken with a wide lens to make it look larger than it actually is (those tricky realtors!).  After spending a few moments surveying the kitchen, my mind started swirling with the potential to transform this space into something tiny- yet special.  We plan to eventually completely renovate this kitchen, but for now these are a few easy and cheap tricks to complete our mini makeover.

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Kitchen Before

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            Kitchen After

 

The first thing that had to go was that paint colour!  Dark walls in a small space only make the room look smaller and “cave-like.” I knew I wanted to lighten up the room.  I chose the paint colour “Revere Pewter” by Benjamin Moore.  It is a beautiful, light, airy colour that produces an instant calming affect.

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Revere Pewter- Benjamin Moore

I also painted the cupboards white.  You can’t really tell from the “before” photo, but the cupboards were actually pretty yellow.  The previous owner was a smoker so the entire unit needed to be freshened up and the cupboards were no exception.

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Thankfully there were some major problems with the flooring so we got  to replace and update them!  I chose a darker, warmer wood laminate instead of the previous orangey wood.  I also went for the larger boards as opposed to the narrow laminate boards.

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Coffee Handscraped Hickory Laminate Flooring 

 

Another detail I noticed right away was that the cupboards had no hardware.  Adding the hardware helped to bring some visual interest to the kitchen.  The cabinets are old and really need replacing but adding the hardware is one way to spruce them up a little until we are ready to renovate the kitchen. On a practical note, the hardware helps to keep dirty finger prints from the white doors.

The knobs I used were from Home Depot.

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The Pulls are Cocoa Bronze Mandara Pull (3inch)

 

 

 

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The Knobs are Harmon Flat Black Round Knobs (1 3/8 inch)

 

By far, the biggest impact you can make in a small space is with the lighting.  I knew that adding a little “bling” to the space would help to take this drab little kitchen to fab!  My husband wasn’t as confident about this choice as I was!  He actually liked the track lighting in the kitchen and thought that this big chandelier in such a small space was going to look terrible!  Sometimes adding one oversized piece in a small space can actually trick your eye into thinking the room is actually bigger than it is!  And, because this kitchen was so plain in every other way, it was definitely in need of something extra special! The Chandelier I chose was the Hampton Bay Chandelier from Home Depot and is by far my favourite detail in the kitchen!  And speaking of “favourites” after we hung the light I got to hear some of my favourite words from my husband…”You were right, it looks great”!  Music to my ears!  hahaha

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Hampton Bay Chandelier 

 

The last thing I did to try to open up the space was to add the mirrored window behind the sink.  The space behind the sink was a little tricky because it is the largest portion of wall in the kitchen, but in an awkward spot- behind the sink!  Eventually I plan to add a tiled backsplash to the wall but we are waiting until we change the cabinets to go forward with that project.  In keeping with my goal of trying to make the kitchen feel a little bigger I immediately thought of putting a mirror there.  When I found this window mirror, I knew it was perfect. It fit with the chic rustic feel of the kitchen and looks like it was made for that space.  This mirrored window is from Hobby Lobby and it was 50% off which was super exciting!

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Mirrored Window – Hobby Lobby

One last tip for small kitchens:

Try to keep your counters clear.  There are so many cute vases, jugs and containers calling your name at Homesense, but try to be very selective with the decor you bring into a small kitchen.  Too much on the counter can create a cluttered feeling and start to make the room feel overcrowded and small.  You do not need to have your blender, coffee maker, mixmaster, toaster, food processor, bread box, and a container of utensils all out on your counter top! 😉  Pack those machines up in an easily accessible cupboard and pull them out when you are using them and then put them away again!  I am not opposed to choosing ONE (or 2 depending on how much counter space you have) machine- like your Keurig to leave out on the counter but having more than that will just start to feel cluttered.   You want to be able to SEE your counter tops!  🙂   Try packing those things away and clear your counter tops for a day and see how it feels!  I bet you will love it! Less is more! 🙂

Recap: Decorating Small Spaces:

* Choose light colours

* Add one stunning focal piece to the space

* Choosing the right mirror can make the room look bigger

*Splurge on great lighting

* Keep the decor minimal – Choose your pieces wisely.

What tips and tricks do you have to make a room look bigger?  I would love to hear them!

XO, Pam

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14 thoughts on “How To Make The Most Out Of A Small Kitchen

  1. haha Our kitchens are very similar! And your ideas are exactly mine! We are in the process of working with our (very small) kitchen. We painted the walls a light blue, and our cabinets will be white coming next year (it’s a big investment). We were looking at pretty much the same flooring (and we’re thinking of doing the same for the rest of the main floor) that way it’ll all look like it flows, hopefully adding some room visually. Great post! I’m actually dying to add a backsplash, but because of the cost I started to look into a rustic mirror for the end of my kitchen! You read my mind! 🙂

    1. That’s so funny! It does sound like our kitchens are very similar! At first I loathed that small kitchen but now I actually really like it and love how cozy it feels! 🙂 Do you have a Hobby Lobby near you? They had sooo many amazing mirrors there! I actually had a hard time choosing which one I wanted! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  2. It’s so pretty! You did a really nice job on it. I also have a small kitchen in need of remodel, thanks for the tips!

    1. Thank you! It’s crazy how the clutter can just creep up on us eh?! I spend a lot of my time in my kitchen so I love for it to feel organized and relaxing! Big or small, a kitchen can be beautiful! Thanks for reading and for sharing your comments! 🙂

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