Designing an incredible kitchen isn't all about having plenty of space. In fact, small kitchens have many advantages. For example, there are fewer nooks and crannies to collect clutter, and you don't have to travel far to get from the refrigerator to the stove.

Despite these benefits, you may not be in love with your small kitchen. If that's the case, then it's time to undertake a remodeling project with the goal of giving your room a more open and spacious appearance. To learn how to make a small kitchen look bigger, check out the following tips.

Keep the Color Scheme Light

When your room is small, the last thing that you want is to make it appear even smaller. Unfortunately, that's the exact effect that dark walls or cabinets can have. Light colors, on the other hand, can really open up your space.

White is a classic choice for small kitchens. A nice, bright white has a reflective quality that will help fill your room with light. You can use white for both walls and cabinets. To add visual interest, incorporate some texture, such as a tile backsplash.

If white isn't the color for you, go for a pale neutral instead. Off-white and soft gray are reliable shades. For incorporating a bit more color, blush, light blue and sage are interesting choices.

Whatever color you choose, keep the trim and the walls the same shade. This will make the walls appear higher and larger.

To learn more about planning the decor scheme for a small kitchen, check out the following video:

Choose the Right Lighting

Just like dark colors can make a room feel small, so can dark shadows. To keep this from happening in your kitchen, be sure to install plenty of lighting fixtures. Mounting under-cabinet lighting throughout the room will ensure that all of the countertops have sufficient illumination. Pair these with a few ceiling fixtures for a nice, bright kitchen.

When selecting overhead lighting, you'll probably want to go for understated fixtures that won't visually dominate the room. A too-large pendant fixture can make a small room feel overcrowded. Instead, opt for recessed lighting or flush mount fixtures that sit close to the ceiling.

If you're really set on pendants or chandeliers, you may want to choose models that are on the smaller side. Alternatively, you can probably pull off a larger fixture if you get one that's in the same color family as your overall kitchen decor or if you make it the solitary focal point of your room.

Incorporate Glass Elements

Although artificial light is a must-have for your small kitchen, natural light is invaluable as well. Therefore, if your room has a window, make the most of the light that shines through it.

Avoid heavy curtains or blinds over your kitchen windows. Opt for simple valances instead. Pair valances with window film to let in light without compromising your privacy.

Not every kitchen has windows or the option to add some. If you're in a closed-off kitchen, you can brighten your space by incorporating glass of a different sort. Replace some of your standard cabinet doors with glass ones.

Because you'll be able to see through to the back of the cabinets, the room will appear deeper. Plus, when light bounces off of the reflective glass, it will brighten up the space.

Extend the Cabinets

The right cabinets can trick your eye into thinking that your room is bigger than it really is. Upper cabinets that stop shy of the ceiling have a tendency to visually truncate the space.

On the other hand, cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling will have an elongating effect. The tall cabinets will draw your eye all the way up to the ceiling.

Besides, the taller that your cabinets are, the more storage space that you'll have. Storage can be hard to come by in a tiny kitchen, so you'll really appreciate the extra square footage that tall cabinets can give you. You may even want to install a floor-to-ceiling pantry somewhere in the room.

Pick a Peninsula

As a general rule, peninsulas take up less floor space than islands. Since one side abuts the wall, the fixture leaves more of the room open for foot traffic. You can also use this extra space to accommodate a barstool or two, which gives you additional seating options in a small kitchen.

However, if you really have your heart set on an island, don't despair. One trick for making an island work in a small kitchen is to have it be a freestanding unit on casters. When you need the island out of the way, you can wheel it over to the wall.

Give the Room a Focal Point

For a kitchen design that you'll love, be sure to give the room a focal point. This element will be the spot that naturally draws your eye every time that you walk in the room. You need just one star element; having more than that will create unnecessary visual clutter in your tiny space.

Because the focal point will play such a significant role in a small kitchen, you're going to want to make sure that you choose a design that really resonates with you. Popular focal points include:

  • A unique range hood.
  • A stovetop with cast iron grates.
  • A pop of bright color in your furniture, backsplash or wall decor.
  • A bold light fixture.

For tips on creating a focal point in your kitchen, watch this video:

Now that you know how to make a small kitchen look bigger, it's time to get started with your remodeling project. When you work with a professional kitchen designer, you'll discover even more tips and tricks to make the most of your space. With smart design choices, your small kitchen will become a place where you feel right at home.