Kitchen expert share ‘the enemy’ of small kitchens – makes room feel ‘cramped’

Most people dream about having a large and spacious feeling kitchen in their house, but that doesn’t mean smaller kitchens can’t look bigger. There are often features in kitchens that can make one on a smaller scale feel smaller than it is. To avoid this, the kitchen experts at Wren Kitchens have shared the different tricks of the design trade to help households transform their small kitchens into an airy and comfortable space they’ll love to spend time in.

Keep colours light, bright and consistent

According to the experts, the colour scheme of a kitchen will have a “big impact” on the impression of the space available. 

They recommended opting for light paint colours with plenty of white tints that will naturally reflect light, which helps to “avoid the room feeling cramped and dark” as this can be “their enemy of small kitchens”.

Shades like bright white or cream are an obvious choice, but households shouldn’t feel limited as light greens, yellows, blues and even greys can work well too.

Whatever colour is chosen, try to make the cabinet doors and walls one consistent colour. 

The kitchen designers explained: “This removes any visual barriers that cause the eye to stop short, thus making the room appear much larger than it actually is.”

Keep light fittings simple

For those who have a small kitchen with a high ceiling, a statement light shade can be a “beautiful addition” to a kitchen design. However, those with a standard or low ceiling, “avoid cluttering the room with unnecessary light fittings”.

The experts pointed out that integrated lighting can be a “design-saver” when it comes to small kitchens. These lights are key to flooding the room with bright light, which makes the kitchen feel airier at any time of day.

No matter what kitchen size, ceiling lights are a “must” – they can be added beneath cabinets and as spotlights on worktops to add a soft glow.

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Clutter needs to be stored away 

Whether it’s on shelves, in the cabinets or on the worktop, like dark colours, “clutter is the enemy of a small kitchen space”.

To avoid this, drawers and a narrow larder can help to maximise the amount of storage space available. This allows households to hide away ingredients, utensils and crockery, keeping worktops and shelving clean and clear.

Although, that’s not to say nothing should be on display. Statement pieces like freestanding mixers will add to the design of the room.

Daily essentials such as kettles and toasters will keep the room feeling homely, so instead display them all sparingly.

Open wall storage over solid cabinets

When storage space is in short supply, wall space needs to be optimised. Rather than choose solid cabinets, which the experts claim “make the room feel smaller”, consider open storage options.

Shelves offer plenty of space and an area to show off lighter kitchen accessories and appliances. 

Meanwhile, glass-panelled cabinet doors provide the benefits of a normal cabinet while maintaining an open design.

The kitchen experts added: “Soft lights within the cabinets or beneath the shelving will further open the room and keep this area looking and feeling bright.”

Glossy finishes on kitchen features

When people are looking to make their homes appear larger than it is, they are typically told to use mirrors. Therefore, it makes sense that the same can be said for kitchens that feature glossy finishes.

The experts explained: “Gloss finish cabinets and worktops, as well as stainless steel accents across taps, handles and appliances, will reflect the light and make the room feel much larger than it actually is.”

To enhance this look and make the most of natural lighting keep the window design very simple with little to no treatments on the glass, or ornaments on windowsills.

The designers said: “This will help to maximise the amount of natural light in the room, and therefore the amount of light available to bounce from the gloss surfaces.”

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