If you find yourself dreading going into your kitchen or inviting company because your kitchen fits about one and a half people, you aren’t alone. We can’t always have the huge, spacious kitchens we want, and even if we do, making the wrong design decisions can make them feel cramped and uncomfortable. Whether you want a cozy feel, a light feel, or an industrial feel to your kitchen, there are some common tips you can follow to keep your home’s most important room feeling spacious and welcoming.

Elongated lines

The eye can be tricked into perceiving a space to be big or small – square footage doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. If you’re living in a small kitchen, use long vertical or horizontal patterns to draw the eye up and away. You can create lines with cupboards, rugs, and wallpaper. Our expert designers are always happy to discuss how to use cabinet doors and handles to bring spacious unity to your kitchen.

Gleaming surfaces

You’ve probably heard the strategy of putting a mirror in a small room to make it feel bigger. Well, the same concept applies in the kitchen; it’s just a bit more subtle. Reflective surfaces like glossy tiles, satin paint, stainless steel appliances, and sleek cabinets can go an extremely long way in creating extra visual space in your kitchen. Again, we can sit down with you and explore cabinet/countertop materials that will bring that extra shine to your happy place.

Minimal visual clutter

This is always a challenge. You want your kitchen to look like someone actually uses it, which means you shouldn’t be stowing everything away every night (unless that makes you happy). You want a cozy, comfortable detail or two and not much more. Adding a bunch of decorative details to your kitchen turns it into a chaotic (sometimes claustrophobic) space for you and your visitors. We recommend you produce your version of a minimalist aesthetic. It will keep your stress levels lower! Of course, it’s hard to keep things tidy when you have bad cabinets, and a new cabinet system may be your best investment. We can install clever space-savers that allow you to fit more behind closed doors!

Glass or open shelving

If a bunch of closed doors are going to just push the walls in on everyone, you can consider open or glass cabinets. These add dimension and interest, making your kitchen feel airy instead of blocky. The one downside to this system is that you can’t hide messes. A hybrid system with both closed and open cabinets can be the perfect solution: you can keep your orderly, nice things out where people can admire them, and hide the stained pans and messy oven gloves behind closed doors.

Light decor and furnishings

If you’ve got a small kitchen, it’s not the time to add blocky, bulky furnishings. We suggest you consider furniture and decor that is light and sparse, allowing people to see through them. Be preserving sight lines, you keep your kitchen feeling spacious and welcoming.

Choose the right colors

You’ll get the best effect if you keep your kitchen colors in the same family, making sure contrast stays to a minimum. Consider blending appliances and cabinet colors together. It’s also best to stick with lighter colors, which prevent the kitchen from feeling oppressive and small. Light goes a long way when you’re trying to create spaciousness with a few square feet!

As cabinet builders and refacers, we have worked in a lot of small kitchens. The beauty of these spaces is the possibility for efficiency, cleverness, and the beauty that emerges when you combine the two. Things like spice racks, sliding shelves, and Lazy Susans can turn impossible kitchens into clean, tidy rooms where wonderfully delicious things happen and everything has a place once it’s clean.

At JV Cabinet Makers, we have worked in cabinetry for over 30 years. We understand the impact of cabinets on daily life, and it is our pleasure to creatively solve cabinet problems for people in their kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, and beyond. When you work with JV Cabinet Makers, you work with a team who will always go the extra mile for you. Contact us to learn more about cabinet refacing, construction, and refinishing in San Francisco and beyond!