There’s no doubt about it. The kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you start your day, where you entertain friends, and where you catch up with family at the end of a long day. For others, it is a place to unwind and try out new recipes. Admittedly, cooking can sometimes feel like more like a task rather than a joy, especially when you’ve just come home from work and mentally drained. It also doesn’t help if your kitchen is small, dark and cluttered. While you might not have the luxury of expanding the footprint of your kitchen if you live in an apartment, there are ways to make any kitchen look and feel bigger.
Using Light or Bright Colors on Walls
If you can’t knock walls down to open up your kitchen, then you need to think of ways to make the walls feel further away. One way to do this is through your choice of paint colors. While your favorite colors may lean toward grays and blacks, this makes your space feel smaller and more intimate or cozy.
Instead, focus on white shades and hues that are toned down. You can consider off-white, ivory, light shades of grey or beige. These lighter colors make your kitchen feel more open as light bounces off the walls. If you still want to add bits of your preferred colors, you can do this through little knickknacks and items such as spice racks, canisters, or cabinet hardware. These can add a pop of color without creating too much contrast.
Creating the Illusion of Depth with the Ceiling
While you should stick to light and monochromatic colors when it comes to the walls, you can be a bit more liberal with the ceiling. Painting the ceiling a different color then adding interesting fixtures draws the eyes up towards the ceiling and gives the illusion of depth and space. Having fun ceiling and light fixtures will definitely make your kitchen feel larger than it is as well.
Maximize Natural and Artificial Light
No matter how big your space is, it will always look small and feel closed in if there isn’t enough light. When it comes to small kitchens, the trick is to let in as much light as possible. To do this, pay attention to the curtains that you use for the windows. Instead of heavy drapes or shudders, use sheer curtains instead. These are light and semi-transparent and make the room look lighter and feel bigger.
In addition to this, you can make the room look bigger by adding reflective surfaces. Choose polished quartz or granite, or add cabinet hardware that has a stainless steel finish. The light will bounce off these surfaces and give the illusion of space.
It’s just as important to focus on artificial lighting. Consider adding accent lighting above and below your upper cabinets. LED strip lighting in the 3000k color temperature is an easy and affordable way to add accent lighting to your kitchen. As well as providing functional task lighting for your work surfaces, they also help eliminate shadows and draw your eye higher creating the illusion of more space.
De-Clutter and Keep Things Organized
Never underestimate the power of having an organized kitchen. Picture two contrasting work surfaces: one has spices, dishes, wine, recipe books and electric appliances on the countertop while the other only has a coffee maker. Which do you think will look larger? The second one, of course. This is because cramped or overcrowded work surfaces tend to make the room feel smaller than it is.
If you want to make your kitchen appear larger, consider taller shelves which can provide for extra storage. You can also consider storage rack systems to maximize your limited cabinet space. Furthermore, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to achieve this. There are several items that you can add to your cabinets to provide for extra storage for very little money. For example, you can install hooks under your sink where you can hang some of your shallow pans. You can install tiered spice racks in your cabinets (or to the back of your cabinet doors) to soak up every bit of vertical space and keep things organized. Be creative in order to keep as much off of the countertops as possible.
Adding Space by Subtraction
The more furniture and countertop appliances you add to your kitchen, the smaller it will feel and the less functional it will be. In fact, adding too many items reduces “the flow” of your space and clutters up your work surfaces – making your kitchen look smaller and function less efficiently.
Major appliances come in standard sizes so there’s nothing much you can do about those items. However, you can opt for a foldable island kitchen cart to give you more countertop space for prepping meals when you need it but can be stashed away when you don’t. Don’t have room (or the need) for a full-time kitchen table, you could consider a fold-out table for two which provides a place for dining as well as extra storage. For those kitchen countertop appliances that you don’t use very often, consider storing them in a closet in the hall or another room. This will clear up your countertop space as well as reallocate kitchen cabinet storage for things you use more often. There are many space-friendly solutions in the marketplace to help you maximize your small space. Be creative!
Another way to create space is to add open shelves. These open up the walls and make the kitchen feel visually larger and there are is a huge variety of styles available. If open shelves aren’t your thing, you can opt for a more traditional approach of adding glass door inserts for your upper cabinets. Transparent, translucent and opaque glass doors have the same effect. First, they reflect light and make the room look larger and brighter. Second, glass draws in your gaze which makes it feel like the kitchen doesn’t end where the cabinet door begins.
You may not own the home or apartment you live in and this limits you in terms of how you can or cannot change the structure of your home. However, there is hope! If your kitchen looks and feels small, you don’t have to give up and take it as it is. Our tips will help your kitchen look and feel larger, be more functional, and make the most of the space have.
Even if you have been in the construction trades for years, it’s always great to learn new and better ways to accomplish your daily tasks. In this Got2Learn YouTube video, you’ll see some great tips and tricks such as:
Today’s showerheads are drifting further and further from the conventional, utilitarian showerheads of the past. Strolling the aisles of your local home improvement store presents today’s consumers with an enormous amount of choices. From sleek handheld units with adjustable spray settings to the stand-up spas, there’s something to suit everyone’s preference as well as budget.
Standard wall mount: The standard wall-mounted showerhead ranges from the usual, more conventional designs to the more complex, feature-heavy models with adjustable angles and multiple spray modes. Its features also include technology to ensure there is neither a buildup of hard water deposits nor rusting and tarnishing. Some have a single setting, while others include mist, massage, and a plethora of other shower effects. Similar to any home fixture, the prices will vary with the number of features and build quality, but if you need value for your money, I think we can help you out.
Wall or ceiling mount: This would easily pass for the most common type of showerhead. A wall or ceiling mounted model can either be installed directly on the ceiling, which is commonly paired with a rain head or mounted to the wall with a small extension arm. While the wall mounted version is by far the most common, the rain head version can seemingly transform you to a tropical paradise as the water falls down on you.
Sliding bar: If you share a shower with other members of your family, a showerhead mounted on a sliding bar can mean the perfect height for everyone. The height of the showerhead is easily adjustable with just the twist of a knob. These type of showerheads are most often attached to a hose and can usually be converted into a handheld shower faucet.
Handheld: Attached to a hose, a handheld shower valve can be moved from its mounted position. A handheld showerhead performs well in bathing applications and can also be useful not only for bathing yourself but also for washing pets and the kids too. With the hand-held showerhead, you can now reach body parts other kinds of showerheads can’t reach. While some handheld showerheads are mounted in a fixed position, many models also incorporate the sliding bar height adjustment feature.
Shower panel systems: Also called body spray showerheads. Shower panel systems incorporates many body sprays that can be independently adjusted for the perfect angle and spray power. They’re like a car wash you stand up in. Highly adjustable to your preference, shower panel systems offer more water pressure where you want, less where you don’t. While there are many prefabricated shower panel systems on the market, you can also create your very own system by placing spray heads around your entire shower.
It only follows that in homes with body spray showers installed, water consumption tends to increase. You’ll want to confirm with a professional if your plumbing can accommodate the shower system you’re about to choose. Also, check if your water heater system has enough capacity to meet the increased level of demand. One option for increasing your hot water capacity is to install a tankless water heater.
The EPA has limited showerheads in the U.S. to a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) since the early 1990s, thereby reducing the consumption of both water and the fuel that fires water heaters. The average person goes through approximately 100 gallons of water in a single day, so it’s considered good environmental stewardship to invest in a showerhead that uses even less than 2.5 gpm.
One thing to keep in mind is that the EPA-specified flow rate is for a standardized household water pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi). If your home’s water pressure isn’t that high to begin with, a low-flow showerhead probably won’t offer the results you’re looking for. If you’re already discontent with the water pressure available in your home, concentrate on models that have been specially engineered to address that issue or check with a plumbing professional to see if you can increase the water pressure to your home.
You can spend $20 to more than $1000 to upgrade your shower fixtures. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the unique features that determine the price of the fixtures are worth it. When comparing two similar models, keep in mind that a higher price does not always indicate higher quality.
Think about who’s going to be using the bathroom your renovating. If it’s the master bath and you don’t plan on sharing the space with guests, you can select the fixtures you most desire without considering the needs of others. However, if it’s a bathroom that your guests are likely to use, select models that are generally easier to use.
Furthermore, consider how much time and energy you are willing to spend installing a showerhead. If you’re remodeling the bathroom entirely or building a new home from scratch, the extent of the work already being done would easily absorb an otherwise demanding and costly installation.