After a year of being cooped up in isolation, many will emerge from their quarantines with a desire to be more social than ever. This means going out for some, but for many who are not yet ready to take such a big social leap, it means home gatherings and dinner parties. When people come together in 2021, the kitchen will be the star of the show. With that in mind, we wanted to share some ideas for helping get the most out of kitchens that may not have the space for full islands and the normal trappings of a luxurious cooking-social space.

Hide appliances and opt for clean lines

By integrating your appliances into the cabinetry, you create clean lines which naturally feel more spacious to the eye. The more clutter there is, the shorter your kitchen countertop feels, and the smaller the space looks.

Great ways to hide your appliances are through custom kitchen cabinets that allow for all of the cabinets to look the same, or if you are on a smaller budget, making sure your cabinets are as wide and tall as possible, so that you can at least store away your microwave, blenders, toaster, and any other items that may just be sitting on your counters for the 23-½ hours a day that you do not use them.

Add reflective surfaces

The more light is reflected, the larger your kitchen will feel. But that does not mean you necessarily have to position mirrors all over your kitchen. Here are a few options to consider that will help reflect light and make your kitchen feel bigger:

  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Glossy cabinets
  • Cabinets with glass in the front
  • High-gloss paint
  • Polished wood floors
  • Glass tile
  • Highly reflective backsplash
  • Marble or quartz countertops

Shallow cabinets or open shelving

Open shelves give a more spacious airy look to the kitchen. By adding the shelves against the natural backdrop – whether a painted wall or tile – it makes that wall feel continuous and in doing so, creates longer lines and continuity that feels more connected and adds length to both the countertops and the walls. Doing this will also add depth, which the eye will find more appealing and more spacious.

If you do not want your dishes out where everyone can see them, try adding shallow cabinets that can still conceal what you are storing, but do not make the person entering the kitchen feel like the kitchen is closing in on them.

Use lighting to your benefit

Lighting is an essential element for anyone wanting to make their kitchen feel more spacious. As you start to think about how you can use light, be aware that there are two main ways to make a kitchen feel larger with light:

  • Adding brightness. Bright spaces feel larger. By eliminating blinds in favor of curtains that let a lot of light in, or open windows, you will be able to make your kitchen feel larger instantly. If you do not have access to a window, or have a relatively small kitchen window, you can add light fixtures that will brighten it up. You can use pendant lights, or multi-bulb fixtures, but just make sure that they fill the entire kitchen with light. A dark kitchen is a small-feeling kitchen.
  • The more dynamic the lighting is, the more interesting the space feels, and the more information your eye can take in. Our brains will find it more interesting if it can understand a space but takes more time to work through it.

With that said, it is hard for our eye to process shadows and convoluted counters, so make sure you clean as much as possible off of the counters. Then, you can add cabinet lighting to create highlights and add brightness to the clean lines of the countertop you want to focus on.

By creating interesting patterns and focal points, you are able to influence the viewer’s eye and make the overall space feel more spacious and interesting. Adding in signature kitchen cabinets and countertops gives the room texture, and creates a sense of depth that we as humans interpret as spaciousness. The colors you decide on can either complement your cabinets, or make your kitchen cabinets a center of attention, which in turn, makes the entire kitchen feel more dynamic. For a final touch, you can add some accessories like a bold kitchen sink or colored appliances that breathe new life into the kitchen and make it an all-around more interesting place.

For the kitchen cabinets and kitchen countertops that will make your kitchen feel bigger and more spacious, reach out to a member of the Kansas Granite Mart team to walk through options at your disposal.