When it comes to renovating a small kitchen and other projects, my motto is, “Give them something to talk about!” Don’t worry about being trendy; instead, do what you love. I oversee renovations in a lot of older homes with small kitchens, and you can do a lot with a very small space as long as you remember that good design must be functional and beautiful. It’s all in the details.
Choose the right appliances
You might choose a smaller sink, a 24-inch stove, or a smaller fridge. If you’re not trying to accommodate a huge fridge, you’re leaving extra space for cabinetry and shelving. Appliances can be overwhelming in a small space, so having smaller appliances, or hiding them, lets you focus on other, more visually interesting things like the cabinetry or hardware — the fun stuff!
Consider hiding your range hood
When renovating a small kitchen, a hood fan can be a nice detail, but it may overwhelm a small space. I sometimes turn the fan into a decorative element so it has more in common with the cabinetry than the appliances.
Go with a combination of open and closed cabinets
Divide up the space. Having both open and closed cabinetry gives a less bulky feeling. Visually, the open cabinets are nice, while the closed cabinets can hold appliances and utensils that are essential but ugly.
Open up your kitchen to your living space
Smaller kitchens have less floor space, so by opening them up to the dining or living area, you make everything more social.
Use every available centimetre of space
I often take the cabinetry right up to the ceiling when renovating a small kitchen. You have to carve out every bit of space, so, for instance, if you have six inches, maybe you can use it as a slim cabinet that holds trays.
Think about putting in a bar counter
You might consider this instead of a straight counter because it provides a visual divide between the kitchen and the eating area. You have to make sure the bar size is functional, though; it has to be wide enough to actually use and eat at.
Tiny tricks can make a big difference
Small ideas can infuse big drama when renovating a small kitchen. For instance, shiny backsplashes look beautiful and reflect light in a small space. The cement tile backsplashes that are coming into fashion right now are also very clever because they create interest, but you can swap them out in a few years if you want a change.
Lots of light is a great idea
Light makes your kitchen feel lighter and more spacious. If there isn’t a lot of natural light, consider pot lights or pendant lighting.
Choose one element to be unique
When renovating a small kitchen, you can sometimes create drama by focusing on one element, like a really amazing stove.
Don’t be afraid to use colour
There are no colour rules when you’re renovating a small kitchen. Sometimes a darker, smaller kitchen can be dramatic or warm. You might go with light upper cabinets and dark lower cabinets. Or you can do a light kitchen with accents to create pops of colours. You want a good layout, but in terms of colour choice it just has to be beautiful and work together. Almost any colour can work if it’s done well.