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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Bigger Isn’t Always Better – Making a Small Kitchen Work

As you look around for kitchen design inspiration – either when you are shopping for a new Waterloo Region home or seeking to improve the one you already own – you will inevitably encounter pictures of huge kitchen spaces filled with shiny stainless steel appliances, miles of granite counter tops and high end custom cabinetry.

Then you look around your own rather smallish kitchen and realize that even if you had the $50,000 to pay for these kinds of upgrades, they simply wouldn’t work in your home anyway. A smaller kitchen has also been known to deter a home buyer from purchasing a home they otherwise really love, because they think that bigger is better, even if they are not quite sure why.

Is Bigger Always Better?

The fact is though, there are actually some advantages to having a smaller kitchen that larger spaces cannot boast. In a smaller kitchen, almost everything you need is in within easy reach and because you space is limited you tend to not have so much of the extraneous clutter that you really do not need to complicate your cooking endeavors.

A small kitchen will only work well if it is properly organized though and that its layout makes the most of every square foot of available space. Here are some tips for making taking advantage of the opportunity to remodel your smaller kitchen to make the most of every inch:


Efficient kitchen cabinets are an essential element in the layout of any kitchen – large or small. In a smaller space, you should consider adding full height kitchen cabinets wherever possible so that you have as much more storage space (something that no one ever seems to have quite enough of)

These cabinets can also be a great way to make a previously unused corner of a smaller kitchen useful, as they can come in some very narrow styles that take up very little in the way of floor space.

Counter Tops

To prevent your kitchen counter tops from looking cluttered, which can make a smaller kitchen look even tinier, keep only the essential, use them everyday appliances like a coffee maker or toaster on them all the time and store everything else away. For an even more streamlined appearance you could consider having built in appliance garages added to your counter top to house those oft used items when not in use as well.

If you really are going to be short on counter space for preparing larger meals a butcher block island on wheels may be the answer. You can wheel it in whenever you need to and it can provide a great way to serve big meals efficiently as well.

Color and Lighting

The colors and the lighting scheme used in a smaller kitchen can either add to its cramped appearance or serve to open it up and give the illusion of extra space. A good kitchen lighting system is created in layers , a combination of task and accent lighting that makes a beautiful whole.

Don’t skimp on the under cabinet lighting either as they take up no additional space but can just the right amount of extra illumination you need.

Dark colors do not work well in small kitchen as they only serve to close it in even further. If you cannot stand the thought of four rather bland neutral walls pick one, paint it a bold shade and then paint the other walls a neural color. You will get the shot of interest you want without making your small kitchen feel even smaller.

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