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Merillat - optimizing kitchen space

7 Steps to Maximizing a Small Kitchen

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Merillat Cabinets in ANN ARBOR, MI on Houzz

If you were asked to describe the kitchen of your dreams, you probably wouldn’t use the word “small.” However, small kitchens have many advantages, and have just as much, if not more, opportunity for an upgrade. It’s all about use of space, and maximizing the space you have. You can make your kitchen look bigger with these small kitchen ideas and a few design tricks.


Replace some (or all) of your cabinet doors with glass ones.Glass doors allow your eyes to travel through to the back of the cabinets, which helps a small kitchen seem bigger. Adding interior cabinet lighting helps even more—just don’t clutter up the inside of the cabinets or you’ll defeat the purpose. Have an exterior door in your kitchen? Make sure that’s glass as well – sliding patio doors can maximize the open feeling and for rooms with limited floor space.

Glass Doors


The last thing a small kitchen needs is larger-than-life furnishings. Avoid overstuffed furniture, chunky legs or thick bases, which make a small kitchen look even smaller. Instead, choose things that don’t take up valuable floor space, like small islands, slim chairs, streamlined stools and narrow tables.


Another small kitchen idea: paint walls the same color as the cabinets. Sticking to a single color erases visual boundaries. Conventional design encourages sticking to light colors, such as Cotton, Chiffon or Mist, that reflect light to make the kitchen feel bigger. But don’t be afraid of darker colors, like Dusk, Pecan and Kona, which visually recede, making the walls look farther back than they really are.


Don’t over complicate a small kitchen. Big corbels, ornate cabinetry and fussy details can interrupt the flow in a small kitchen and make it feel chopped up. Try to keep the details simple and sleek to make the kitchen feel roomier.

Merillat Classic® Ralston w/ 5 piece drawer in Maple Hazelnut with Java Glaze


Open shelves in a compact kitchen create the illusion of a more expansive space. Combine the small kitchen ideas #4 Clean Lines with #5 Open Shelving by choosing floating shelves over other options that include brackets or ornate details.

Floating Shelves


Don’t overcrowd countertops, shelves and cabinets with clutter. Not only does it make the kitchen feel closed in, it makes it difficult to find kitchenware, prep meals and get things done efficiently. Use storage solutions, such as a Wall Appliance Garage and Base Mixer Shelf, to create convenient hiding spots for small appliances when you’re not using them.


Whether you choose light or dark colors for your small-sized kitchen, lots of light—natural and man made—will help it feel as large as possible. Add LED lighting under, above and inside your kitchen cabinetry. Keep window treatments very simple, or eliminate them entirely. Windows above the cabinets can let in an abundance of natural night, or, try them as a backsplash behind the sink for a minimal loss of storage space. Milgard® Tuscany® Series vinyl windows are durable, beautiful and come with a Full Lifetime Warranty.



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