People don’t choose to renovate their kitchen because they want something different. They do it because they want something better. When the current kitchen feels drab, dark, cramped, old, or insufficient, it’s hard to treat the space like what it is – the centerpiece of the home.
No matter what you want to fix or why you’re choosing to renovate, any updates should accomplish two things: make your kitchen look bigger and add value to your home in the process. Beyond that, you’re free to design however you like. Just don’t make the mistake of following a recent trend that actually makes the space feel smaller, or makes the house less desirable in the long term. Follow these tips to open up the kitchen and increase your home’s value at the same time:
1 – Paint Everything White
White is classic and makes spaces feel open and airy because it reflects the most amount of light, as compared to dark colors that do just the opposite. Paint the walls white, and install white backsplashes and countertops where possible. To really complete the effect, you also need to have white cabinets as they are usually the focal point of any kitchen. If the doors of your cabinets are in poor condition, consider ordering custom-cut cabinet doors and painting the fresh new surface in white. Cabinet doors with recessed panels create subtle shadows that can keep an all-white kitchen from looking too uniform. When done well, white kitchens have an undeniable “wow factor” that gets present (and future) homeowners excited to start cooking.
2 – Use Stainless Steel Appliances
There are a lot of clever ways to make your kitchen look bigger without changing the layout at all. For example, if your kitchen remodel includes new appliances, use stainless steel models. The reflective surface of stainless steel works similar to having a mirror on the wall — it reflects light into dark spaces and creates a subtle sense of depth. Plus, stainless steel appliances never go out of style, so they are sure to please prospective home buyers.
3 – Install Glass Cabinet Doors
Cabinets with wood doors can make the kitchen walls feel closer together. This can be especially claustrophobic for some kitchen layouts or for small kitchens. Fortunately, you don’t have to replace the whole cabinet to reverse this effect. Installing glass cabinet doors allows light to travel into the cabinets and lets you see more space, as you can see all the way to the wall. Glass-front doors also turn the contents of the cabinets into a design element, where brightly colored dishes or glasses can create a visual flair that helps distract from the overall size of a small kitchen. Despite the fact that glass-fronted doors are inexpensive (sometimes even less expensive than the alternatives), they have an upscale association among home buyers that makes an otherwise average kitchen feel truly impressive.
4 – Declutter the Area
The simplest way to make your kitchen look bigger is to eliminate elements that make it look smaller, namely clutter. If your countertops are covered in kitchen appliances and dishes, or if you have things hanging all over the walls, it only distracts from the overall dimensions of the space. Start by getting rid of anything you don’t need in the kitchen. Then find places to store what you do use, keeping essential items close at hand and storing occasional items in out-of-the-way places. There are many ways to add more storage, like using rotating or pull-out cabinet shelving to create more space in your pantry. After clutter is removed, potential home buyers will only focus on the important elements of the kitchen like the high-end appliances or the stylish cabinet doors.
5 – Add More Light
Dim spaces automatically feel smaller, but correctly lighting a kitchen can be tricky because of all the sharp angles and recessed spaces. Any additional light helps but a kitchen is especially enhanced if it’s natural light, as windows and glass doors make spaces feel brighter and bigger. However, installing a new window isn’t always practical. Instead, put in new light fixtures that hang close to the ceiling and direct light where it’s most needed. Installing additional lighting below the cabinets that shines onto the countertops also helps improve visibility and enhance the sense of volume. When you decide to sell, the extra light in the kitchen will draw in prospective home buyers and also highlight all the enhancements you’ve made.
6 – Focus on Style and Substance
Realistically, you can only do so much to make your kitchen look bigger without actually changing the dimensions. When a cramped footprint is unavoidable, focus on making the kitchen more appealing in other ways. For example, replacing the cabinet doors gives the space an instant style upgrade, whereas installing a nicer stove can make it more functional. People want a kitchen that meets their wants and needs, and having abundant amounts of space may not be the top priority. Create a space that works for you and whoever owns the home next.
Kitchen renovations don’t have to be major projects. Something as simple as replacing the doors on your existing cabinets can transform the space in impressive and unexpected ways. As you move forward with your renovation, partner with The Door Stop for custom-cut cabinet doors in hundreds of styles, wood species, and finish options.