I’m a firm believer in making your house into a home. Yes, even your rental. Yes, even if it means patching holes and painting the walls back to yawn-inducing beige before you move out. A wrinkly drop cloth and a touchy paint roller later, you might start to regret it, but don’t freak: on the days between signing your lease and dropping off your keys, you’ll savor every ounce of extra effort when you walk in the door and feel at home.
I’m also a firm believer that our kitchens — especially our tiny kitchens — don’t get enough TLC. Whether you’re an owner or a renter, a kitchen feels so permanent. It’s not like you can spend a Saturday afternoon rearranging the layout of your cabinets. But there are still tricks to make your tiny kitchen sparkle and, drumroll, appear larger than it really is. Some are simple and some might take a bit of work, but every one will help you forget your limits and celebrate your space, however much you actually have.
Open It Up With Open Shelving
Add storage while avoiding unnecessary bulk by using open shelving. It takes up less space, literally and visually. “But everybody will see my stuff!” Exactly, so now’s the time to be picky. Keep the stuff you love and pass on the rest. (Donate to Goodwill by the end of the year, and keep your receipt for tax season.)
If your space is especially compact — ugh, I feel your pain — think about adding shelving above or even below your upper cabinets. Store things you don’t need as often above (extra towels, cake pans, etc.) and keep the stuff you reach for on the daily (oil, seasoning, etc.) below..
Vertically Work Your Space
When it comes to styling our kitchens, we tend to focus on the middle. Our decorative touches start and end with the fancy cheese board on the counter. Break out of middle kitchen syndrome by looking up and down: there’s probably space you’re not using.
Consider breaking out of the norm and hanging a gallery wall in your kitchen. Smartly break the rules by intentionally spreading your artwork above and below the sightline. It’s a chic way to highlight the height of your space, an exaggeration that will make the room appear larger.
Get Reflective With Mirrors
Speaking of artwork, it’s always a challenge to figure out what to hang on your kitchen walls. Pictures of food? A mass-produced print that proclaims your coffee addiction? You can do better. Try mirrors! Everybody knows the reflective and bouncy-light qualities of a mirror make any space appear larger, so why not bring one, or three, into the kitchen?
Pick up a few mirrors and hang them vertically, one right on top of the other. Use frameless mirrors for a cleaner look and vintage mirrors for a cozier feel. Check out some kitchen mirror inspo and photos here!
Keep It Light And Bright
It’s time to lighten up, my friends. While dark colors absorb light, light colors reflect it and make a space feel larger. In a tiny kitchen, brighter is better.
Keep the overall palette of your room on the lighter, less saturated side — think whites and light neutrals — then add personality with accessories and tools that show off your style. Cutting boards, mixing bowls, dishes, towels, and small appliances are all opportunities to bring color and pattern into the room without shrinking it.
Take Care Of The Details
Invest in the fun products in your kitchen, and you’ll start to savor every square inch of your tiny kitchen. Buy the overpriced soap you really love and decant it into a dispenser you don’t mind looking at. Line your cabinets and drawers with a fun print. Finally, make the effort to purchase kitchen towels you really love. They’ll do double duty as a useful tool and a beautiful accent in your space.
What are YOUR tiny kitchen design tricks? Share ‘em in the comments below, or post a photo and tag #confettikitchen on Instagram!