Have you ever noticed how kitchen manufacturers sell their kitchen doors by showing us pictures of lavish kitchens on desert islands, complete with breakfast bars and dining tables - and they expect us to imagine those kitchen cabinets in our own homes. That is great if you have a large kitchen in the Caribbean - but if yours is more modest, that visualisation needs to have more than a little imagination!
Smaller kitchens offer a challenge in terms of interior design - but there are a number of tricks and tips that can turn even the smallest kitchen into a space that is well organised and easy to use. The clever use of colours and materials can even make it feel bigger.
Choose the right colours
Lighter colours are definitely best in a small kitchen as it gives the room more light and brightness. But this doesn't mean that you should just choose white - even though this is a simple and easy choice. Other lighter shades can bring a small kitchen to life including cream, vanilla, magnolia and light grey.
Mixing up your colours is also possible - even in a confined space. Using a darker kitchen door on the lower cabinets, while staying light on upper cabinets, can give an optical illusion of extra depth and space.
Exposed walls can also be painted in darker colours, allowing them to disappear behind the cabinets giving the illusion of the cabinets being deeper than they are.
Just because a floor cabinet is usually 600mm deep, it doesn't mean yours has to be. If a section of your kitchen isn't going to be used for housing appliances, sinks or hobs - it is perfectly acceptable to choose a cabinet that is not as deep and to cut your worktop to match. This will offer you a little more floorspace and at the expense of just a little cupboard space.
You should also try to use tall cupboards on your walls - letting them reach almost to the ceiling. This makes the most of the space you do have and adds in the colour of your cabinet as more of a feature.
A high gloss, or possibly even satin finish, are the best options for small kitchens as each of these are reflective and add depth to the room. With a high gloss kitchen door you could even use a dark shade and still get the light into the room that you need.
A gloss finish does cost a little more than average, so you could always go for a satin finish which has a smooth painted look with a slight glow. Rather than absorbing light, like a matte finish might, this will add light back into the room - therefore adding space.
Kitchen door style
As you will know, a small kitchen can be a struggle to keep orderly, so you may find that a plain style door would work better than a busy, highly decorative traditional door would. Plain doors will not catch the eye and will blend into the walls behind them. This may seem boring, but in a small kitchen, the emphasis should be on creating space and practicality. Plain doors are also very beautiful when they are well made and have a colour that suits the room.
Of course there are many other tricks you can apply in a small kitchen such as keeping the worktops clear and avoiding the use of curtains. You can even remove your kitchen door (fire regulations taken into account) to give you the doorway space back.
You may be stuck with your small kitchen, but you are not stuck with your kitchen doors. Get some new ones, using the ideas detailed in this article and see how much larger your kitchen will seem.