Little Kitchen – Big Bonus
As you prepare your home to list it for sale, you’ve spent much time and energy creating the look of spaciousness. In bedrooms, bathrooms, and even the laundry, you’ve managed to s-t-r-e-t-c-h your rooms by sheer resourcefulness. Now you must fact that your kitchen is compact and the ways to enlarge it visually evade you. If the builder of your home did not give you the advantage styling and designing your kitchen to look large, you can still make it appear bigger without an expensive revamp.
Remember this, though. Kitchens are meant to work. They are designed to be efficient. They are often made to be compact on purpose. People with kitchens the size of the Great Sandy Desert work much harder than the rest of us at putting a meal together. As you consider the process of making your kitchen appear more commodious, don’t lose sight of the ways in which your kitchen saves you steps.
Kitchens are designed deliberately to create a work triangle between the sink, the refrigerator, and the cooker. This plan, which is a leftover scheme from the days when only one cook was at work there, is still relevant. Such a layout, even in a postage-stamp-sized kitchen, can be an advantage. Styling your changes around this all-important utilitarian element will preserve the room’s ultimate purpose while making the space appear larger.
Repurposing space in a small kitchen is a game of centimetres. Your job is to see what centimetres of space you can reclaim and actually use in the final product. If you were actually planning on replacing cabinets, for example, you could opt for a smaller sized dishwasher and a single sink to create more storage and benchtop space. If you’re doing construction of any kind in and around the kitchen, you could ask your carpenter to create recessed cabinets that extend into the wall space, giving you a few more centimetres of drawer or cabinet space.
For those of us who don’t have the luxury of actually reworking the layout of the kitchen, there is the option of making some modest changes to the cabinets themselves. Often there is unused f wall space above our cabinets. Ask your home stager about moving the cabinetry further up on the wall to create greater distance from the bottom of the cabinet to the benchtop. This goes a long way toward creating visual space. If your cabinets are hung giving you the standard 36 centimetres of clearance, move them up to 44 centimetres. These few centimetres won’t keep you from using the upper cabinets as you always have, but will make the whole room seem larger.
Particularly if you are replacing the refrigerator, go for a model that is counter-depth. If your fridge isn’t extending into your floor space you can reclaim a few visual centimetres.
Another place where centimetres can count in a big way is the ceiling. Many of today’s kitchen ceilings are composed of acoustic tiles laid on an aluminum grid work. This is a clever way to get a great-looking ceiling while enclosing the lighting fixtures and their wiring within the same grid. If this is your kitchen, yank the grid. By removing the grid and the tiles you can often gain half a metre of visual space. You can then have the option of hanging more dramatic lighting fixtures which will also enlarge the look of the space. Naturally, this is the sort of decision you will want to run by your home stager.
One way – and it may be the best alternative – to creating a larger feel in a small kitchen is to add more outside. If it is possible to extend your windows without overspending your budget, by all means do it. Bringing in natural light always works to make a small space larger. (Another brilliant idea is to cover your splashback with a reflective surface – mirrors are not out of the question. They are super-simple to clean and will make this room seem larger the same way they can extend a bathroom or family room.)
Have a brainstorming session with your home stylist. You may be surprised at the ingenious ideas that pop right out when you do not limit your imagination. Simple visual tricks like mirrors to cabinet rearrangements can give you an unexpected advantage. Styling your small kitchen with a bit of creativity and a modest budget can result in a big bonus at sale time.

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