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Homework: Small kitchen, big impact

Make your kitchen appear larger with a monochromatic

Make your kitchen appear larger with a monochromatic color scheme. Credit: Fotolia

If you've got a small kitchen, you know what a challenge it can be to store everything efficiently. Just because your kitchen lacks size doesn't mean it has to be a drab space. Give your small kitchen a second look. You might find there's a gem inside that little box.



A small kitchen is easy to break up with cabinets and appliances, which makes it look even smaller. But if you use a monochromatic color scheme, such as white walls and white cabinets, you can visually expand the space and make it appear larger.

The room can also take on more size with good lighting.

Adding lighting inside the cabinets, under the cabinets and above the cabinets can make the room look and feel spacious. A variety of lighting really opens up a room and gives it more presence, so include recessed lighting and pendants, such as over the island or sink, to brighten important work areas.



Besides painting your walls and cabinets the same color, you can also make your tiny kitchen grow larger by adding glass doors to the cabinets or even adding mirror. Mirrored backsplashes have long been a way to make the kitchen look larger by reflecting light, but cabinet doors also make a natural place to add mirrored glass.

Opt for countertops that match your cabinet color as closely as possible to make your kitchen appear larger. A natural choice for white countertops is white Carrara marble. By making the color choice so close, the counter and cabinet combination look like a single unit and, thus, make the whole space grow visually. Light countertops are one of the best ways to "expand" your kitchen. This is especially true when paired with the same backsplash no matter whether they top dark- or light-colored cabinets.

If you have space and plan to remodel, take the cabinets all the way to the ceiling. This can really open up your kitchen, give you more storage and make the room look higher. You may be able to add cabinets on top of your cabinets to bring them up to the ceiling. With some molding where the seams meet and a coat of paint, you might never know they weren't originally there.



A mirror doesn't have to be the only reflective material in a kitchen. A creative use of reflective materials, like a shiny silver lighting fixture, brings in some sparkle. Or try glass mosaic tiles that shimmer and glow.

And don't forget paint.

Shiny lacquer paint makes your cabinets gleam and is very popular right now. Treat your cabinets like they are jewels, and paint them in glossy bright tones -- you'll have a kitchen visitors can't help but notice.

The shiny surfaces of stainless steel appliances are also a way to add luster to your kitchen and still have it look chic and timeless.

Need impact? Try unique accessories. Adding a few select items, like a designer pendant lamp or jewel-like cabinet pulls, will finish your kitchen with panache.

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