I’m renting a cute little home that has a teeny tiny kitchen. Homes built in the 40′s just weren’t designed with large kitchen areas. I updated this kitchen with a little paint and a whole lot of elbow grease. The paint and styling in this kitchen has totally changed the look (obviously!) and feel of the kitchen and eat-in dining area. It feels 10x bigger than when we moved in.
I have learned a ton throughout the last two years of updating this space. I have really learned what has worked and what just doesn’t in a small space like this. Here are a few things I’ve learned that have made a huge difference!
1. Paint walls a light color. When we moved in, the walls were a bright, fun green. I wanted to do a little cottage-ish kitchen so the wall color wasn’t going to work for us. We painted the kitchen tan, then a year later, I got the itch to do it grey. We used Glidden’s Pebble Grey (purchased at Home Depot, my other home) throughout the kitchen and below the chair rail in the dining area. I LOVE IT!! It looks so fresh and updated but still has that cottage feel. It’s really neutral, which is great for a rental home.
2. Paint or Purchase white cabinets. I absolutely LOVE white cabinets. You really can’t go wrong going white! I sanded, primed and painted the white cabinets with Behr’s Swiss Coffee which is slightly off white. I wanted that cottage feel so I didn’t want too bright of a white. Swiss Coffee is perfect and you can also purchase it at Home Depot. PS. How cute is my KitchenAid mixer?? I got it for Christmas and I’m so in love with it. Thanks Santa! Oh, the jar labels are my own design from my vinyl shop, Classy Clutter Designs. You can purchase them here.
3. Pick appropriate lighting. Lighting can be tricky. Especially in small spaces like ours. Make sure to pick appropriate sized light fixtures and hang them an appropriate height. I’ve seen a ton of kitchens where the pendant lights or chandeliers are blocking your view of others at the dinner table or are hung too low over a peninsula and you nearly smack your head on them. Not cool folks. Don’t do it. I purchased this adorable little chandelier from a thrift shop for $7 and gave it a few coats of white glossy spray paint. Use Krylon or Rustoleum if you want your project to last! I would eventually like some small crystals on this but I love the simplicity of it. It gives off SO much light. I even realized when I was taking photos that one of the bulbs is out and it still shines bright like a diamond. (Great, now that song is stuck in my head!)
4. Find creative storage solutions. Nothing, I mean nothing, makes a room feel smaller then when it is short on storage space. This kitchen has that problem unfortunately. There is no pantry so all food, dishes, cups, pots, pans, etc. have to be stored in the 4 cabinets we have! We are a family of 5 with a baby, a two preschoolers that require special plates, cups, utensils, sippy cups, bottles, pacifiers, bibs, etc! Holy cow, where are we going to put it all?? Well, this is where a little creativity can go a loooong way. Since we have moved in, I have found several storage solutions that work for us. Our favorite is our Hidden Sliding Pantry. This has been life changing for us. See the full tutorial here.
One idea is to add these little wire shelves to the insides of your cupboards. We go through a ton of peanut butter and honey. My kids love it. I have these shelves on a few of our cupboards and I’m suprised how convenient they are! Get some ASAP.
Another great food storage solution is a bread box (tutorial here)! I store bread, tortillas and the
occasion cupcakes in there. We also like to have fresh fruit in the basket on top.
5. Use appropriate furnishings. Dining furniture, rugs, textiles, etc. all go into play when designing a kitchen that needs to feel bigger than it is. I always gravitate toward light colors to make a room feel larger. Although it technically does nothing for square footage, the right colors can make a room look light, airy and larger!
For my furniture, I chose a table and chairs with narrow legs so it doesn’t look too heavy. It saves a lot of visual space. I also like to use light colors on the paint for the furniture. The table is a basic white (unknown paint color) and the chairs are painted with Behr’s Glacier Bay. My all time faaavorite light aqua. It’s seriously the best.
I purchased this rug at Target and it matches the room really well. It’s actually a bath rug from the Nate Berkus collection but works really well in here.
Welp, that’s all for today my friends! Hope you can use a few of these tips!
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