5 ways to make a tiny kitchen look and feel larger!

5 ways to make a tiny kitchen look and feel larger 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. Allendale Kitchen Before PhotoI 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! cute little dining room 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. Swiss Coffee Cabinet Color 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. spray painted chandelier 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!) Hidden Rolling Pantry

 (DIY Hidden Pantry tutorial)

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. little shelf for frequently used items 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. Cute bread box 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. Painted chairs and a neutral table.jpg 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. cute kitchen rug 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. fresh looking cottage kitchen

Welp, that’s all for today my friends! Hope you can use a few of these tips!

Oh, don’t forget to follow us on instagram for daily updates on what shenanigans we’re getting into! Follow us @classyclutter


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  1. Your updates are beautiful! I completely agree with each suggestion here. Lightening a space goes a LONG way to making that space feel more open and welcoming. And that is so important in a space like the kitchen.

  2. I’m almost ready to do my kitchen cabinets, and I’ve been looking for a great not-too-white color recommendation, so thanks!

  3. I really impressed from your ways of tiny kitchen design. I am thinking that by following yours, anybody can give wonderful look to their small space kitchen and feel there just like as bigger kitchen.

  4. We have a small kitchen too, so I appreciate knowing the tips you applied in your own beautifully renovated kitchen. =D My husband loves black, though, so black is punctuated throughout our space as well as stainless steel. I’m painting our cabinet doors white, though, so I get a little taste of that white cabinet look. 🙂

  5. I just saw the tutorial for that pull out shelf by the fridge. And while looking at the picture I noticed you have a great space for a shelf. Right against that cabinet where your bread box is. You can leave the shelves open or use springrod and put a curtain to hide the things on it. Design would be scaled down version of the pull out shelf and without coasters.

  6. I am in love with your kitchen! We are about to make a move to a home with a small kitchen so your ideas and color choices are a lifesaver!!! I have been looking for a nice calm grey! Thanks so much!!

  7. I have one more question. Worth the hidden pantry storage near the fridge, does the food get exposed to any kind of heat coming off of the fridge?

    1. Hi Krissy! Thanks for your comments! The DIY pantry I made has been up in my kitchen for over 2 years and I have never had any problems with it. My fridge does not get hot at all on the side so I would definitely recommend checking your fridge for heat that it may put off before you build something like that. I have actually had to replace our fridge when it went out a few months ago and neither of them have put off any heat. Hope that helps!

  8. Hi,

    I stumbled across your website, and I can’t get enough. So much beauty in one blog. Oh my! I love it. I think I saw an image that had a mint color in it and that’s how I got on here. Yup I looooove mint, white and gold. These are my current fave colors.

    I found this blog at the right time though. I scored some awesome window frames on craigslist, and I’ve been trying to figure out where to put them. I like where you placed yours, the wreath gives it an extra umph. Could you please tell me what you used to hang them?

    Thanks for your time, and for these awesome diys

  9. Your kitchen cabinets look so much better painted than they did before! How did you get the landlord’s permission? Or did your decide to decorate then ask for forgiveness later? Some things are worth forfeiting a deposit over, imho.

    1. Hi Gael!

      My landlord gave the “okay” first. She knows I’m an avid DIYer so she didn’t have a problem with me tackling this project. She’s let us paint what we want and we even refinished the wood flooring underneath the carpet. We have been here for four years so she knows and trusts us at this point. Having a great landlord is such a blessing! Thanks for topping by! xoxo – Mallory

  10. Very cute. I love the roll out pantry but not sure if will work for me. I have a tiny galley kitchen and my refrigerator has french doors. I’m going to measure though to see. I would like more room in the kitchen for storing pots, pans and small appliances. Right now I have some in a bedroom closet. LOL Thanks for the idea and any tips for a small galley kitchen would be fabulous.

  11. Hello. My husband and I purchased our first home and unfortunately it only has an eat in kitchen. I would love to redo the kitchendining area in such a way so that it is separated like yours. Would you mind providing the measurements of the entire space ap that I can see if it’s attainable? I have way more kitchen than dining at this point and I’m interested I’m making it a more even space.

  12. very nicely you explain all things but I want to ask that If I use light colour paint in my kitchen than is it possible that heat produce during cooking food can affect light colour paint?

  13. I LOVE your blog!! The ideas here are great, i do plan on using some of them. i am so impressed with your writing. short, sweet, informative, and just enough personalization. i felt as though we were having a conversation, and it is one of the few i didn’t have to filter out and try to skip all of the ‘fluff’ i can only assume some use to make themselves seem interesting. i am looking forward to more. good writing deserves to be recognized.

  14. What is the color you have above the chair rail? We are looking to redo our kitchen space and I love this look.

  15. That looks a lot like my kitchen. I live in a cemesto “B” house that was built in the 40’s. Thanks for the pretty ideas.

  16. I was so excited for my design with your and the day of exceeded my expectations. I recently purchased a home and decided to make a few cosmetic.

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