Six Ways to Open up Your Kitchen

kitchen with big windows and french doors

Tired of feeling cramped in your kitchen? Are you trying to come up with ideas to make your kitchen feel bigger and more open without undergoing a massive renovation or remodel project?

Thankfully, there are many different kitchen remodel and redesign options that will help you improve the space, some of which don’t require significant teardown or expansions.


Bay, Bow and Garden Windows
You can make a kitchen feel more open and larger without pushing out any walls by adding garden, bay or bow windows. These windows project out, adding slightly more space while drastically increasing natural light, making the room feel more open and less gloomy.

Garden windows are a great addition to homes in Seattle because you can grow herbs indoors where the temperature is regulated while still giving plants in the garden window copious amounts of natural light. Thyme, parsley, chives, rosemary, mint, oregano and basil all thrive in garden windows, and you can always have the delicious herbs fresh in your kitchen for cooking.

Even if your current kitchen doesn’t have a large window or you don’t know how you can incorporate a garden window into your existing kitchen layout, give Procraft a call. We provide free estimates and design consultations, during which we can give you several potential options that will allow more natural light in and make your kitchen feel more open. We can even expand existing window openings or add new ones if that’s an option you want to pursue.

Kitchen Paint Color

Light has a lot to do with people’s perspective of size, and white paint tends to reflect light and contribute to a more open, airy feel. Creams, off-whites and even light shades of grey are all color options that will help make optimal use of natural light. The main goal is to avoid dark, bold colors.

A low-contrast color scheme can also make a kitchen feel bigger and more open than it is. If you’re concerned about the perceived size or openness of your kitchen, try to maintain a similar color scheme between your walls, backsplashes, cabinets and countertops.

However, kitchen color is a very personal choice, so if white or light color tones aren’t your style, there are a lot of other design strategies to consider.

Reduce Countertop Clutter

Anything that’s filled to bursting is going to look smaller and appear to have less room than something that’s comparatively empty. Analyze your kitchen’s counters and consider how many of the appliances, jars and decorations really need to be there. If you have mixers, flour or sugar jars, knife blocks, blenders and coffee makers calling your countertops home, your kitchen will inevitably appear to be less open. If possible, find cabinet storage space for these items.


Flooring Impacts Perception

Many studies have been done on the effects of “vertical illusion” and our perceptions of horizontal verse vertical length. You can use this to your advantage with the right types of flooring. If you were to put down tile or, better yet, engineered wood or natural wood floors, and you lay the planks vertically out from the kitchen’s entry points, it will have the effect of making the kitchen look longer or bigger than it is.

Large tiles are another option for flooring that will make a kitchen look bigger, unless your kitchen has a galley design, in which case large tiles may look awkward in the narrow center.

Downsize Appliances

This tip isn’t for everyone, as it requires a much bigger investment overall, but there are a growing number of kitchen appliances that have downsized variants. You can find fridges that are only 28 or 30-inches wide or “condo-sized” dishwashers that are only 18-inches wide as opposed to the standard 24 inches. There are also new undercounter dual-zone freezer/fridge combos that allow some people to eliminate their traditional standing fridge needs entirely.

These options are great for smaller families or people who tend not to store a lot of food in their fridge on a regular basis, but it does require modifying cabinet configurations, which is only an option if you’re completely redoing cabinets and countertops in a big kitchen remodel.


Cabinet and Shelving Options

Standard-size cabinets often leave a space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets. If you’re replacing your cabinets, you can purchase extended height cabinets to elongate the visual height of your kitchen. There are also specialized above-the-cabinet lighting solutions that will soften the hard shadows that can make a kitchen feel shorter.

You can also consider utilizing shelving instead of traditional cabinets on one wall of your kitchen to add more depth. The same effect can be developed by installing cabinet doors with framed clear glass.


Make Your Kitchen Feel Open and Airy With More Natural Light From Procraft

If you want to make your kitchen feel bigger without going through the long, arduous process of a complete kitchen remodel, seriously consider garden, bay or bow windows. With minimal mess, we can expand existing openings and install a functional window solution that enhances your kitchen, helps bring the outdoors inside and endows the heart of your home with a more inviting atmosphere.

Give us a call at (206) 361-5121 to schedule your free design consultation and estimate.

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