Whether you have a small living room, kitchen, dining room or office, there are always ways you can give a small room a big punch and bring more airiness and feeling of space into the area.
Many tiny kitchens are just that: Tiny. But if you have enough space to move around in the triangle work area – sink, fridge and oven – then you have opportunities to make it feel more spacious.
Lighting: It’s crucial to have better lighting, daylight or artificial, for working under, but also to highlight the area, or cabinets and counters. Under-cabinet lighting can be reasonably priced and will add immeasurable practical and aesthetic value to your kitchen.
Cabinets:Depending on the budget, of course, new cabinet fronts, (refacing) or refreshing old ones to a lighter hue, or even just changing the hardware will transform a seemingly small kitchen.
Flooring: If the floors are dark, dull, cracked or just dated these can suck the light and life out of an otherwise interesting space. Small and light tiles or cork or lightly colored hardwood floors can give the impression of a much larger floor area.
Walls: A fresh coat of a light color on the walls and a new back-splash can change a so-so room into a ‘wow’ room. Don’t go for a too bright tile for back-splash, for resale reasons. Keep it neutral enough, but make sure you really like it. The area won’t be that big, if you have a small kitchen. So your money will go a long way.
If you have no time and hardly any budget or are perhaps thinking of moving, and therefore trying to make the best of an old kitchen, then the old wise advice still stands – for every room, nook and cranny in your whole home, and not just the kitchen: Declutter, reorganize inside and outside the cabinets and take everything back to its bareness. In other words, leave nothing on the counter tops, clean and scrub away every surface and any grime that may have accumulated over the months or years, and you’ll notice how much bigger and more inviting the kitchen will be. Then keep it free of any nicknacks and things we have become so used to seeing day in day out.
Whether you have a tiny powder room or a small family bathroom, the best way to make it seem more spacious is to paint the walls a light color and bring in as many mirrors as possible. Mirrors reflect and give the wonderful illusion of doubling the space. It picks up the light and other sparkles like crystal and adds interest and dimension to any space. If you have enough space to change a single sink vanity to a double, then this will add to the practical and future resale value. Look at the possibility of adding granite counter top and back-splash. What about heated ceramic or cork floors with a special (but inexpensive) tile pattern which will refresh the whole space?
Once again the most important thing is to clean out the cupboards, scrub and polish all the surfaces and then if budget allows. Do you really need all those old bottles of shampoos and conditioners? What about the medicine cabinet? Get rid of any out of date products and you’ll have more space and will find things quicker.
Consider changing the mirrors to large and interesting shaped ones and update the hardware (if not the cabinets fronts) and the new colored face and bath towels.
If you have a small guest room or baby’s room which will now have to be updated for a growing tween or teen, or if you have a small master bedroom, then look around the rest of your home and see if there are other rooms you can swap their use with. What if you were to redecorate the main floor office – which is much bigger than your master bedroom – into your own haven with your own master bathroom? Then the upstairs room can be transformed into a lovely tween or teenager’s room, and the smallest room can now serve as a perfect office space. The advantage would be that the privacy will give you or your husband the added value of increased productivity.
So, to recap, the most important thing to start with in any room, reevaluate its purpose and then declutter, reorganize and refresh. If you need help of an outsider’s eye, I’m sure many friends or relatives (whom you trust and respect) will be happy to give you their opinions.
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