Kitchen Tips to Avoid a Cheap Look & Look Bigger

No matter if your kitchen is newly renovated or has had the same look for years, nobody wants it to appear cheap. Everyone wants a kitchen that looks wider and cleaner.

The kitchen is a key room, working hard every day. Keep it up-to-date and enjoyable. Also, when selling your home, remember it’s a room that buyers often judge closely.

Look carefully at your kitchen’s overall design, then focus on specific details. The color of the paint, the lighting, and how cluttered it is all affect its style. To enhance your kitchen’s look, here are smart tips to improve them.

Related: 9 Methods to Optimize Corner Cabinet Storage

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7 Things That Make Your Kitchen Look Cheap

Fluorescent Lighting

Old fluorescent tube lights with yellowed plastic covers can make a kitchen look less appealing, often casting a greenish hue that reminds people of dull office environments. You certainly don’t want your kitchen to evoke the feel of an office.

Updating the lighting doesn’t need to be costly. Consider replacing these lights with a budget-friendly chandelier or pendant lights. Another option is to install recessed lighting, adding accent pendants for a modern touch. To increase natural light, you could also place a small lamp on the kitchen counter or remove curtain valances from kitchen windows.

Outdated Linoleum Floors

Many less attractive kitchens have linoleum flooring, and switching it out for hardwood can be pretty expensive.

To address this without breaking the bank, think about covering the linoleum with a lively rug. This simple addition can inject style and warmth at a lower cost. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, opting for decorative tiles instead of hardwood is a budget-friendly alternative. It’s a smaller investment that can still elevate the space’s luxury and aesthetic appeal.

Cluttered Countertops

Cluttered Countertops

Clutter never looks good, no matter where it is.

Countertops filled with old mail and multiple small appliances can make your kitchen look messy and disrupt the overall flow. The key is to store away items that you don’t use every day. Develop a habit of dealing with mail and catalogues as soon as they come in.

Also, avoid lining the tops of kitchen cabinets with platters and cheaper baskets. Keeping decorative items like teapots or dried flowers up, there needs to be an updated decorating style. Aim for a minimalistic approach and clear all those items away.

Old and Damaged Drawer Knobs

Chipped or scratched drawer pulls, and knobs can largely break the appearance of your kitchen. Replacing these fixtures is a low-cost DIY project that can instantly uplift the room’s look. Consider them as the kitchen’s jewelry, adding that finishing touch to enhance its style.

Overuse of Artificial Plants

The overly perfect potted ivy on your refrigerator isn’t deceiving anyone. Artificial plants often look cheap and can detract from your kitchen’s appeal. It’s better to avoid plastic greenery and opt for a vase of fresh flowers or even leave the space empty.

If you want to add some natural elements to your kitchen, consider placing potted herbs on the windowsill. They can be used in cooking, and their lively presence can promote the overall feel of the space.

Related: Cabinet Hardware: The Essential Guide

Overuse of Artificial Plants in kitchen

Inconsistent Appliance Finishes

For a cohesive kitchen look, it’s best to have appliances with the same finish.

While design trends are shifting from stainless steel to black appliances, replacing mismatched items might not fit within your budget. Another option is to hide the mismatched appliance.

You can use peel-and-stick tiles or a stylish wallpaper cut to size, held in place with strong magnets. This can effectively integrate the appliance into your kitchen’s overall design without the need for expensive replacements.

Overuse of Plastic Items

For items like freestanding garbage cans, choosing metal over plastic can make a big difference. Metal may cost a bit more than plastic, but it’s worth it for the more refined look it brings to your kitchen.

If buying a new metal trash can isn’t an option right now, consider finding a way to hide your current one. Tucking it out of sight can help maintain a cleaner, more streamlined look in your kitchen.

How to Make Your Kitchen Look Bigger

Maintain a Light and Unified Color Scheme

The colors you choose for your kitchen greatly influence how spacious it feels. Light colors, especially those with white tones, naturally reflect light, preventing the room from feeling small and dark.

While bright white or cream is a common choice, don’t feel restricted. Light shades of green, yellow, blue, and even grey can also be effective.

It’s essential to keep the color of your cabinet doors and walls consistent. This approach eliminates visual breaks, allowing the eye to move smoothly across the room making it appear larger than it really is.

Choose Open Wall Storage

Maximizing wall space is vital when storage is a priority in your kitchen. Instead of opting for solid cabinets, which can make the space feel more confined, consider open storage solutions.

Shelves are great for storing lighter kitchen items and appliances, making the room feel more open. Cabinets with glass panels also offer the utility of traditional cabinets while keeping in line with an open, airy design.

Adding soft lighting inside these cabinets or under the shelves can further enhance the sense of openness and keep the area bright and welcoming.

Choose Glossy Features for a Spacious Feel

glossy Countertops

Just as mirrors are recommended to make hallways and bedrooms appear larger, glossy features can have the same effect in kitchens.

Choosing gloss finish cabinets and countertops, along with stainless steel accents on taps, handles, and appliances, can reflect light and create the illusion of a larger space.

To enhance this effect, use more natural light by keeping your window design simple, with treatments on the glass and uncluttered windowsills. It allows more natural light to enter the room, increasing the amount of light that can bounce off the glossy surfaces.

Avoid Clutter for a Neat Look

Clutter can quickly make a small kitchen feel crowded and disorganized. To combat this:

  1. Use drawers and a narrow larder to maximize storage space. This allows you to conceal ingredients, utensils, and crockery, keeping countertops and shelves clean and clutter-free.
  1. While it’s important to decrease clutter, some items can remain on display. Statement pieces like freestanding mixers can add to the room’s design. Daily essentials such as kettles and toasters are practical to have out. Additionally, fresh flowers, herbs, and other small decorative items can add a homely touch when displayed sparingly.

Choose Simple and Bright Lighting

Simple and Bright Lighting in kitchen

In a small kitchen with a high ceiling, a statement light shade can be a stunning addition to the design. However, for standard or low ceilings, you should avoid overloading the room with unnecessary light fixtures.

Integrated lighting can be a lifesaver for small kitchens. These lights may be absent in the overall room design. Still, they can provide ample bright light, creating a more open and airy atmosphere throughout the day.

While ceiling lights are essential, you can take it further by adding lights beneath cabinets and as spotlights on your worktop. This soft, layered lighting enhances your prep space and contributes to the overall appeal of the kitchen.

Small kitchens can be just as charming as larger ones when you apply these design tips to maximize the space and create an inviting environment where you’ll enjoy spending time.

Use See-Through Elements

Creating unobstructed sightlines in your kitchen can make it appear more spacious. Clear plastic chairs, floating islands, transparent bar surfaces, backless barstools, or glass pendant lights can all contribute to this effect.

Choose Slimmer Cabinets

Slimline base cabinets with reduced depth can create the illusion of more floor space while maintaining a standard cupboard appearance. While you may not be able to store bulky items in these cabinets, consider hanging pots and pans from the ceiling or utensils from hooks underneath cupboards to maximize storage efficiency.

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