Mix Cabinet Materials

Why stick with just one type of cabinet in your kitchen? See how to combine materials, colors and designs with tips from this kitchen that masters cabinetry mixing.

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Popular Kitchen Colors

Coat your kitchen in a color you love with our favorite paint picks. With ideas for blues, grays, greens and, yes, even white, these versatile kitchen paint colors bring the beauty.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Backsplashes

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Creative Dish Storage

Make your kitchen even more stylish and functional by storing dishes where you can see and access them easily. These out-of-the-box ideas will help you get started.

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Popular in Kitchens

Make a Small Kitchen Look Larger

Stretch a small kitchen space without a major remodel. Check out these tricks for cabinetry, color schemes, countertops, and more that make a little kitchen look and feel spacious.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Paint It White

      White is your best friend in a small kitchen. It reflects light, enhancing the sense of space and making the walls recede. When you include white on cabinetry, countertops, walls, and the ceiling, you create a seamless space without edges or boundaries. Use several shades of white, and combine contrasting textures to keep an all-white room from feeling sterile. Recessed-panel cabinets and crown molding create subtle shadows that add interest, too.

      FREE Kitchen Remodeling Guide
    • Use a Low-Contrast Color Scheme

      Creating a kitchen scheme with little difference between the colors of walls, countertops, cabinetry, and woodwork makes a space appear larger than it really is. Here, the cabinets, trim, and backsplash are close in color value -- a soft gray-green -- so the eye doesn't trip over sudden shifts from dark to light. The effect is serene and expansive.

    • Replace Cabinet Doors with Glass

      One way to make a small kitchen appear larger is to remove some cabinet doors or replace the solid fronts with glass. This pulls the eye past the cabinet frames, into the depths of the cabinets, so the walls feel farther away. This trick is most effective if you can keep what's in the cabinets orderly and color-coordinated; clutter tends to make a room feel crowded.

    • Welcome the Light

      Natural light enlarges any space. You may have no choice about the number or placement of windows in your kitchen, but you can maximize the light you do have by keeping window treatments minimal. Here, blinds add a dressy note without blocking the light. If you want privacy, try an opaque shade that allows light in.

    • Slenderize the Furnishings

      A small kitchen dictates small-scale furnishings, but take it a step further by choosing a work island, bar chairs, or stools that are visually lightweight, such as this small industrial island. Clean lines don't distract the eye, and the furniture piece allows you to see the floor and walls beyond, making the room feel larger.

    • Secrets to a Successful Small Kitchen

      You may not realize it, but your small kitchen has great potential for extra space. These smart secrets will have you cooking up a storm in no time.

    • Borrow Space

      Depending on your home's layout, you may be able to remove part of a wall separating the kitchen from an adjoining living or dining room. It won't increase the square footage of the kitchen, but it can vastly enlarge the sense of space, bringing in more light and a feeling of openness.

    • Streamline Storage

      Small kitchens present tough storage challenges. Countertops often become crowded with appliances, but eliminating clutter can help any space feel larger. Use a corner appliance garage in your kitchen and reclaim lost storage space. The cabinet conceals coffeemakers, toasters, and other small appliances, while keeping them easy to access for food prep.

      Small-Space Storage Ideas
    • Stretch the Floor Space

      Some patterned wall and floor coverings add visual clutter that makes a space feel smaller, but certain patterns have the opposite effect. Oversize diamonds or chevrons create diagonal lines that draw the eyes from one side of the room to the other, making it feel wider than it really is. Combine this technique with low-contrast colors for big results in a small kitchen.

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      Widen with Stripes

      Just as clothing with horizontal stripes can make a person look wider, striped flooring that runs from side to side, rather than following the length of a room, will stretch the apparent floor space. These broad stripes were created by alternating light- and medium-tone laminate floor tiles. Achieve a similar effect by painting existing wooden or vinyl flooring or by covering the floor with a large striped rug.

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      Take the Eye High

      Giving the eye an vertical path to follow increases the apparent height of the ceiling, thus lifting the lid off a boxy room. Here, molding atop the sleek wood cabinets draws the eye upward. If there is a soffit above your cabinets, framed prints, decorative plates, or large ceramic tiles achieve a similar effect. For the greatest sense of expansiveness, choose objects that harmonize with the background rather than stand out against it.

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      Mind the Hood

      A sleek, wall-mount vent hood over the cooktop trims the visual fat from a wall of cabinets, giving the room a greater feeling of openness. Minimalist vent hoods, like this one, require 30 inches between cabinets, about the same as an undercabinet hood, but give a cleaner, lighter look -- a plus in a small kitchen.

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      Carve Out Storage Space

      Add storage to a small kitchen, without consuming valuable floor space, by recessing a shelving unit into the wall space between studs. These recessed shelves -- trimmed and finished to match the woodwork -- blend with the architecture. If you don't have space within your kitchen, look for a spot near your kitchen, such as a breakfast nook or hallway, to implement recessed shelves.

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      Eliminate Clutter

      Countertops crowded with cookware, cabinets, and collectibles overwhelm a small kitchen and cramp work space. To enlarge the room, clear off counters, windowsills, and cabinet tops, and stash as much as you can behind closed doors. To take decluttering further, opt for minimalist European-style cabinetry with sleek, flat-panel doors.

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      Stay Light and Bright

      Reflective surfaces, such as ceramic tile, marble countertops, and stainless steel, subtly amplify the effects of natural and artificial light, thereby making small kitchens seem larger. Plus, adequate lighting improves functionality. Undercabinet lights come in handy while cooking, and pendant lights add ambiance to meals served at an island or peninsula.

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      Next Slideshow Kitchens that Maximize Small Footprints

      Kitchens that Maximize Small Footprints

      Gather inspiration and do-it-yourself ideas from these small kitchens that make the most of what they have. Clever storage ideas and smart space solutions create small kitchens that wow!
      Begin Slideshow »



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