Make Your Small Kitchen Sizzle

A small kitchen doesn’t mean you have to pass on your potential Florida dream home, if everything else on your must-have list checks out. Peruse this list of tricks to make that small kitchen cook and feel larger than life.

Shrink It!

In a small kitchen, think core activity. An office desk, mail drop, laundry and giant island won’t fit a tight space, so resist thinking you must cater to multiple functions. Instead, focus on necessities. Equip your kitchen only to fit your cooking style. Many manufacturers make appliances and furnishings that suit smaller spaces. Petite counter-topped carts can provide extra workspace and storage, yet still be tucked away when not needed.

Let It Breathe

Top-to-bottom storage in a small space may be practical, but floor-to-ceiling cabinets in a claustrophobic kitchen may make you feel like you’re cooking in a closet.Ditch those upper cabinets. Choosing open shelves, pot racks and decorative utensil containers helps yield a more spacious-feeling room. Plus, your equipment doubles as fun, functional art.

Mix and Match Materials

There’s no hiding a design flaw in a pint-sized kitchen. Your choice of design materials should be large on inspiration, whether only a few materials, or a mix of many. One perk is that a small space makes a premium choice such as granite countertops more affordable. And small spaces really spotlight an added architectural or design flourish.

Hint: try creating a sample board with swatches of the materials you’re considering. Using the same color, cabinet and fixtures styles, unifies the look.

small-kitchen-sizzle

Create an Airy Atmosphere

Upper cabinets a must for your small Florida kitchen? No problem. Try glass-fronted cabinets which “breathe” and highlight attractive dishes. Other options are glass countertops or tabletops. Shimmery glass tile can brighten up a backsplash. And consider placing mirrors on the back of glass-fronted cabinets to reflect light.

Brighten It

All kitchens need task and atmospheric lighting. To counteract the typical “bluish” fluorescent fixtures in most kitchens, try warmer pendant lights focused on specific surfaces.

Other tips: incandescent lighting tucked under upper cabinets and focused on countertops. Try it on ceilings, aimed at cabinets, and even under lower cabinets, shining down on the floor.

Know What’s Underfoot

Flooring in a small kitchen can be taken in with one glance, along with the typical dust and stray carrot top. That means choosing a workhorse material that’s aesthetically pleasing. Consider stone or marble, which is affordable in a small space. Go “green” with cork, the top surface in U.S. industrial kitchens (make sure it’s sealed to thwart expansion from moisture).

Turn Up the Color Volume

Color affects everything in a room, especially the perception of atmosphere and size. The standard white, or lighter colors, draw one’s eye over the entire space for a seamless feel. But punch in some fun! Try a lavender glass-tile backsplash, or blue-shaded pendant lights. How about Ferrari-red countertop appliances?

Create Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes, small is just right. Perhaps the biggest requirement for your cozy Florida kitchen is to keep clutter, noise and crowds at bay. Focus on favorites — a basket collection or retro appliances — that make your kitchen a personal space, no matter its size.

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