how to make a galley kitchen look bigger

Architect’s advice to expand a small kitchen

What are the tips to give a feeling of space to a galley kitchen, open or closed? Visually push back the walls with light color, arrange the angles with suitable kitchen furniture. The architect Charlotte and the decorator Volatier give you their planning and decoration advice to extend a galley kitchen. How to make a galley kitchen look bigger?

A few well-thought-out arrangements can help you overcome the lack of m2 in your small kitchen without incurring a lot of work. There are also some very precious decorating tips to save space and visually enlarge a very small space.

What color of paint to choose to enlarge a small kitchen?

In the case of a small closed kitchen, cold and fairly light colors help visually push back the walls: celadon blue, acid green, light gray; if the kitchen is narrow and long (in the corridor), opt for a strong color on the wall located at the end of the “corridor”: petroleum blue, anthracite, beef blood red … 

In the case of a small open kitchen, it is best to match the color of the kitchen walls to the living area to create visual unity. Another alternative: paint the wall of the main linear in a marked color & make a reminder of this color in the living room (behind the sofa, for example). 

In the case of a small dark kitchen located in the north, the solution to visually enlarge the space is to combine white lacquered furniture (which reflects the light) with warm colors. For example, an energizing yellow – mustard is fashionable (Yellow-Pink color by The Little Greene), to mix with duck blue accessories for a Scandinavian atmosphere; a tonic orange and pep if you are a fan or a very trendy delicate coral (Orange Aurora by The Little Greene); a friendly and cozy red (Radicchio by Farrow and Ball); a girly raspberry (Mischief from The Little Greene). 

Remember: if your kitchen is closed, choose cool, light shades, such as light gray. With an open kitchen, adopt the same color as in the living room. Is your kitchen dark to the north? Pair white lacquered furniture with warm colors like an energizing yellow. And of course, don’t forget white, a precious ally for bringing light and providing a feeling of space.

In terms of layout, what are the clever ideas to expand a small kitchen?

When you think about expanding your small kitchen, you often think of opening it to the living room or even the hallway or the entrance. But beware, this is not a decision to be taken lightly. You have to ask yourself the right questions: – By fully opening my kitchen, will I have more possibilities for planning and optimization? – Very important: identify the nature of the wall to be removed. It is imperative to call in a structural engineer if he is a carrier or in case of doubt. – Beware of the impacts on the layout of the other room, sometimes one less wall in the living room can complicate its layout – Is the open kitchen suitable for my lifestyle? Do I want to have a direct view of the kitchen from my living room? 

We sometimes realize that full openness is not necessarily the best idea. Other options are possible: the interior canopy type workshop window, the semi-partition, or the bar with the main advantage of keeping a partition in the lower part, which can be very practical for the arrangement while allowing passage light and creating a perspective at the top. 

Removing or relocating the kitchen door can also be the solution. 

Remember: completely opening the small kitchen onto the living room is not necessarily the best idea. To bring light and create perspective without a total opening, install a workshop window or a bar.

When it comes to kitchen furniture, which model should you turn to save space?

Kitchen cabinets 60 cm deep are generally used for the main low shelf, corresponding to the standard dimensions of household appliances (LV, oven, fridge). But there are also 40 cm deep furniture, mainly used for storage; they can also accommodate a microwave, a 2-burner hob, or a sink (like Ikea’s Boholmen model for P40 cm cabinet) in a small kitchen. 

We arrange the angles. Today, all the brands offer corner furniture, more or less sophisticated and adapted to all budgets. 

Columns avoid favoring the worktop, very precious in small kitchens. 

We opt for discreet handles or a front model with integrated handles (like the Nodsta model from Ikea) or the must, a model with invisible handles (on sale from kitchen designers). 

Remember: if you want to gain m2 in your small kitchen, opt for kitchen cabinets 40cm deep, arrange the angles and avoid column cabinets. 

How to optimize storage in a small kitchen?

Charlotte Soissons Lenormand and Valérie Laporte Volatier: to optimize storage, favor closed storage, possibly with glass doors to lighten the space. Avoid open storage, such as shelves, which are not very functional and risk overloads. 

Do not neglect the interior design of the cupboards; many brands, especially Ikea, offer organizational solutions: drawer dividers, half-shelves, plate racks, lids racks. No more excuses for poorly tidy cupboards! 

Free up the worktop as much as possible by storing your spices and kitchen utensils on support bars or magnetic rails. You will have them at your fingertips without them cluttering your workspace. 

Remember: choose closed storage; those open are far from being functional and leave the disorder visible. Optimize interior layout with drawer dividers, for example. And above all, free up the work plan.

Can light – natural or artificial – help make a small kitchen bigger?

Charlotte Soissons Lenormand and Valérie Laporte Volatier: it’s always nice to have natural light in a room. When you open the kitchen to the living room, you gain in the light, which gives an impression of space. To make the most of natural light, avoid curtains in the kitchen. 

Artificial lighting is essential in a kitchen. If the budget allows it, the idea is to make a false ceiling with recessed spots to have uniform lighting throughout the room. To be completed with good lighting of the worktop area with spotlights fixed under the wall units or an “extra light” kitchen, shelves, or lighted backsplashes. 

Bottom Line: Make the most of natural light by avoiding curtains in the kitchen. Regarding artificial lighting, make a false ceiling with recessed spots to have uniform lighting throughout the room. And don’t forget, a well-lit room always looks bigger. 

How To Make A Galley Kitchen Look Bigger?

And when it comes to household appliances, what advice do you have?

Of course, you have to choose your appliances according to the size of your kitchen. – For the refrigerator, if the kitchen is very small, choose an undermount refrigerator to gain a work surface. Out American fridge – You are buying a home plate two rather than 4. Choose a dishwasher in nine places (L45 cm) or six couverts.- Select recessed hood to optimize storage hauts. It goes to ‘essential, and we avoid investing in the bread machine, yogurt maker, ice cream maker … 

Regarding the sink: take a model with one bowl rather than 2, ideally without a benchtop, to be completed with a drainer that can easily move to free the worktop. 

Remember: choose the appliance according to the size of your kitchen: apart from the American refrigerator, prefer a 2-burner plate rather than 4. 

What are the decorating tips so as not to suffocate a small kitchen?

Charlotte Soissons Lenormand and Valérie Laporte Volatier: for a small closed kitchen, we avoid the multiplication of materials. Favor light colors for the facades, white or even a very chic pearl gray. If the room is very small, opt for a “glossy lacquer” finish which gives depth. Choose furniture with clean lines; you avoid moldings and glass doors with small panes. We focus on the sobriety of the facades, but this does not mean that your kitchen should not have character! 

Some examples to enhance the whole:

Make a patchwork of cement tiles on the floor.

Paint the walls with a bright color.

  • Choose an original worktop material.

For the credenza, we avoid dark colors if we want any height. If the atmosphere is modern and refined, opt for a low splashback (H10 cm) to match the worktop and a stainless steel or glass hood base. 

In the case of an open kitchen: the only requirement is to be in harmony with the adjoining room. Otherwise, you can do what you want: play the card of sobriety so that the kitchen is forgotten (clear fronts, mat finish) or, on the contrary, make the kitchen the main element of the living room by choosing a finish or an original facade color (wood veneer, night blue lacquered kitchen). 

Remember: bet on sober kitchen furniture, with glossy white or pearl gray lacquer fronts. And make it pop with a cement tile floor or brightly colored wall.

Read More

Organizing Your Kitchen

Best Kitchen Interior Design

Types Of Kitchen Layout

It often says that the mirror enlarges the space; how to use it well in the kitchen?

The mirror can be a solution to enlarge a kitchen if it reflects a window, for example. The risk in a small kitchen reflects the linearity of the cupboard, and in this case, there is little point. Unless you play it backsplash to give depth, provided, the worktop is not too crowded. Attention, maniac, abstain! 

Remember: say yes to the mirror in your small kitchen if it reflects a window. On the other hand, forget it if it reflects the linear of cupboards. 


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