If you wish you had a bigger kitchen, there’s good news. With a little ingenuity, a small kitchen can look bigger and be more efficient. How?  By keeping your counters clear, finding more work space and stealing a few ideas from the modernists. 

Try any one (or all) of these 10 tips to add space to your own kitchen!

(1) Clear your counters of anything that you don’t use at least 3x a week, including appliances. Store appliances in a close, convenient cabinet, or suspend them from a shelf under the cabinet. Uncluttered counters expand the look of  kitchen by letting our eyes see to the farthest end of the room and move quickly over uninterrupted surfaces.

(2) Ditch the bulky knife holder and store knives on a metallic strip attached to the wall under your cabinets.

(3) Hang pots and utensils from a rack attached to the wall or ceiling. Or hang a rod between the cabinets on either side of your kitchen window and hang pots or utensils across the glass instead of curtains or blinds. Stainless steel or copper utensils reflect light and you won’t sacrific privacy.

(4) Lay a large, mobile cutting board across the sink(s). Drill a hole in it to let water drain while you’re working. Or customize a cutting board to fit over an open drawer (just pull open the drawer and place the cutting board over the top to expand your working space).

(5) Add a small island. Even a surface as narrow as 12″ wide can be a handy place to put extra bowls when cooking. Look at unexpected options like sofa tables with a shelf underneath for books, bowls and platters. Or choose a leg version that lets you store small stools underneath. Add a marble or stainless steel, or ceramic tile top so it can hold hot pots.

(6) Double your table as an island. If you’ve got an eat-in kitchen, invest in a 36″ high pub table-style table to expand your counter working space. You’ll have the benefit of a place to sit while you work. 

(7) Use see-through, glass cannisters on your counter instead of opaque ones.

(8) Remove magnets and papers from your fridge door. Papers and menus make a small kitchen look even smaller, and worse, messy.

(9) Paint the backsplash/wall under your cabinets in a clear, cool, modern blue or green color. This really works because cool colors (lighter rather than darker) recede from our view, pushing the wall back.

 (10) Install lights under your cabinets. Thankfully, these days you don’t need to re-wire your kitchen to do this! There are inexpensive battery-operated lights that will work perfectly.