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5 Custom Cabinet Design Hacks to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen

5 Custom Cabinet Design Hacks to Make the Most of a Small Kitchen
4 min. read

Image: Michaela Klenkova / Shutterstock.com

One of the biggest myths we see in the home renovation and custom home building industry is that you need a massive, open space in order to have the kitchen of your dreams. This is just not true! You can create a beautiful and functional kitchen that you love to be in — even if you don’t have a lot of room to work with. If you are thinking of revamping your kitchen but are worried about not having enough space, don’t worry.

Here are our top five custom cabinet design hacks for a small kitchen renovation that doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered!

  1. When Possible, Always Add Storage

An easy way to sneak some extra storage into your kitchen during a renovation is to incorporate hidden storage spaces, by adding some custom kitchen cabinets. One way to create room for this highly bespoke solution is by adding a built-in corner appliance to your custom cabinet design. By concealing small appliances like toasters or coffee makers in an appliance garage, you eliminate clutter, making the space feel a little bigger while also keeping things you use every day close at hand.

Another simple storage hack is recessed storage. This is when you tuck your pantry, shelving or cabinets into the wall when renovating, to keep them from obstructing the flow of the room. When you hire a custom carpenter, you can ask them to make sure your recess storage solutions are trimmed and finished to match the rest of the woodwork in the kitchen.

Image: melansonhomes.com

  1. Opt for Clean Lines & A Simple Design

One of the biggest mistakes we see homeowners make when working with a small space is getting too complicated and fancy with the design. Simpler additions like panelling and crown mouldings can work but avoid ornate details that chop up the room. When in doubt, keep the lines in your design clean and crisp to make the most of your smaller space.

Image: melansonhomes.com

  1. Open-Shelving or Glass Panelled Doors

Open shelving is an extremely popular kitchen design trend that we seem to be seeing everywhere. Trends can be risky but this one is definitely your friend when it comes to small kitchen renovations. Floating shelves or open cabinetry keep the walls more open and create the illusion of a more expansive space.

If you’re not totally comfortable with having everything out on display, consider opting for glass panelled cabinet doors. This draws the eyes deeper, makes the walls feel farther away and makes a small kitchen feel bigger. Although it’s a little more concealed than door-less custom cabinetry or floating shelves, you will still want the contents of your cabinets to be orderly and colour-coordinated. Before you install open or glass-panelled cabinets remember that when things inside are cluttered it will only make the room feel more crowded. Depending on your habits, or the ability of your family to keep the cabinets orderly, this may be a great way to make your kitchen feel more spacious.

Image: melansonhomes.com

  1. Keep Your Kitchen Colours Low Contrast

This tip may seem a little counter-intuitive, but a great small kitchen design hack is to paint your cabinets the same colour as your kitchen walls. By doing this, you eliminate boundaries that naturally stop the eye. Try to choose a low-contrast colour scheme, so the eye naturally flows through the room without switching between light and dark — creating artificial barriers and boundaries.

When you’re selecting your colours for your kitchen, try to stick to light tones. Whites, creams and greys are great because they reflect light and make the room feel bigger. If you do opt for white, we suggest mixing several shades and contrasting textures to keep the room from feeling too sterile or cold. When you choose your colours, it’s a great opportunity to let your personal style shine through and really make the room your own.t

Image: melansonhomes.com

  1. Don’t Forget the Space Above Your Cabinets

Our final custom cabinet design hack is a bonus tip because it doesn’t actually require you to hire a professional or start a home renovation project at all! By adding decorations to the space above your cabinets to naturally draw the eye upward. This makes the ceiling feel higher than it actually is. These decorations could be plants, framed prints, pottery or anything that reflects your unique taste! The only guideline we’ll give you is to make sure the decorations harmonize with the background, rather than harshly contrast against it.

Image: melansonhomes.com

Don’t believe the lie that a small kitchen limits your design options. By following a few of these tips and tricks in your cabinet design, any kitchen can feel spacious!

Also, if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out other kitchen renovation trends to kick-start planning and designing the kitchen of your dreams.

This is a guest post by Melanson Homes, a Calgary-based home builder.

One Comment

  • I found it interesting when you said that glass cabinet door can make your kitchen feel more spacious. My husband and I have been thinking of getting our kitchen remodeled. It would be nice to get some custom cabinets that will open our space up and add to a light feel in our kitchen.

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