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How Your Kitchen Surfaces Can Make Your Small Kitchen Feel More Spacious!

Your kitchen surfaces play an important role in your kitchen. Firstly, they’re going to be subject to a lot of hard use. Secondly, they will strongly influence the aesthetics of your kitchen. 

white modern fitted kitchen with marble worktops and under cabinet lighting

Stick with one surface type if possible

In a small space, it’s usually preferable to use a single type of surface. This helps to keep the space cohesive and streamlined. It, therefore, makes it look bigger. With that said, if your budget is tight, it might be pragmatic to use different surfaces in different parts of your kitchen.

Generally, you would use the most premium surfaces in the hardest-working areas of your kitchen. Less hard-working areas can usually make do with lower-grade surfaces, at least in the short term. You can always upgrade them later when funds allow.

With that said, if you do have to mix and match surfaces, you should typically aim to be as cohesive as you can. For example, if you’re using stainless steel in your hardest-working areas, use a coordinating laminate in other ones. This will avoid creating high contrasts that can overpower a small space.

Choose the right surfaces for your kitchen

Using reflective surfaces to bounce light and create a sense of space is one of the oldest interior design tricks in the book. It often works as well in small kitchens as it does in other small spaces.

Most popular kitchen surface materials come in reflective and/or light-coloured options. For example, you should be absolutely fine if you want metal, stone/composite, laminate or tile. If you’ve set your heart on granite, concrete or wood, however, you have three main options.

Option one is to accept that they’re not the best options for small spaces and move on. You can always use them if you move to a space with a bigger kitchen (or if you extend your current one). Option two is to counterbalance your use of dark, light-absorbing surfaces by bringing in light-reflecting elements elsewhere (e.g., on cabinetry).

Option three is to lean into it and love it. You can go for dark, moody and dramatic in kitchens in the same way as you can in other rooms. This is, however, a very bold choice and hence can be somewhat risky. It’s therefore arguably best kept for times when you are sure you will be staying in the property for an extended period.

Make the most of the walls behind your surfaces

The safest design option is to carry the colour of the surface material up the wall. Again, this maintains cohesiveness. If cost is a barrier to this, there are design tricks you can use. For example, you could put basic regular tiles on the wall for functionality. You could then cover these with affordable peel-and-stick tiles to get the look you want.

If you have opted for dark surfaces, you can use the wall behind them to create brightness while maintaining cohesion. For example, you could use a coordinating paint colour on your walls. Then cover this with a clear backsplash (e.g., in glass or acrylic) to make it reflective.

Keep your surfaces clean and clear

No matter what type of surface you have, any dirt or clutter will attract the eye. This breaks up the cohesive look you need in a small space. If you must place items on your surface, then do your best to have them coordinate with it.

For example, buy appliances and containers in a colour that blends with your surface. Buy items with reflective surfaces whenever possible. At the same time, be very careful with transparent containers. They do allow light to pass through them but the fact that you can see their contents can make them feel like clutter.

Get in touch

Here at Tara Neil, we are able to help you choose your perfect kitchen surface and build your dream bespoke kitchen. We guide you through every stage of designing a bespoke kitchen to suit your requirements. For more information, please contact our team today.