Hint: No major renovations required.

The kitchen is the hardest-working room in your home. If your kitchen is small, you don’t have to sacrifice form for function. Pricey renovations aren’t necessary for making a smaller one look bigger either. Call upon clever design ideas and smart storage solutions to max out every inch of available space while maintaining a clean look. Here are five ways to make your kitchen look instantly bigger.

1. Add open shelving.

Replace bulky cabinets with open shelving. This budget-friendly decorating trends opens up a room visually, and options like floating shelves take up minimal physical space. Because there’s no cabinet door to hide behind, the shelves must be kept neat and organized at all times.

2. Decluttering is key.

There’s literally no room for clutter in a small kitchen. Toss out top offenders like bulky, mismatched Tupperware; duplicate or unnecessary kitchen tools; and the contents of the junk drawer. This will not only open up valuable real estate in drawers and cabinets for essential appliances but also clear off countertops for more prep space.

3. Blend the backsplash.

Choose a backsplash that’s a similar color to the counters and cabinets. Blending the backsplash will streamline the look (rather than cut the room in half visually) and make the kitchen appear larger than it really is. Keeping the color scheme light will help open up the kitchen as well.

4. Keep appliances out of sight.

Disguise appliances with cabinet fronts to maintain a cohesive appearance. Though cabinet fronts are a pricier option, they help create a seamless look in a smaller space.   

5. Undermount the sink.

By undermounting the sink, the counter gains a few inches of important space where the lip of the sink would normally be. This works best with solid counter surfaces (like granite). Undermounted sinks don’t break the line of the countertop, making for a sleeker look. Pick a tall faucet like a gooseneck to add height to the sink.

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