Kitchens that open into a dining area are common in homes of any size. Ideally, this arrangement makes serving food, hosting get-togethers, and having dinner as a family feel simpler and more natural.
Unfortunately, in order to accommodate a connected kitchen and dining room, some floor plans skimp on square footage in both areas. In these homes, instead of a large kitchen or spacious formal dining room, you get a smaller version of both.
If your kitchen and dining room combo often feel cramped, here are 10 strategies for making the space feel bigger on any budget.
If you don’t currently have the budget for a renovation, you can make small changes to help your connected kitchen and dining space feel larger.
1. Minimize Window Coverings
If your space is small, you need as much light and actual square footage as possible. Avoid decorations that take up a lot of space or that appear to do so. Get rid of any drapes, valances, or other bulky window coverings in your kitchen and dining room.
If you’re concerned about privacy, opt for a simple blind, add a shade, or install a privacy window film.
2. Put Up a Mirror
Mirrors create the illusion of more space in a room. Putting one large mirror or several smaller mirrors on the same wall can have a similar effect to adding a window.
3. Use Smaller Furnishings
The bigger your furniture, the smaller the room it’s in looks. If you’re short on space, take the leaf out of your dining room table and only decorate with the chairs you actually use.
If you’re ready to update the room, consider a quaint round table, a quirky booth, or a wall-mounted table that folds out of the way when not in use.
Use these smart decorating tips to make your connected kitchen and dining room seem a little less cramped.
For a more permanent fix that’s still budget-friendly, make these minor renovations
4. Go Monochromatic
Anything that disrupts your vision can make a room feel smaller. For a bigger, brighter look, paint your walls in the kitchen and dining room the same color. Consider a warm or eggshell white for a French country or farmhouse look. Or for a soft, coastal vibe, choose a light cool color like robin’s egg blue.
5. Open Your Cabinets
Cabinets can make your kitchen feel cramped, especially if you have a significant amount of storage. Instead of trying to eliminate cabinets altogether, turn some into open shelves or glass-front cabinets.
These spaces are perfect to display decorative dishes and they make the room seem wider.
6. Match Your Flooring
Many homes have both carpet and a harder flooring. In some cases, the kitchen floor consists of a harder floor, while the living and dining room spaces get carpeting. To make the transition between your kitchen and dining room smoother, replace the dining room flooring to match the kitchen.
When you’re ready to turn your small connected space into a spacious area for cooking, dining, and entertaining, start with these renovations.
7. Add More Natural Light
Light makes a space seem larger and more welcoming. Do what you can to introduce natural light to the space. Add a window or widen an existing window. Replace a solid door with glass patio doors. If you don’t have options connected to your outdoor walls, consider a skylight instead.
8. Eliminate Visual Disruptors
As mentioned above, hard lines disrupt your line of sight and can seem to cut a space in half. Make your backsplash, cabinets, and walls all a similar color to minimize visual disruptors.
Replace patterned countertops with a simpler stone alternative that is close in color to the rest of the kitchen. Continue this color scheme in the dining room.
9. Opt for Sleek, Vertical Appliances
To make your kitchen area seem larger, choose cabinetry that is taller than it is wide. These dimensions make the ceiling look higher and the room feel larger.
Additionally, replace any old appliances with a simply designed matching set or with hidden appliances.
10. Take Down Barriers
Many connected kitchen and dining rooms feel smaller because they’re separated by a wall or doorway. To open up the space, take out the adjoining wall. If you can’t remove the wall due to its load-bearing nature, widen the doorway.
Remove any swinging doors between the kitchen and dining room. If you still need a door, use a sliding or pocket model instead.
The right renovations on your space depend on the square footage and layout. Consult with a contractor to decide which renovations are right for your home.
Use these tricks to turn your tight kitchen and tiny dining room into a more open, welcoming space for you, your family, and your guests to enjoy.
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