I have always had a soft spot in my heart for small homes—maybe it’s me romanticizing the whole “cottage” idea.  That said, I love to cook and the one room in my house I wish were larger is my kitchen.  I was able to remodel my kitchen in 2003 but budget constraints made it necessary to keep the same foot print.  My friend and kitchen designer, Sotera, helped us maximize the storage and space available and the kitchen works well.

As you can see, my kitchen is what I believe is called a "galley" kitchen; really best if there is only 1 cook in the kitchen as one time.

My little desk sits beside the pantry, which was made to look like a piece of furniture, a look I really like. (Pantry picture is below this picture.

I'm afraid my photography doesn't do this justice. The pantry is painted black with some detailing that makes it look like a hutch. It holds everything we need including a few decorative pieces behind the glass.

There used to be a bank of cupboards above the counter that faced the family room. We took those down to open the space between the kitchen and family room, something that seems to make the kitchen feel larger.

So I read with interest the Better Homes and Garden, “Weekly Home Improvement Newsletter” by Alicia Warden, Assistant Editor of Home Improvement, which was sent via email last week.  The title of the piece is “How to make a Small Kitchen Look Larger”.

I do love white kitchens.Right out of the shoot my kitchen failed the first suggestion, paint your kitchen white but I do see the wisdom of having a white kitchen if you are limited on space.  As BHG states, “White is your best friend in a small kitchen. It reflects the light, which enhances the sense of space and makes the walls seem to recede”.  As these pictures demonstrate, there is wisdom in those words!

A surprise suggestion (for me) was to remove the doors on upper cabinets or add glass front cabinets.  I love open shelves but I didn’t realize it would help make a kitchen look larger.

Minimal window covering is another great tip, let there be light.  That and borrow space from another room (by opening your kitchen to another space)—we did that and I admit, most of our friends who first viewed our remodeled kitchen thought for sure we had increased the floor space.

Another idea was to add a mirror, framed or as a back splash.  I think the back splash idea would be a challenge to keep clean but I’m here to tell you a mirror in the room can make a difference.  Hubby and I once visited a charming, small restaurant in Laguna Beach and the mirrored wall tricked my hubby—he backed his chair up and when he looked over his shoulder he mistakenly thought there was someone he had bumped into.  It was his reflection! {smile}

I love this idea, carve out storage.  I would like to try this when we get around to remodeling our guest bathroom.  It makes sense and looks to be something that wouldn’t be horribly expensive.  Eliminating clutter is a no-brainer but sometimes harder than it seems, especially in a kitchen—what do you do with your coffee maker, toaster, and espresso machine?  Okay, I HAVE heard of appliance “garages” but in a very small kitchen that is a luxury that might take up too much space.

Lastly, make doors disappear.  Using French doors or frosted glass doors as opposed to solid doors opens up the room and makes it feel lighter and more open.

I hope you have an enormous kitchen but if you don’t try some of these tips and see how much more room it will seem you have.  What do you think?  Any ideas for those of us with “cottage kitchens”?

If you’d like to visit this site click HEREAll images via Better Homes & Gardens