clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Ask Flipped: My Kitchen Is Too Small and It Keeps Getting Smaller

New, 1 comment

It's very cramped and also someone may have put a curse on it

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I just bought a new house and I am totally in love with it. One thing that I do not love, however, is the tiny kitchen. I don't cook all that often, but when I do I find myself feeling very cramped. There isn't enough counter space to prep meals, the cabinets are jammed with stuff, and that's just the beginning of the problems. I even have to stand to one side to open the refrigerator!

Also, the walls of the kitchen are moving inwards slowly and imperceptibly. At first I thought I was imagining it, but I measured and it's true.

Do you have any design tips for how I can make the kitchen feel more spacious, even if it's not? Is there anything that a normal kitchen has that I could do without in order to free up some room? Any advice is appreciated?

And if you have any guesses about the thing with the walls, feel free to include those too. I'm very scared.


Claustrophobic in Colorado


Dear Claustrophobic,

There are so many things you can do with a small kitchen, I don't even know where to start! One thing that I would do, as counterintuitive as it may seem, is to vary your materials instead of having one consistent theme. The more of a contrast you have between your cabinets, counters, light fixtures, etc., the better. And don't be afraid to get creative with storage—hang pots and pans on the walls if you needs to. They can even double as decoration!

Are you 100 percent sure that the walls are closing in on you? That's very weird. You think someone could have put a curse on the kitchen? Maybe you should consult a shaman or something.

Here are some more tips, just off the top of my head, so just pick whichever ones speak to you:

  • Install glass cabinets so that you can see inside of them, increasing the amount of visual space
  • Natural light can go a long way. If there's a window, that's great—just make sure it's not covered up
  • Find a tree branch and prop it up between two of the walls. Maybe that will stop them from moving closer together? If the branch breaks, you know you have a real problem
  • Ask yourself the hard questions about which devices you want to keep. How often do you really use that espresso maker? Do you need a toaster?
  • Install a trap door so that if become trapped in the kitchen while you're cooking you can escape and not be crushed to death
  • Add an accent wall!

Hope that helps,