How to make a small kitchen appear larger with Resene paints

A splash of colour will really open up your kitchen, especially if it emulates the shades found outside.

A kitchen is a place of congregation for the family. It's where healthy, wholesome meals are made and if you have an open kitchen plan, it'll be where everyone gathers around at dinner time to bond and relax after their day. As a kitchen holds food, a basic human necessity, it symbolises a place of comfort and dependence.

However, a small kitchen can foster less than enthusiastic connotations, especially if it is situated in a separate room. Luckily, though, if you are clever with your Resene paint colour choices and design ideas, you can liven up your kitchen and make it appear more spacious than it is.

Meet and greet some metals

Plenty of appliances in your kitchen will be metallic. However, have you considered expanding the shiny surfaces to your walls? In a January 2016 article, Jenny Wolf, a New York-based interior designer, explains how a mirror-effect will benefit a small kitchen.

"Mirrors are especially useful when there is no, or minimal, natural light in a kitchen," Wolf explains. She goes on to detail how they create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

"They can help to open the space up and bounce light around."

Actual mirrors may prove to be costly and disorientating, as well as take up time because you'll have to polish them regularly to keep them clean.

Consider a feature wall with a fresh coat of Resene Allusive or Resene Aluminium. These will imitate your stainless steel appliances while adding a bright sheen to your kitchen without being too overpowering. The grey tones are modern and allow for you to add a splash of colour elsewhere, such as stools or flowers as a kitchen island centrepiece.

Instead of a wall, you could splash the paint on tiles, cabinets, or even upcycle some old vases or jugs for an edgy style that'll help to open up the perceived space.

Resene Glitterbug is a fun way to add a splash of colour. Paint the legs of your kitchen stools and pair them with red flowers or even spice up some coasters or place mats. It'll add flair to a small kitchen and will draw the eye towards it as a point of focus.

Consider the view outside

If your kitchen has a window, take into consideration what you can see outside. Use those colours to reflect the interior of your kitchen, so that they will provide the seamless appearance of open space.

Greenery outside can be complemented with Resene Flourish, Resene Limerick or Resene Koru. If you have dark shrubbery shadowing your window, then these colours are great to brighten up your kitchen.

Sky blue shades are great to emulate the great outdoors. Resene Half Kumutoto and Resene Unwind are a good imitation of the sky while something softer such as Resene Breeze will add a hint of calmness to your small kitchen. As these colours aren't too imposing, try them on your walls, shelves or even as a feature wall which sits opposite your window, as a reflection of the outdoors.

Bright whites

Nothing is both bright and modern quite like white is. Of course, it's risky using pure snowy white for your kitchen's interior decorating. That's where off-whites come in. 

HouseBeautiful, sponsored by Bosch, lists the best paint colours for a kitchen. Cream makes an appearance, illustrated as a shade that mimics light, as long as it isn't too yellow. Resene Bianca, Resene Half Pearl Lusta and Resene Half Rice Cake are great colours to inspire some kitchen decorating ideas.

Resene has a huge range of whites and neutrals to choose from. It's best to take your time and test your colour using Resene testpots, by painting all of the testpot onto a large piece of cardboard leaving a border around the edge, then move it around the space to see how it looks during the day and night.  Off-whites may seem easy but it pays to compare a few to get just the right one.

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