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The kitchen is arguably one of the most important room in a house. It’s more than just a room in which to cook. Instead, it is increasingly common for the kitchen to be viewed as a multi functional hub of the home, where family and friends congregate to socialise, work, relax, and entertain, as well as to whip up delicious meals.

The kitchen is the true heart of any home, and with that in mind, homeowners are turning to the ways in which they can upgrade their hub, be it to create more room for the family or to free extra space for socialising.

Although building an extension or carrying out structural changes to the interior would do the job, it needn’t be as costly or stressful. Remodelling and reusing existing space alone can work wonders in opening up the room to give the illusion of a brighter and larger space, fit for its many purposes.

Here are 5 ways to open up a kitchen without the need for an extension:

  1. Paint the walls white.

A couple of coats of paint on the walls works wonders in making a room appear larger. Forget statement wallpaper and instead recommend the kitchen is painted bright white. White walls reflect the light coming in, enhancing the sense of space. As food preparation can sometimes get a little messy, choosing a high gloss paint is advisable, as it will be easier to wipe away any splatters or stains.

  1. Go glossy.

When selecting cabinets, worktops and splash-backs, stick to the monochrome colour scheme and look to shiny finishes. These will help reflect the light and distribute it around the room, making it feel larger than it is, in a similar way that mirrors are recommended to make narrow hallways feel more spacious. Stainless steel accents on taps, handles, light fixtures and appliances will enhance the effect.

  1. Light it up.

A dark kitchen can feel small. Installing wide span doors will help to let the light in, especially if the kitchen is south facing. However, hanging curtains or blinds will counteract any benefits of having the windows and doors in place. Removing curtains all together or replacing them with sheer voile curtains that let the light in while still adding an element of privacy, is a good move.

Natural light alone won’t suffice in lighting up the space year-round, so considering additional lighting is important. Pendant lights that drop from the ceiling help to direct the eye upward, tricking the eye of the beholder into believing the kitchen is bigger than it is!

  1. Connect with the outdoors.

Bi-fold doors from Quickslide have been increasing in popularity over the years and for good reason; their seamless folding adds an extra dimension to kitchens, allowing the garden to become a beautiful extension of the home, flooding the area with light and transforming the room into a new social hub.

Not only do bi-fold doors add a fashionable touch that gives the illusion of a larger room, they are great for the everyday, letting in large amounts of light by seamlessly joining the garden and kitchen with folding panels of glass. Bi-folds will transform the homeowners view and it is said that luscious greens of nature are calming and therapeutic; ideal for relaxing in on a warm summer day or admiring from the comfort of a cosy kitchen during the cooler months. The large openings that such wide span doors create means homeowners will experience enhanced ventilation when cooking, along with more space and better access to the garden for alfresco dining and entertaining.

  1. Get creative with hidden storage.

Clutter, both at floor and surface level, can make a room look small and cramped; it tricks the brain into thinking items do not have a home and leads to the assumption that space is tight. De-cluttering the kitchen can therefore have a dramatic impact on the openness of a room. Hidden storage is ideal to keep things tidied neatly away; look to islands with drawers and pull out storage units, or if floor space is limited, make the most of vertical storage space and install floor to ceiling cupboards. Keeping ornaments to a minimum and only displaying carefully selected decorative pieces that tie the rooms décor together will also help the efforts to opening up the space; think minimalist.

Claire Preece

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