Find a cure for the crowded, long and narrow kitchen in your home with even one of the 15 ideas to add space to your kitchen. Read this article to find out what might work for you.
You’ve definitely found yourself reading this article because you’re struggling with a long and narrow kitchen at home, and maybe you’re just an inch from giving up. A word of advice? Don’t.
Don’t give up! There is a way to turn your narrow kitchen into something that you can enjoy and be proud of. Things like changing your cabinetry, countertops, appliances, or even your kitchen design – interior design is very important!
Galley kitchens are a common name for long and narrow kitchens, and if there’s a name for it there is certainly a way to make it a stylish room that meets your every need for a kitchen.
You have come to the right place to find answers and inspiration to fix your narrow kitchen to best fit your needs, and the information is just a few scrolls away!
Can I Make My Narrow Kitchen Work?
Of course you can! All it really takes is a good dose of determination, and maybe a bit of careful planning. The best way to start is to identify the problems you have in your kitchen.
What is the biggest issue with narrow kitchens? Space! The goal of this article is to figure out how to take up as little room as possible and give the illusion, if not make it true, that you have a spacious kitchen. That means large appliances, tables and islands, cabinets, and counters.
How in the world can you pull this off? To make more room in such a limited space without completely tearing it up and removing walls, I have carefully selected 15 Long and Narrow Kitchen Ideas that will help you rid yourself of that frustratingly crammed room in your house.
Possibly the most important question: Can you do this yourself? There is no reason you can’t renovate your kitchen on your own. Almost all of these narrow kitchen cures are perfectly DIY friendly!
If you would feel more comfortable letting the professionals handle the work, that makes everything so much easier for you! Finding a contractor or interior designer to come up with an open plan space and decide what’s best for you and your kitchen is still a really great step to take.
Check out quotes.profind.com to find the top five contractors in your area and get a quote for your kitchen! All you have to do is answer a handful of questions about what you want and quotes are sent directly to you. Getting quotes from at least a few different contractors is the best way to go. It’s good to know your options!
Lighting: half of the #1 fix for a small space!
First, we should talk about natural lighting. Natural light is the best way, in my opinion, to really lighten and open up a small, closed area in a house. You can add this type of lighting by keeping your curtains open, or changing the door that leads outside with one that is glass or full of windows. Having a window will also open the room up by looking out at the spacious world around you!
Now, we can talk about the rest of your kitchen lighting. Clearly, chandeliers aren’t the best option for a small space. Even pendant lights could take up too much space – and they should be avoided if your ceilings are 8 feet tall or less. Heightened ceilings, such as ten feet tall, are an exception thanks to the additional hanging space.
The best choice for light in your kitchen is recessed lighting, and that goes for any ceiling height. You might be asking how, if the ceiling is too tall, would recessed light even reach the counters or floor. Well, I never said they were just for your ceiling.
This style of lighting can also be installed under your cabinets or shelves. It provides additional light that won’t take up the unnecessary, unavailable space bigger light fixtures would.
Color is the other half of the #1 way to transform your narrow kitchen into a room with enough space for day to day activity! It’s also the easiest and most practical choice that will work wonders for any small area in your house.
In an area with limited space, when choosing a color to paint walls or cabinets, your first choice should always be a light color. White walls are a good example, and the lighter shade of any other color on the color wheel. Dark colors take light away from any area and it can feel like the space is closing in on itself, so in a room that is already small it’s important to avoid them.
Consider white walls or white cabinets when you’re painting. Even an off white or light gray work beautifully. Just be thoughtful about your color choices!
Lighter colors reflect any form of lighting and spread it throughout the space, brightening the space considerably. This can also be done with natural wood, especially oak and pine, or even tiling, which is our next topic! Creating this accent wall of natural wood has not only brightened up the kitchen but it has also become a focal point – a very stunning focal point.
This is something that can be done for countertops, shelves, and cabinets, too! The raw wood aesthetic is a gorgeous choice, and it breaks up colors that you’ve chosen to paint your walls and cabinets.
When choosing tiles for your backsplash or flooring, I highly recommend you go with something that has a reflective quality.
A sleek, slate kitchen floor is exactly what I’m talking about. Even if you want a darker color to offset all of the bright choices you made, as long as your floor space shines from your kitchen lighting, the area will look bigger and brighter than it is.
As for your backsplash, there are so many options that shine. Whether it be the white tiles above, or something you like from the choices below, there really are so many different styles of bright and reflective tiles to use for your kitchen backsplash.
Appliances are yet another way to create a spacious kitchen. How is that possible when all they do is take up space? More reflection. Mirrored surfaces on appliances have the same effect that tiles have: they give a bright and open appearance to any space, big or small. Stainless steel appliances are a lighter shade of gray but they have those mirrored surfaces and will reflect light all around the room. It’s seriously one of the easiest ways to go!
Another great option for appliances would be the stackable ones. In the photo above you get a look at an oven and microwave stacked between cabinets to optimize floor space and storage space all at once. Of course, those mirrored surfaces are still a big help here.
Refrigerators are probably the most space-consuming appliance in your kitchen. They are big, tall, and cover quite a bit of wall space, therefore they tend to shrink the entire area. This can be remedied by either being able to push your fridge into a nook in the wall, or tucking it into your counter and cabinet space.
Counters & Islands
Counter space is coveted in smaller kitchens because you don’t tend to find very much of it. In a narrow kitchen, narrow counters are probably the first place your mind goes – and you would be right! Narrow counters save space in a narrow kitchen, but they aren’t always the best for storage like pots and other large dishes.
Recessed counters, like recessed lighting, give you the under cabinet storage that you want without taking up the space you need. Understandably, not everyone has this option and have to stick with regular or narrow kitchen counters but, if you can manage it, this is the best option for space!
The kitchen island is a way to add to your counter space but it still takes up valuable space. The only sure way to remedy this is to get rid of your kitchen island or table altogether. Narrow kitchens really don’t have the space for such a large piece of furniture to be sat directly in the middle – and then the chairs!
However, I know many of you really love the idea of having a kitchen island or at least a table, so I’ve gathered a few kitchen island ideas to keep your love going strong.
Option #1 is to downsize. Try replacing your island with something smaller and thinner. A long kitchen island, if your kitchen has the space, might be a nice fit for you. The best place to put it would be along a wall to be sure that it stays out of the way. As for seating, wooden stools that are short enough to slide under the table don’t take up any extra space and they’re easy to pull out.
Option #2 is a fold-out table. Use it when you need to, put it up when you don’t! When you paint them as beautifully as this one, they’ll fit in anywhere you put them! When thinking about chairs, consider something that can be easily moved for storage, or a stool that can stay out without disturbing the flow of the room.
Option #3 is a kitchen island on rollers. This choice is my favorite for smaller kitchens because of the mobility. You can move it where you need it, use it as counter or table space, but also keep it out of the way when you aren’t using it. Find the right one and it could include an additional slide-out table with plenty of storage space!
Shelves vs Cabinets
Shelves or Cabinets – which is better? In my opinion, open shelving is the better option. I have struggled with small kitchens where cabinets just seem to take up too much space, and open shelving resolved the issue! Shelves aren’t as bulky as cabinets are, meaning they open up more wall space.
This is another place where those beautiful raw oak and pine wood do wonderfully.
If you really don’t want open shelving and cabinets are where your heart lies, then we have to make them work! There are a few ways to minimize the space they take up. The first is to only hang them above your counters! The second is to paint them a light color, such as white or a light gray, or leave them with the raw wood look.
Lastly, this option is displayed beautifully in the picture above. Glass cabinet doors! The great thing about these cabinet doors is that they’re too high for any children to mark up with their little fingers, and they’re far less likely to break!
Adding strips of soft light on the inside of those cabinets will brighten them up, giving visitors the impression that you’re putting your beautiful dishes on display.
What is undoubtedly the best and most certain way to give space to a long and narrow kitchen? Knocking out a wall or two. It sounds extreme, I know, though it doesn’t have to be exactly what it sounds like.
Yes, knocking out any number of walls completely is sure to add space to your long kitchen but not everyone can or wants to do that. A more mild way to alter your kitchen design is to partially remove a wall, or even simply widen the doorway.
As shown in the photo, the outermost parts of the wall are still intact while the center has been removed. This gives a clear look into the dining area and also brightens the area up! The designer has taken full advantage of the new space, and installed a stovetop and an oven, as well as the stunning black countertops.
This is truly a wonderful way to open a narrow kitchen up! Although, I wouldn’t suggest that you take up such a taxing task all on your own. Dealing with walls can be incredibly complicated, thanks to walls required for the support of your house, wires, pipes, and insulation. These are all things that should be left to professional hands.
My last tip for you? Strive for simplicity. Over decorating and crowding your countertops is a very commonly found dilemma that closes space off. Keeping everything simple, cleaning off your cooking area and prep space, as well as your countertops, kitchen island or table if you have one, is the easiest way to ensure you’re keeping your kitchen as open as possible.
This also extends to your floor. Having an abundance of items crowding is both practice and efficient. We don’t want you tripping over stray furniture, so tuck your stools under the table, okay?