Often referred to as the heart of the home, a kitchen has become the go-to gathering place. Therefore, you want your kitchen to feel inviting and as spacious as possible to entertain, prepare meals and more. Whether you have an open concept living space with an adjacent kitchen or a compact galley kitchen, you can truly make the space your own.
At Twenty & Oak, we know that many homeowners would love to upgrade their kitchens to make them more welcoming to family and friends alike. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you make your kitchen appear larger and more inviting through some clever tricks and comfortable features.
Flooring is the foundation of any home design and an important purchase. But when it comes to kitchens, this sentiment doubles. When you have high-quality flooring, it makes prepping and cooking easier. You’re able to quickly clean up spills and sticky food, as well as stand for hours as you cook.
You also want to choose flooring that offers a cohesive look and ties in with the kitchen’s overall style. And as a general rule, if you have a smaller kitchen, lighter tone floors can make a space appear larger and more spacious. You can also play with the direction of planks, installing them lengthways to create the illusion of a larger area.
So what are some of the best flooring options for your kitchen? Let’s explore!
Laminate flooring is one of the best options you can choose for a kitchen. It’s water-resistant, which means you can simply wipe up topical spills. Furthermore, they are extremely easy to maintain, making them an excellent flooring option for busy households with kids. Laminate flooring also creates an inviting kitchen option due to its attached pad, offering a soft underfoot and sound absorber. Check out Beauflor’s Hydrana collection for a great water-resistant kitchen laminate.
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BlackTex HD Flooring by Beauflor | AVANTE-GARDE PEARL
Don’t balk at this suggestion. Vinyl sheet isn’t what it used to be! This flooring has had significant updates and a thorough makeover in recent years, so hear us out.
The main reason vinyl sheet is excellent flooring for kitchens is due to its soft material, which makes it very forgiving on the sore feet of home chefs who love to spend time preparing delicious meals. Not to mention, vinyl sheet can resemble anything from stone to distressed hardwood, especially with a textured surface that doubles to prevent slips. Plus, vinyl sheet is easy to install with a simple loose lay or glue-down method.
However, while vinyl sheet can offer a more inviting flooring to your kitchen, it’s not ideal in all applications. For instance, vinyl sheet flooring comes in large 12-foot and 13-foot wide rolls, which is suitable for many kitchen sizes. But if your kitchen is broader than this, seams are inevitable. And with seams come moisture and dirt that can get trapped under the subfloor if not properly sealed. (Chances are, though, that if you’re searching for ways to make your kitchen appear larger, your kitchen probably isn’t a 14- or 15-foot wide space. So vinyl sheet is still a viable flooring option!)
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Vinyl Planks and Tiles
Vinyl planks and tiles are a highly durable, long-lasting flooring option for kitchens. Plus, it's very affordable. Like vinyl sheet and laminate, luxury vinyl planks and tiles are available in countless styles that resemble anything from wood to stone.
In terms of kitchen design, vinyl flooring is a top contender due to its ability to withstand everyday wear and tear. These easy-to-maintain floors also feature water-resistant and stain-resistant properties. In other words, you can install worry-free kitchen floors that can take on tough red wine spills and puddles from the dog’s tipped water bowl. Simply wipe up topical spills and give it the occasional sweep and mop.
Vinyl planks and tiles can also be completely waterproof, not just water-resistant! Discover some incredible waterproof options in the Palmetto Road, MetroFlor and Beauflor collections.
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Hardwood flooring offers a natural, authentic beauty that many homeowners love. And with the latest, long-lasting sealers and polyurethane finishes that are available, hardwoods can withstand a splash and puddle-prone kitchen. While you still need to be diligent and wipe up topical spills, hardwood floors have become more water-resistant than ever.
With proper care, hardwood can last many decades. One added bonus is that hardwood floors can also increase your home’s resale value, even the new revolutionary hybrid flooring like Raintree waterproof hardwood.
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Lighting plays a vital role in making a kitchen appear larger and more inviting. No one wants to cook or prepare meals under lousy lighting. Lighting even offers safety, allowing you to see what you’re slicing.
For a more inviting kitchen, let in as much natural lighting as possible. Remove curtains that can collect dust and let in the sun to make cabinets sparkle and countertops gleam. When it comes to lighting fixtures, choose bright lighting. Start with a base, so to speak, of recessed lights that you can dim. If your kitchen has an attached breakfast nook or island bar, dimmable recessed lights allow you to create a more relaxing atmosphere. Task lighting, such as track lights and pendants, is also crucial over prep stations and countertops. Consider under-cabinet lighting to accent and call attention to the backsplash.
Upgrade Appliances and Fixtures
Kitchen appliances can genuinely make or break a kitchen design, so make sure you’re in love with them. Outdated appliances can cause frustrations and even make you drag your feet to clean dishes.
It doesn’t have to be major appliances, either. Place a sexy modern coffee maker or brightly colored standing mixer in the corner to remind you how much you enjoy sipping a flavorful roast or baking cookies as a family. And they’re not only stylish, but practical.
This also goes for fixtures like the faucets. Select finishes that appeal to your kitchen’s design and overall aesthetic. For modern farmhouse kitchens, choose dark bronze fixtures and choose something more like stainless steel or matte black for contemporary homes.
Hang New Cabinets
As one of the most noticeable features of a kitchen, cabinets take up a lot of room. So why not make this feature more aesthetically appealing? Whether you choose to simply change the cabinet doors and hardware or remove them altogether to have open shelving for a cleaner country flair, it can dramatically change the kitchen’s look and feel.
One fantastic solution to creating a more open and inviting kitchen is to install glass cabinet doors. Choose new doors with clear glass panes in the upper cabinetry to make walls feel deeper and more spacious. Plus, you can display some of your finest china and cherished heirloom pottery or vases, accented beneath puck lighting tucked inside. To add a bit of interest or keep areas more concealed, use a decorative opaque architectural glass with wavy textures or stained glass. At the very least, add glass doors to a section of upper cabinets to show the true depth of your kitchen.
If you want a kitchen to appear larger and more inviting, be mindful of the color palette. Avoid dark, dreary colors and choose lighter colors like warm whites and warm neutrals that reflect natural sunlight and lighting throughout the room. Select light-colored appliances, too.
Keep in mind, though, that your kitchen doesn’t have to be a boring and sterile stark white or neutral color. While a light-colored palette is a fantastic place to start, don't forget to incorporate contrasting, bright pops of color for visual interest and to make it cheerful and inviting. Hang colorful dish towels on a rack or tuck brightly colored plates behind glass-front windows. If you prefer, you can even install a vintage-inspired refrigerator or range in a poppy red or mint green. Merely placing a decorative bowl out on the kitchen island draws the eye.
Incorporate Plants or a Herb Garden
Potted plants and bouquets are not just for the living room or entryway foyer. They’re just as inviting in a kitchen, too! Place a small bouquet on the kitchen island or in the corner to soften it and bring in a bit of nature. You could also place a low-maintenance succulent or two near the kitchen sink. Even if you lack a green thumb entirely, a faux fern draped over the upper cabinets can lend a particular charm to a kitchen space.
If you do have a green thumb, consider a small herb garden. And the kitchen windowsill makes the ideal spot to grow rosemary, thyme, oregano or basil–whatever you need! Not only does it allow you to take a quick pinch for your recipes, but it lends a pleasant herby aroma throughout the entire kitchen. You can add a larger herb garden on a plant stand, too.
Hang Decorative Art
Similar to plants, decorative art pieces can liven up a kitchen and make it more inviting. While many homeowners consider the dining room and living areas to be the best spot to hang and showcase artwork, remember that the kitchen walls are just as important.
A bright graphic print, artwork or even a sculpture can add interest to your kitchen and also make it feel welcoming. And if your kitchen has a white or neutral color palette, as suggested, a piece of colorful art can be the splash of color that it needs. Choose food-themed artwork or photographs of fruits or veggies. If you love a particular kind of food, like Italian or homemade pie, you can hang prints of that, too. You can also frame your kids’ art if you’d like.
Declutter and Organize
Clutter has a profound impact on our mental health, so it’s no surprise that when some of us see a messy kitchen, we would rather order takeout than cook a nutritious meal. That’s why decluttering and organizing your kitchen is probably one of the easiest ways to make it more inviting. So clear out your cabinets and drawers, adding extra shelving systems and dividers to keep everything in its place. When pots, pans and leftover containers all have a designated space, it is much easier to minimize clutter. Also, tidy up any areas or corners that accumulate mail and paperwork.
When you keep countertops clear of clutter, it can make a kitchen appear larger and more spacious. But more importantly, it can invite a sense of calm and keep you sane, too—no more digging for spice jars or working with cramped countertops.
Keep the Space Clean
Once you declutter and organize the kitchen, keep it clean! Spotless countertops and dust-free cabinets are not just inviting, but they contribute to safe hygiene. One of the dirtiest areas in your kitchen is the sink. From the drain to the countertop sealer, the sink can accumulate E. coli and many other forms of bacteria, so it’s essential to keep these areas safe and sanitized.
Cooking with garlic, onions and other potent ingredients makes you salivate. But these types of smells tend to linger. So besides keeping a kitchen clean and sanitized, light a candle to neutralize these strong odors and make it smell more inviting, too.
Design a More Welcoming Kitchen
Hopefully, this guide has sparked some ideas and offered a few suggestions to help you on your kitchen makeover journey. From installing gorgeous new hardwood across the floor to hanging glass-paned cabinets and colorful pendant light fixtures above a clutter-free, sparkling clean countertop, there are numerous ways to open up a kitchen and make it appear larger and more inviting to you, family and friends.
If you plan to renovate a kitchen and install new flooring, browse laminates, vinyl and hardwood flooring mentioned above through our virtual flooring showroom. When you see something you like, order flooring samples through Twenty & Oak to see how they look within your own home and find your perfect floor.
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