At Country Cabinets, etc. we are finding several homeowners don’t commit to a kitchen remodel because of their kitchen’s smaller footprint. This is a misconception among homeowners. Size does not matter. Lifestyle, enjoyment and family do.

Regardless of the size of the kitchen, the most important factor in renovating or creating new space is to determine how the space will be used. That's why we ask our clients how often they prepare meals, entertain and host family celebrations.

We also want to know who uses the kitchen and what activities generally take place in the area. Additionally, we want to understand how homeowners would expand their kitchen use if it were a more enjoyable and welcoming space.

We know how to expand the look and feel of a smaller kitchen without actually increasing the size of the footprint. Here are several ideas to create the illusion of a larger space without compromising the look, feel or functionality.

Thin is in

Most homeowners may not realize that specifying smaller and thinner appliances creates additional countertop and cabinet space. A standard dishwasher is 24 inches wide, but many of our clients find an 18-inch model that serves their needs and helps provide the space for bigger cabinets elsewhere. The same logic can apply to refrigerators.

Many homeowners believe they need the largest fridge that they can fit in a space. A thinner model may serve your purposes if you don't cook or go to the grocery store daily. We often recommend refrigerators that are 30 or 28 inches wide versus the more popular size of 36-inch-plus models.

Specifying panels that match your cabinetry is another trick to make a smaller kitchen appear larger because it creates a consistent flow throughout the space.

Lifestyle choice also will influence the sink that we specify. Most clients come to the showroom with the desire for a double sink. Double bowls are great if you cook a lot. They may not be needed if you don’t. A double sink typically requires 36 inches of space. Single bowls require 24 inches. The extra space provides for an additional standard size cabinet.

Along with slimming appliances, specifying slimmer cabinets can help open up a kitchen. Many manufacturers offer thinner versions of the standard 24-inch depth cabinet. Using 12- or 15-inch deep cabinetry creates more floor space and a more open feel.

Make it light and bright

White or lighter shades of cabinets will provide a more open feel to a smaller space. Lighting is equally important. Installing interior cabinet lights, under cabinet lighting and in-drawer lighting will make your kitchen look brighter and much larger. The same effect can be achieved by opting for glass door cabinets that can showcase your crystal, fine china or other items that have special meaning to you and your family.

Mirrors help to make smaller rooms larger, and the kitchen is no exception. We will often recommend a mirrored backsplash or stainless steel if stainless steel is the preferred appliance finish. Mirrored surfaces provide a sense of depth to any room, making the space look and feel larger.

Need additional suggestions on how to create a dream kitchen with a limited footprint? The Country Cabinets showroom at 95 East Conway Road in Center Conway is now open by appointment only. To make an appointment, call (603-356-5766) or send an email

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