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10 Decorating Mistakes Making Your Apartment Kitchen Look Smaller

10 Decorating Mistakes Making Your Apartment Kitchen Look Smaller

10 Decorating Mistakes Making Your Apartment Kitchen Look Smaller


Your kitchen, often the heart of the home, should be a space that welcomes, inspires, and provides the perfect environment for making culinary magic happen. However, in an apartment, the kitchen is typically the room that's subject to the most restrictions in terms of size and functionality. If you've been feeling that your kitchen looks smaller than it actually is, it might not be a design flaw – it could be a series of decorating missteps that are visually compressing your space.

Whether you're living in a cozy studio or a spacious multi-room apartment in Cayce, SC, the apartment management team at Otarre Pointe understands the challenges of making the most out of limited kitchen space. Here's how you might be unintentionally cramping your kitchen's style, plus simple solutions to open up that visual square footage.


1. Overdoing It with Dark Colors

Dark colors absorb light, making any space feel more enclosed. While a pop of moody navy or a rich walnut can add depth and character in moderation, painting your kitchen walls floor-to-ceiling in a heavy color is a surefire way to make it feel cramped. Instead, opt for lighter shades or even stick to a white color scheme for an instant, airy transformation.

2. Ignoring the Power of Light

Insufficient lighting is a common apartment pitfall, and it can direly affect the perception of space in your kitchen. Incorporating layers of light, such as under-cabinet LEDs, pendant lights, and track lighting, can help open up your kitchen by directing the eye upwards and illuminating all corners of the room.

3. Cluttered Countertops

It's all too easy for countertops to become a dumping ground for kitchen gadgets, paperwork, and general clutter. A clean, clear surface immediately creates the illusion of more space. Utilize vertical storage like wall-mounted shelves or designated hook areas to keep items off the countertops and maintain that open feeling.

4. Less-than-Stellar Flooring

Floors are a significant part of the kitchen's visual real estate. If your kitchen flooring is dark, dated, or visually heavy, it can make your space appear more confined. A quick fix is placing a large, light-colored rug with a simple pattern to break up the space and create the illusion of more depth.

5. Large, Solid Cabinet Doors

The expanse of heavy, solid cabinet doors can be overwhelming in a small space. Consider swapping them out for glass front or open shelving to visually lighten up the room. This allows for a display of your kitchenware without creating a solid barrier that your eye must adjust for.

6. Disregarding Reflective Surfaces

Mirrors and reflective surfaces bounce light and visually double the perceived square footage. In the kitchen, consider a mirrored backsplash or metallic accents like stainless steel appliances or copper cookware. Even small elements like a shiny toaster or stainless steel spice racks can contribute to this effect.

7. Not Utilizing Vertical Space

In a small kitchen, every inch counts. Failing to use the vertical space can lead to overcrowded countertops and lower cabinets. Invest in kitchen organizers like tiered shelving units, pot racks, and magnet strips for knives to free up counter space and keep the kitchen looking open and organized.

8. Sticking to a Single Tone

While an all-white kitchen can be sleek and modern, introducing a variety of tones can add dimension and create a sense of space. Mix wood grains with your cabinetry, contrast your countertops with your floor, or introduce a bold accent color in a controlled way to add visual interest and depth.

9. Not Tailoring Decor to Scale

Decor elements that are too large for your kitchen can make the space feel smaller. Instead of a massive center island, opt for a slim butcher-block cart. If you love large wall art, try gallery walls made up of smaller pieces to fit the scale of your kitchen.

10. Hanging Curtains Too Low

The eye naturally travels to the highest point in a space, which is why it's vital to hang curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. This action elongates the room and creates a sense of volume that isn't there with lower-hung curtains, which break up the space and can make it look stunted.

Remember that decoration is as much an art form as cooking is. By avoiding these common kitchen decorating mistakes, you can ensure that your kitchen reflects the optimal potential of your living space – not only in size but also in charm and functionality. Whether you're in a small apartment kitchen or a sprawling chef's paradise, these principles are universally beneficial.

For the most spacious, inviting kitchen in your home, take these mistakes and transform them into opportunities. Focus on creating a well-lit, clutter-free space outfitted with the right colors, textures, and storage solutions, and watch as your kitchen opens up to its true potential. Say goodbye to second-guessing your decorating choices, and hello to a kitchen that's as good-looking as it is practical.


Feeling inspired to revamp your kitchen? Explore the wide array of apartment designs and layouts available at Otarre Pointe Apartments in Cayce, SC. Contact us today to schedule a personal tour and discover the possibilities of your dream apartment kitchen.

Understanding these mistakes and how to fix them is the first step in creating a kitchen that fits your lifestyle and looks like it belongs in the pages of a home magazine. Enjoy the process of transforming your space – and happy cooking!

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