Increasing Kitchen Space When Remodeling - Kitchen Expansion

Kitchen Expansion Ideas For Increasing Space 

Often, you can find the perfect house with a great kitchen only to discover after a few years that the kitchen gets smaller and begins to lose functionality. Maybe you've added some kids to the family, or your cooking tastes have changed, but you need to do something. Of course, you can always add space by building an addition if you have the room and the budget, but building is not always feasible. For that reason, it's often a good idea to consider some less costly alternatives. After all, what you don't spend adding an addition can go towards better lighting, cabinets, countertops, flooring, fixtures, and appliances – the things that add joy to your space and your life!

Here are some cost-effective alternatives to consider.

Kitchen Expansion With The Bump Out

One cost-effective kitchen expansion option is the bump out. This entailed bumping an exterior wall out by 24-inches. This is the most that a wall can be bumped without having to lay a foundation. It might not seem like much, but in a small kitchen, it can be a game changer.

This option may not work for all houses – for one, the floor joists need to run in the correct direction. In this scenario, a section of the exterior wall is removed and replaced by a laminated header to support the roof. The old floor is the cantilevered outward, and new outer walls are built along the perimeter of the new floor. The entire extension is covered with a small roof, and you gain space without having to pay for a foundation. A 24-inch bump out gives you plenty of space for cabinets and appliances giving you an extra two feet of space in front of them.

Borrow Space From Another Room

In some cases, removing the wall enclosing a small breakfast nook can extend the length of the kitchen. A breakfast bar and peninsula would accomplish the same function while occupying much less space.

However, the optimal kitchen expansion solution is to remove the wall between another room like a formal dining room and the kitchen. This sounds expensive, but in fact typically is not. The cost can be as low as a few hundred dollars, and the results can be pretty dramatic. Make sure you work with a qualified designer. Interior walls can be structural, and walls can sometimes house heating, electrical or plumbing which will need to be relocated and increase the complexity and the cost.

Other kitchen expansion options can include using the space under the stairs for pantry storage, realigning doorways for better traffic flow and relocating windows that intrude into cabinet space.

If there's just not enough room to move around the kitchen, one bank of cabinets can be made smaller to increase floor space. If the issue is limited countertop space but ample of floor space, countertops can be made deeper than the standard 24-inches. The results are increased usable counter space. Talk to your designer for more information about this option.

Remove The Clutter

The first thing to do before you swing a hammer is to unclutter your space. Clutter can make any space seem smaller. Small kitchens seem to accumulate stuff on the counter because there's often no practical place to store it out of sight. Clutter breaks up sight lines and can make the room seem smaller than it actually is. Learn how to organize and store items. That may be an easy solution to the smallness issue. You might consider investing in fixtures like a lazy Susan, or roll-out shelves to make your existing storage more useful. Hanging cabinets and cabinets under counters can help provide the extra storage space you need to hide away items. With some planning, out of sight storage can be created to conceal clutter and keep your kitchen lines sleek and open. If you have more stuff than storage, it might be time to re-evaluate what's important and relegate the rest to the basement, attic or garage!

Kitchen Expansion By Opening Up the Room

Opening your kitchen to adjacent areas doesn't expand the space, but it does extend the view giving the perception of a larger space. Sometimes cutting an opening into the top half of a wall that separates a kitchen and living space can help. At the very least, it allows the cook to feel less confined, and everyone knows that cooking is a spectator sport so open up the wall and invite your guests in!

Often, it's a combination of techniques that produce the best results. A small expansion of your kitchen's footprint combined with thoughtfully arranged cabinets and appliances will make your kitchen more functional. Combine this with better lighting that emphasizes strong horizontal lines and your kitchen will appear larger and more spacious than it is!


About Toulmin Kitchen & Bath Design - We're West Alabama's award-winning, premier kitchen and bath showroom. We're experts who are known for a design-build process that makes the construction process stress-free. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a design consultation.