How Does Renovation Make My Kitchen Bigger?

Everyone craves a bigger kitchen in their home. More bench space, two sinks, dishwasher: you name it. Here at PlaceMate Architects we know kitchens: we know the ins and outs and we know how renovation can make your kitchen bigger. Contact us now if this is something you’re interested in.


What makes a good kitchen?

Two things. More space and good storage. To optimise both elements is to have a satisfying and functioning space. At PlaceMate architects we value creating spaces that are liveable and functional.

In Brisbane, the most common house is a Queenslander. Although we will never stop raving about the beauty of a classically designed Queenslander, they do have their flaws, and the kitchen design is one of them. As PlaceMate Architects specialise in Queenslanders, we do know our way around making their kitchens more liveable.



How can I make my kitchen bigger?

So practically, how can you make your kitchen bigger? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Kitchen interior design 

Interior design becomes is arguably the most important factor in making your kitchen seem larger than it actually is. A successful interior “illusion” is a renovation job well done.

Adding reflective surfaces and mirror elements into the space, for example the splashback, will open the space and bounce light through the room.

Vertical lines within the interiors will give the illusion of height and horizontal lines will give the illusion of width. This kitchen in Oxley is not as tall as it is wide, thus we added wood panelling with a grain that ran in a vertical direction. Although this is subtle, it still provides the illusion of height.

This Oxley example also provides lovely and satisfying symmetry. This balances out the room, making it seem bigger and more cohesive within itself.

Another aspect within this Oxley project that is an interior design hack is the glass splashback. This opens up the space even more, supplying the kitchen with more greenery, space and connection to the outside.

When choosing colours, aim to go brighter. The brighter, the more open your kitchen will feel.

This above kitchen is quite small but expresses its expanse through its modern, fresh and bright feeling. The glossy finishes on the splashback of this particular kitchen also give the illusion of a brighter, bigger kitchen. The reflections that this glossy finish provides benefits the space greatly.


How beneficial is light in a small kitchen? You want to maximise the amount of light, natural or artificial. This will open the space and minimise that feeling of being cramped.

If your current kitchen does not allow natural light to enter, we would highly recommend your renovation include windows. Windows will open up your space to the outside world, which will in turn not only brighten up the kitchen but also bring a sense of connection to the surrounding environment.

In terms of artificial light, brighter equals bigger. How are the light bulbs and fittings in your kitchen? Do they omit enough light to make your kitchen feel open? Try to add as much light you can to your kitchen, especially if natural light is not an option. One example of this is strip lighting underneath your overhead cupboards. This example from our Auchenflower project below showcases a gorgeous, bright splash back and the added light is the x factor. Adding lights underneath benchtops as well creates and fosters a lovely, modern aspect.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to kitchens, the simpler the better. Especially if you are working with a small area, you want to keep everything minimal. An overcrowded kitchen is an unliveable one.  

One example is to how to minimise clutter is by installing push or click cupboards instead of handles. Even things you may think are small, like handles on cupboards, build up and start getting in the way. Optimise your space by minimising the details.


Along the same vein as keeping things simple and minimal, try to downsize your appliances. Smaller appliances may not sound ideal to you now, but these will make your kitchen seem so much bigger than it is. Downsizing the dishwasher, sinks and stove when renovating will make space for bigger benchtops, and in turn become a more liveable area.


Adding in a feature to a small kitchen is always a fun idea.

Property Photography by Carole Margand Caco Photography

For example, this kitchen we recently renovated in West End seems large on the first glance but is actually still quite small. In this particular project, PlaceMate Architects opened up the Queenslander’s space by knocking down dividing walls. This gave us the ability to add in their feature: a beautiful island. Not only does this make the space more liveable and maximise bench space, it also grabs the attention from the onlooker, distracting them from the small area.


At PlaceMate Architects, we know kitchens and how renovation and design can make yours bigger and more liveable. Watch this space for more design tips!