On the surface it actually sounds too good to be true. How can it be that you can make that galley kitchen or small scullery of your brand new buy to let look bigger without having to knock down a non-load bearing wall and generally create an expensive upheaval?
Well, believe us when we say there is indeed a way. Because, simply by carefully considering the furniture you buy and by taking advantage of some clever interior design tips you can visually create a kitchen that feels roomier, physically easier to move around in and look nice enough to make prospective tenants or buyers want to snap up your property practically without a second thought. How so? Well read on…
Install floating furniture
By ‘floating’ we mean a countertop without legs and which is attached to the wall. Backless stools and glass or perspex see-through light shades also make a room look larger. Why this works is because none of these items disrupt the line of sight, meaning that when walking in to the kitchen the eye can travel around freely taking in the whole room at once.
Keeping the colour consistent
Make sure the cupboards are a similar shade to the walls and the appliances – with just a touch of variation. It may look a bit dull but it actually gives the illusion of more space. And anyway, your tenants can add colour in the form of tea-towels, place mats etc. Meanwhile we’ve been brought up to believe that pale colours reflect light and make a room look bigger – which is true – but dark colours (chocolate and charcoal) can also help by making the cupboards recede so that the walls look further back than they in fact are.
Open things out
Open shelving in place of closed cupboard doors can make a room appear larger – provided that is, the shelves aren’t filled with clutter (a row of recipe books or the odd vase or two works well). When the tenants see the kitchen the shelves shouldn’t have anything on them anyway.
Lengthen with lines
If you prefer a bit of patterned contrast in the kitchen then striped or geometric patterned walls are excellent for drawing the eye either horizontally or vertically, making the room seem longer or taller respectively. It also works with flooring ie lay square tiles diagonally rather than in straight lines (incidentally bigger tiles tend to open a room out, making it seem larger and in which case, mosaic tiles are definitely out.
Getting a big of gloss
Stainless steel belongs in a kitchen – which is great for small ones since it happens to be reflective and helps make the kitchen appear larger (so great for sink units and appliances). Glass tiles and glossy countertops or cabinets play a similar visual trick. Coloured glass splash backs, for instance, will keep the eye from focusing on any dark and cramped corners.
Level with lights
If you don’t want to understandably fork out for a glass pendant light then how about having spotlights installed in the ceiling instead then popping along to a certain Swedish retailer or similar for some under-cabinet lighting? Subtle lighting always makes a kitchen look better than a stark overhead light.
Help with heating
Tall, slim panel radiators – rather than the old-fashioned chunky horizontal kind – will obviously take up less space from the centre of the room but, at the same time, they’ll also make the room appear much taller. Or, paint them the same colour as the wall so that they simply blend in and avoid any visual disruption.
Hang up a hood
A cooker hood – that is. Not only will a large vent hood take the eye upwards (so make the room appear taller), but it will also provide a nice contrast between cabinets. A stainless steel version will also prove reflective, adding to the feeling of space.
We hope the above has given you some food for thought for ‘expanding’ the kitchen in your new buy to let. None of the ideas above cost a fortune so they are well worth exploring and certainly, a kitchen that feels larger will always command a better yield than one which is cramped and uncomfortable. Now all you have to do is rethink the rest of the rooms…
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We have always found that with property renovations, it is not always about going out and buying a new kitchen, spending thousands of pounds in the process. Some simple changes can add value and remember, the person buying a property will often be making an emotional design based on aesthetics.