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Long narrow kitchens present a few design and functionality concerns. Without taking these issues into account, you risk presenting a cluttered and unwelcoming space to your guests. Luckily, we've curated the top tips and tricks for styling your kitchen for more optimal space.
With limited space, the storage appears to be practically nonexistent in a long narrow kitchen. Bypass this concern by getting smarter with your organization. Use wall space by adding shelves and hooks. Purchase lazy susans and pan organizers for your cabinets. Use solutions like tall cabinets, open shelving, and windowsill space to fit everything you need in your kitchen.
Avoid a dark kitchen by strategically placing lighting in different places you need. Hang pendant lights above the sink, put recessed lighting in the ceiling, and consider mounting lights underneath the cabinets. Whenever possible, accentuate natural lighting through a window by leaving off curtains and adding mirrored surfaces to your space. Keeping lighting and organizational space in mind, you have myriads of options. Read further for the top 13 ideas for styling your long narrow kitchen!
1. Sleek Mirrored Cabinets
Mirrors reflect light and help make a space look bigger. By utilizing mirrored surfaces for your cabinets, you not only create the appearance of a larger kitchen but you also create a sleek, modern design.
Mirrored cabinets also allow you to choose any color of cabinets you want, even dark colors like black, without making the kitchen too dark. On the downside, mirrored surfaces tend to show a lot of fingerprints, so this option may not be best for owners with children or messy animals.
2. Add A Skylight
When you need more natural light in a small space, why not cut out a skylight in the ceiling? Skylights add a much larger amount of natural light than a single window. Not only so, but a skylight provides light that would otherwise need to be supplemented by artificial lights. Natural light provides a calming, peaceful ambiance, which is much needed in a cramped kitchen.
3. No Pulls On The Cabinets
Remove pulls for a practical way to streamline your cabinets. When your kitchen is especially narrow, removing the pulls helps create even just a couple of inches of more space. This is a great option for those who prefer minimalist decor. Exaggerate the minimalist statement by painting the cabinets all one color and leaving the countertops as bare as possible.
4. Long Runner That Makes A Statement
Sometimes, a pop of color helps to bring in some warmth that's otherwise lacking in a narrow kitchen. One way of adding color is by putting down a long runner. A runner provides a non-slip surface and a welcoming vibe. Boho runners, like the one pictured below, add warm hues and trendy patterns.
5. Build In A Desk Or Counter For Eating
When you lack the space for an island or a bar, you may consider adding space for seating in your kitchen. An area like this can be multifunctional, serving as both a breakfast nook and a desk. This option works great for the busy parent wanting to check emails or the college student who wants to do homework while cooking. Opt for a bench or stool that fits beneath the countertop to save even more space.
6. Hang Up Your Pots And Pans
With a long and narrow kitchen, you most likely forego the luxury of a pantry. In order to allow more precious cabinet space for pantry items, consider hanging a wall-mounted pot and pan rack.
This space-saving hack not only helps free up space in your cupboards but also organizes your pans in an easy-to-reach location for cooking. For an industrial style, go for a wall-mounted steel pipe, like the one pictured below.
7. All-White Cabinets And Natural Light
Take advantage of any natural light from a window or door by painting your cabinets all white. The white reflects the light and helps create the illusion of a bigger space. Along with reflecting natural light and brightening a space, white cabinets look clean and tidy, which is a welcoming trait for a kitchen.
8. Bright Spotlight Lighting
Sometimes a kitchen lacks natural light and needs a little bit of artificial help. The best type of lighting for a kitchen that seems organic and unobtrusive is recessed or spotlight lighting. Most recessed lights provide a dimmer quality and the ability to turn on some light instead of all the lights when needed. Even with natural light, adding recessed lighting ensures optimal light will be available for food preparation even when it's dark outside.
9. All Wood Cabinets For A Natural Look
Incorporate all wood cabinets for a cozier and more welcoming kitchen. Organic materials like wood bring warmth and depth to a room. Wood cabinets look especially great in a kitchen with a lot of windows and natural light.
10. Windowsill Garden
Another natural element to consider to liven up a narrow kitchen is a windowsill garden. If your windowsill allows, place large pots of small vegetables there to grow and use in your cooking.
If you lack enough space for large pots, start with a small herb garden to use as spices in your home-cooked meals. Start with commonly-used spices, like basil and parsley, and then grow more from there. Plants add a comforting vibe and an earthy aroma to your kitchen.
11. Sneaky Storage Hacks
Wherever possible, consider ways to use blank space for storage. One way of doing this is by creating a wine rack within the side of a cabinet. Not only does this look elegant, but it provides a useful way to store wine bottles for special occasions. If you don't want to cut into your cabinets, another way to store bottles may be to mount racks beneath the upper cabinets.
12. Vibrant Accent Color
Since narrow kitchens tend to be darker than open-concept kitchens, opt for a bright accent color. Color makes a design statement and helps to create a more cheerful atmosphere. Avoid dark colors that may add to the low-light aspect and choose a pastel or vibrant color instead. Amp up the color even more by adding a tea kettle, coffee-maker, and/or stand-mixer of the same color to the countertops.
13. Rolling Ladder For High Cabinets
For a whimsical London kitchen, install a rolling ladder. It will fit perfectly with a "cottage core" design and also serve as a tool for reaching high shelves in cabinets that extend to the ceiling. Ladders bring in a vertical element that tricks the eye into looking up and down, which is great for a narrow kitchen. Visitors most likely will comment on the charm of the ladder rather than on the lack of space in your kitchen.
More Tips For A Long Narrow Kitchen
With these top 13 ideas in mind, remember to evaluate your own needs for your kitchen. If you love cooking, you will need lots of counter space for cutting boards and food preparation. If you use your kitchen more for food storage and occasional cooking, you have more room for storing your items on your countertops. When you design your kitchen, make sure that it reflects your personality, your needs, and a welcoming atmosphere.
For a long narrow kitchen, it's best to combine practicality with style. For more design inspiration, check out some of our other posts: