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If you only have a small space available for your kitchen, which is often the case in New York City, there are a couple of things you can do to enhance this area. Minimalist design can make a small kitchen look much bigger than it is without losing track of functional aspects. It is all about careful planning to make your kitchen space feel harmonious without any unnecessary clutter. Below our Cesar NYC kitchen designers have compiled a few design tips, ideas and details to consider when designing a small, minimalist kitchen.

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1. Repeat Kitchen Materials

Before going into the smaller details of your modern kitchen design, you should take some time to carefully consider which kitchen materials you would like to use. Working from a set material palette of kitchen materials, finishes and colors will ensure the final result appears well-coordinated, which will help a small kitchen look bigger. Be sure to involve a professional kitchen designer, who can educate you about the impacts on different kitchen materials and colors on the perception of width and height within your kitchen space.

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2. Play With Neutral Kitchen Shades

White is not the only option to make your small kitchen look bigger. Using kitchen cabinet colors from the same family with minimal contrasts can emphasize the changes in depth of a room and make the area appear larger than it actually is. One idea is to pair subtle grays with white for the main cabinet finishes and use dark gray or black on the backsplash or upper kitchen cabinets to give the illusion that the back wall is further away than it actually is.

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3. Inclusion Of Undercabinet Lighting

A small kitchen often has many cabinets in order to maximize storage space. If this is indeed the case, it is very helpful to add undercabinet lighting, since this indirect lighting effect will make the area feel a little airier and more open. Undercabinet lighting will also lessen the feeling of being crowded in, while at the same time illuminating your work surface. There are various lighting options and shades available on the market, so be sure to select the ones that work best with your individual kitchen design project, lighting needs and kitchen cabinet finish and color choices.

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4. Use Of Integrated Grip Edging

While stylish hardware and kitchen features, such as our elegant Cesar Eero Shell kitchen handles, can add a distinctive highlight to your kitchen cabinet doors and drawers, integrated grooves or handleless options give a minimalist kitchen a modern look and can save you a few precious inches of room. If you opt for such a sleek, minimalistic style, this may also mean that you won’t hook your clothes or bump your knees while moving around in your small kitchen, and can hence bring added functional advantages. Be sure to consider integrated grip edging opening mechanisms for your kitchen cabinetry if the space within your kitchen is a particular concern.

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5. Mix Of Deep And Regular Upper Cabinets

If you have a lot of vertical space within your kitchen, it is a good idea to build your kitchen cabinets all the way up to the ceiling. Using a mix of standard 12- to 16-inch kitchen cabinets above your kitchen countertop, and counter-depth upper kitchen cabinets above your base cabinets, can increase the effect of perceived size and height. Such a kitchen design, will give you some breathing room around eye height, while also adding some extra depth to store larger items within your small custom kitchen.

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6. Use Of Paneled Kitchen Appliances

While a beautiful stainless-steel refrigerator or dishwasher can be an attractive feature in your small kitchen, in a tiny, minimalist kitchen, you may want to choose panel-ready kitchen appliances and cover them up with cabinet doors. Be aware that this creates a sleek look that doesn’t interrupt the eye in your small kitchen space. Besides this, the use of paneled kitchen appliances also avoids the creation of a seemingly busy composition and makes the kitchen seem bigger overall.

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7. Inclusion Of A Bar Counter

When space is limited, and as you can often see in our kitchen project images in our small kitchen design projects across NYC, in particular Manhattan, the kitchen often becomes part of an open-concept home. While this opens up the space visually and makes it feel larger, it also means that there is no space to hide your kitchen mess. In this case, you can add a bar-height kitchen island or peninsula counter space to provide a type of visual coverage.

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8. Keep Your Kitchen Concealed

If a small one-wall residential kitchen is all there is space for in a studio or small apartment, you can add retracting or pocket doors to close up the kitchen when it is not in use. This allows you to leave the kitchen fully exposed for whenever it is cleaned up and in use, while simply closing it whenever you have guests or wish to hide the mess in your kitchen. You can even think about adding a pullout top that will extend the work area without taking up space when not needed.

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We hope you enjoyed reading about our eight design tips for small, minimalistic kitchens in NYC and the wider tri-state area. Don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any further questions regarding your particular small kitchen space or design.