How HGTV's Joanna Gaines Makes A Small Kitchen Feel More Spacious

For many, the kitchen is the focal point of the home. It's where we congregate for some of life's most precious moments and where we spend much of our time day to day. And while trends might point towards huge kitchens, a small kitchen isn't something to look down on. In fact, if you make the most of your small kitchen, it can be just as gorgeous as a larger kitchen. Designer extraordinaire Joanna Gaines of HGTV fame has had her fair share of small kitchens to renovate and has created some great ways to make one feel more spacious, including the way she handles the cabinetry.

Cabinets that go to the ceiling are all the rage, but they can sometimes make a small space feel even smaller and closed in. During one of her best kitchen renovations on "Fixer Upper," Gaines took a different approach, opting to forgo the upper cabinets and just keep the lower ones. Here's how she did it the right way.

Why ditching upper cabinets may be right for you

Getting rid of upper cabinets is a great way to instantly make a space feel more open and airy. Whether you have a smaller kitchen or want to reinvent your current space, removing your upper cabinets can create a dramatic change for the better.

Before you forgo this idea due to storage concerns, consider how much you actually use your upper cabinets. Sure, they make for great additional storage space, but the higher they are, the more likely they are to be used for things you don't use often. Instead, rethink your storage options. 

In Season 3, Episode 1, of "Fixer Upper," Joanna Gaines opted to completely forgo shelving on the upper level of the kitchen during her renovation, but she did add a hutch and small cabinet to the end of the kitchen to make up for any lost storage. You can also incorporate more storage in your lower cabinets, adding drawers and additional shelving. Another option is to add open shelves to the upper walls or create small space storage solutions.

Ideas to replace the upper cabinet space

When you get rid of your upper cabinets, you suddenly have a huge, blank slate to work with. Depending on your style, you can create a funky, unique kitchen filled with art or you can keep the space calm and simple. If funky is more your speed, consider decorating the upper wall with artwork, which will instantly draw the eye to the kitchen and make it a point of conversation among guests. For a more calming feel, keep the spice light and bright by keeping the space free of any art or clutter. If you want a bit of texture, add kitchen tiles all the way up the wall.

If storage is your biggest concern, consider adding a ledge above the sink that can hold your glassware or mugs. You can also add floating shelves to the wall, but make sure to keep it open and simple to avoid the space looking cluttered. Hanging racks from the ceiling for wine glasses, incorporating more storage into a kitchen island, and recessed shelving on the wall are also great ways to add storage without sacrificing style.