Using slimmer lower cabinets for one area has its advantages. It opens a bit more floor space, which can make a big difference in a tight kitchen. It also reduces your storage slightly, but often the backs of deep cabinets are hard to reach anyway, so the shallower cabinets can be just right for everyday items.
Saving that 6 inches can give you a bigger cabinet elsewhere. Naturally, a smaller washer also fills up faster, which means you can run a full load more often instead of waiting a day between washes or running the machine while only half full. For smaller households this can be a perfect option.
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Using a mirror for the backsplash opens up the sightlines, making the room seem much bigger, especially from close up. For a smart, moodier effect, use a tinted glass so the reflection is more subtle.
A kitchen of any size can feel roomy if you know a few tricks. Sticking to white cabinets and walls is a good start, but there are many other ways to create extra room in your kitchen, or create the illusion of a bigger space than you have, all without sacrificing a sense of personality.
For a quick fix, add plug-in LED strip fixtures or battery-powered tap lights under the cabinets for extra brightness. Use this cabinet to display attractive drinkware, or use frosted glass so you only get a faint peek at the mishmash of items stored within.