Try an Open Island Cart
Rather than a typical cabinet-based island, try using a cart-style island with open sides. Island carts give a barely-there look that makes the kitchen appear more open while still giving useful storage you can access from all sides. If the island is moveable, it will also allow you to pull it up to the back counters or push it away when convenient, or even roll it over to another area of the home to serve as a buffet station or drink cart.
Work With Light and Dark
You may think that using a dark color in a small kitchen is a total no-no, but contrasting light and dark can create optical effects that actually make a kitchen look larger.
Using a bit of dark gray on a back wall behind surrounding white cabinets, like in this example, causes the back wall to visually recede, which actually helps make the wall look a little farther away.
Get Mirrored Backsplashes
Don’t have a wall you can open up to create a pass-through? You can still create the look of one by using a mirror backsplash. The reflective surface gives the illusion of depth beyond your cabinets.
Hit Up Hanging Storage
Speaking of squeezing in more storage, adding a rail to your backsplash or to the bottom of upper cabinets gives you a handy place to hang tools like spoons, mugs or cups, jars for seasonings and rolls of paper towel or tea towels.
Take On a Tray
Sometimes all you need to make a kitchen feel decluttered and a bit more open is a simple tray.
Gathering items like a knife rack, a spoon bin, a mortar and pestle and a kitchen timer all on a tray or cutting board visually tricks our brain into seeing them as organized. It’s a quick trick that can make a big difference to your sense of visual organization.
Article by House.com/Magazine