1. Replace solid cabinet doors with glass ones. Glass fronts lighten the look of cabinetry and allow the eye to travel through to the back, which helps the kitchen seem more expansive. Just don't clutter the interiors with bric-a-brac — you'll defeat the purpose.
2. Paint cabinets the same color as the walls. Limiting the cabinetry and the wall color to a single hue erases visual boundaries that might stop the eye. The conventional school of thought is that pale colors will reflect light and make the space feel bigger, and that's certainly a safe approach. But don't be afraid to go dark, either. Deep tones such as black, navy, charcoal and chocolate recede visually and create the impression that the walls are farther back than they really are.
3. Choose furnishings with a small footprint. Select petite islands, slim chairs, streamlined stools and narrow tables that don't eat up valuable floor space. Avoid chunky furniture legs or thick bases, which add visual bulk.
4. Recess storage. Tuck a pantry, shelving or cabinets flush with the wall to keep from obstructing the kitchen's flow. It's fairly easy to retrofit a recessed niche, especially if you orient it between wall studs.
5. Design with clean lines. Big corbels, ornate cabinetry and fussy details can make a kitchen feel chopped up. Instead, keep the elements tailored and sleek to smooth out the look and create a roomier feel.
6. Merge into a larger space. This breakfast room, separated from the kitchen by a low half wall, feels like a natural extension of the cooking area.
8. Winnow down. Don't crowd counters, shelves and cabinets with clutter, which makes the space look as though it's bursting at the seams. Instead, focus on a few standout items and necessities and hide the rest away.
9. Direct the eye upward. Choose patterns and visual elements that help to guide the gaze toward the ceiling. The vertical lines of the wall and ceiling boards in this kitchen lend the impression of greater height.