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By Msmargie13 from Grand Rapids, MI
White cabinets will always make a room look bigger. You could go with a cream or off white to soften things up.
Paint everything semi-glossy white or off white for the biggest looking kitchen! If you want color, stay with pastels with just a little bit of dark colors. Stay in one family, say for example, white, sage with a tiny bit of hunter.
Hot colors (orange, yellow & red) tend to make rooms look smaller.
Another thing that makes something look bigger is anything shiny. It's the because light bounces around on shiny surfaces.
You could wrap the cabinets in a stainless or aluminum skin (you can buy a thin stick-on stainless veneer). You can also paint your walls with aluminum paint or light silver "Hammerite" brand paint (it's oil based) or put real stainless on the backsplash.
Another thing that "bounces light" is to use shiny glass tiles in the backslash or counter top (glass tiles have depth).
Also, another surprising thing is that a very dark color in the right places will recess a space (and make it look larger). If you use a very dark color like black, dark blue, very dark burgundy or dark brown or very dark gray in a small area (like just a back splash, (with white cabinets) it will make the room actually appear larger, because of the recessed effect.
I would go with an antique off white or a cream to brighten it up. Just make sure you sand first and use a good primer so the paint adheres well. Here's more on that:
a bright yellow would be nice and change out the hard ware on the cabinets..