Smaller flats and houses can offer plenty of cosy charm, but they usually tend to be lacking when it comes to kitchen space. Not only that, while we might all dream of a high-ceilinged spacious kitchen with loads of natural light, the reality that most of us are faced with is something else altogether. For many people, we are stuck with spaces that are smaller than we would like. Often we can find that our kitchen is an odd shape too. But fear not! There are loads of great small kitchen design ideas that can be the perfect solutions to whatever your existing kitchen problems might be. If a house move or a kitchen extension aren’t feasible options, there is still plenty you can do to make the most of the space you have. And don’t think these are simply ‘making do’. Far from it, there are some ingenious ideas that will help you to maximise storage, efficiency, and the overall aesthetics.
Small Kitchen Design Ideas For EVERY and ANY kitchen
Regardless of the kitchen space you have, the trick is about working with the layout you have. Whether your kitchen is tucked into a corner, against a single wall, or L-shaped, believe us when we say that they will be small kitchen design ideas to help you maximise your space. It doesn’t matter if you are starting from scratch or looking to give your tired old kitchen a much-needed refresh. We have the answers.
What follows are 35 Small Kitchen Design Ideas to inspire you. They won’t all work for you, of course. Indeed, some of the ideas will appear to contradict themselves. You’ll see advice that tells you to ‘take cabinets out’ and advice that says ‘put more cabinets in’. The crucial point is this: somewhere amid these 65 great tips and tricks you will find the answers you have being searching for.
So, let’s get this show on the road. Which of these ideas are you going to give a try?
Small Kitchen Design Ideas: Lights, Colour, Action…
1. Install task lighting
Task lighting is important in any space. However, in a small kitchen it becomes all the more important. In all honesty, you can never really have enough lighting in a kitchen. Good lighting is extremely important while preparing food and cooking. Not only will task lighting make all those kitchen tasks easier, it will brighten up the whole space too.
2. Make a statement with lighting
Another option is to make a big and bold statement with the lighting in the kitchen. That’s the whole point – if you make a statement with a lighting feature, people aren’t really going to notice how small (or large) the space is. The lighting becomes the centre of attention.
3. Keep things bright
One of the reasons why white remains a popular colour choice in the kitchen – other than its obvious versatility – is the fact that whiter equals brighter. Of course, this is particularly important in small spaces. This is why ‘go bright’ is a tried and trusted small kitchen design idea. Add pops of colour by all means, but you really can’t go wrong in a small kitchen with an all-white colour scheme.
4. Go for gloss
Another show-stopping look is to go for a high gloss look with your kitchen cabinets. The glossy lacquered look is reflective. Of course, this means the space feels larger. In addition, a high gloss effect will give your kitchen an ultra-modern look too.
5. Mirror, Mirror on the wall
Another way to make a small kitchen feel larger is to place a mirror on the wall. It’s an old trick, granted. But it’s a trick that always works.
6. Create an accent wall
Some people aren’t brave enough to paint their small kitchen in a single bright colour. Others simply prefer more neutral tones. If this sounds like you, painting an accent wall could be a great option.
7. Make a bold colour statement
The alternative is to be bold and brash. That could be with a wall painted in a bold colour, or it could be an eye-catching backsplash.
8. Blend the kitchen space and the living space
In open-plan designs, especially when the space is small, right at the top of all the great small kitchen design ideas is to make the kitchen and living space blend together as much as possible.
9. Colour blocks
If your eye for design if bold and brave, colour blocking can be really effective in small spaces. A block of colour draws the eye and helps to cover up a lack of space.
10. Move to the dark side
The commonly heard advice about colour in a small kitchen often focuses on the white and the bright. However, sometimes when you only have a small space to play with, the best thing to do is to simply embrace it. What’s more, contrary to what you have probably heard, dark colours can actually be extremely effective at making a small space seem much larger.
11. Go green
A bit of greenery and a tasteful plant here and there makes a kitchen feel more natural. A well-placed plant will brighten up any space.
12. Warm the space with a rug
Sometimes you can feel at a loss what to do with a cramped space. Everything you do can seem to make the space look even smaller. A smart way forward is to go for the warmth and colour of a rug. Instantly the space looks cosy and comforting, without being too overwhelming or over-the-top.
13. Be minimalist
Sometimes with a small kitchen, less is more. Pare down your kitchen to only the things that you really need. This is a great way of creating space. You’ll be pleasantly surprised just how much you have.
14. Subway/Metro tiles
Whether the name conjures up images of the New York Subway, Paris Metro or the London Underground, subway tiles laid horizontally create an iconic, classic look. It will help the kitchen space to feel wider too.
15. Embrace the cosiness
The smaller the space, the cosier you can make it. Go for warm colours and gold fixtures and fittings for a comforting overall look.
16. Organise, organise, organise
Using light and colour to enhance or create the illusion of space is all well and good but if you really want to make the most of your small kitchen, being strategic with the way you organise things is absolutely vital. Being organised can take many forms. For example, it can mean making sure that your shelves aren’t too cluttered. It can mean arranging dinnerware by colour, or it can be mean utilising every single, tiny bit of space for extra storage.
17. Ditch the pots and pans
One approach is to ditch the pots and pans and any bulky pieces of kitchen hardwarehardware. Keeping things away from the countertops will help you to make the space look more streamline
18. Utilise the space above cabinets
On the other hand, you could kick back against the minimalist and streamline approach. In fact, you could do exactly the opposite. Basically, if you have space between the top of your cabinets and your ceiling, you have extra storage space. When space in the kitchen is limited, why not use it? Patterned boxes or wicker boxes are ideal.
19. Put things on display
You need to make sure that you don’t overdo it and make things look too cluttered, but wall-to-wall shelves are perfect to put things on display. Keep those less attractive utensils and essentials for inside cabinets and drawers.
20. Hide everything
The alternative to letting things hang out is to hide everything away! Concealing items with space-saving solutions is a clever and highly effective trick.
21. Use backless stools
If your kitchen is large enough to have a breakfast bar, choose backless stools. The big advantage of this is that backless stools can easily be slipped under the counter, saving valuable space.
22. Hang pans and utensils on walls
Many small kitchen design ideas focus, for obvious reasons, on making the most of every scrap of space you have. Empty walls may look attractive, but they are also a waste of potential storage space. Large utensils and bulky pots and pans take up valuable space, so why not make good use of that empty wall? Hanging pots and pans look neat, smart and highly stylish.
23. Add shelving above the stove
In a similar vein and in the spirit of using all available space, another top tip is to add shelving above another area of the kitchen that can often be described as ‘dead space’. The space above the stove is an ideal place to add functional extra shelves.
24. Open shelves
Still on the subject of shelves, you could try open shelving as an alternative to cabinets. It gives the space an airy feel and open shelves are very functional. Remember too, that if the space has high ceilings, having upper cabinets isn’t often particularly practical either. Of course, if you do opt for open shelves, make sure you don’t clutter them up too much. Making shelves too busy really defeats the object of them.
25. Bring the outdoors inside
A wonderful way of giving your kitchen a summer feel is to bring the outdoors inside. Examples of how you can do this include bringing aspects of garden furniture into the house. It creates a fun look for the kitchen space.
26. A moveable bar
If space is limited in the kitchen, an island probably isn’t a realistic option. Let’s be honest, investing in a large kitchen island for a compact kitchen space really isn’t a great idea. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to do without completely. Try a smaller cart or table as an alternative to the conventional island. This could become your mobile, moveable bar – or whatever you want to use the additional storage for.
27. Blue cabinets to give the illusion of space
We keep coming back to colour on our list of top tips. This shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, there’s just so much that can be achieved with different approaches with colour. So many effects can be created. One such effect is the illusion of space. This can be achieved in several ways but one way that will keep your kitchen totally on-trend is if you choose cooling blue for your space. Blue cabinets that rise up to ceiling make great use of all available space, looks great, and gives the illusion of space. Not only that, the aesthetics naturally draw the eye to the statement blue tones.
28. Statement artwork
You can make all sorts of statements with your small kitchen space. People think of colours or the likes of mirrors to make such a statement. One less obvious, but no less effective, idea is to include a piece of statement artwork as a focal point. A painting or a sculpture will work particularly well.
29. Add a tall table
Okay, so in smaller kitchens that cannot accommodate a dining table or an island, how about adding a tall table? This is an ideal for spaces that aren’t really large enough for a typical dining table but are too big not to have anything. A tall table is an excellent halfway house – part nook, part bar, part island.
30. Keep countertops clear
A good way of keeping your countertops clear is to tuck appliances away until you actually want to use them, such as a coffeemaker, blender or toaster. This gives you more counter space to play with. Countertops are real magnets for clutter. You don’t need reminding that the more clutter there is in a room, the smaller it appears to be.
31. Choose small appliances
If space is really at a premium, it makes sense to choose smaller appliances for the kitchen. Small doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality. But do you really need a 4-slice toaster, or would a 2-slice appliance do the job just the same?
32. Double up your sink
We don’t mean you need a double sink – it might be slightly extravagant in a small kitchen space! But every kitchen needs a sink so you may as well make the most of it. Most sinks these days come with covers. This means your sink can actually double up as a chopping board – an ingenious use of space.
33. Add extra seating
Unsurprisingly, considering we are dealing with small spaces, most small kitchen design ideas tend to focus on taking things out, not adding things into the kitchen. However, sometimes it’s an extra addition – even in a small space – that lifts the area and makes it truly special. Adding extra seating and an extra counter area gives you an impromptu area to enjoy a laidback coffee or casual lunch.
34. Racks of mugs
Completing our line in suggesting things to ‘hang’ in the kitchen comes a mug rack. Efficient with space, a mug rack frees up valuable space in your cabinets. It can also be an attractive way to add accents of colour to the room.
35. Patterns on the floor
Last but not least, we come to a place that is often overlooked in the kitchen – the floor. The space under our feet is the perfect spot to make a design statement that has real impact. A patterned floor is also another great way to create the illusion of a larger space.
Small Kitchen Design Ideas – The Key Takeaways
The long and short of it is this… No matter how unusual your existing kitchen is or how small the space might be, there is still lots you can do to refresh and spruce up this all-important space in the home. As you will see from our 35 Small Kitchen Design Ideas above, you have plenty of options.
Rule Number One is to be ruthless! Clear out the clutter and focus only on what you really need in the kitchen. Remember the kitchen is perhaps the busiest room in the home. A lot goes on in there, regardless of its size. However, it will only work for you and be an efficient and enjoyable space if you think creatively and get organised!
But, the key message is that whether you get clever with colour choices, storage solutions or design elements, there is a solution out there to every small kitchen problem that you are faced with.
Go bright, go dark, go bold… it can all work a treat.
Clear things away or let everything hang out – either approach can be a winner.
If you need any guidance or advice about small kitchen design ideas, get in touch with the Kitchen Warehouse team. Our friendly team of experts are always on hand to help you make the absolute most of whatever space you have in your kitchen.