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 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 a selection of 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 answers to all your questions

The crucial point is this: somewhere amid these 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?

Ideas for a small kitchen: Lights, Colour, Action…

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.

Naturally, this is especially important in a tiny kitchen. There’s no way you won’t have enough room to install task lighting. You can brighten up a tiny cooking space easily this way – even if you have a really compact space.

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.

Unleash your inner interior designer and bounce light all around the room!

small kitchen design ideas

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 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.

small kitchen design ideas

Go for gloss

Another show-stopping look is to go for a high gloss look.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.

small kitchen design ideas

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. It’s a great way to use up wall space to great effect.

What’s more it will make the floor space look bigger too – a win/win situation! Natural light will bounce off the mirror as well.

small kitchen design ideas

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.

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.

small kitchen design ideas

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.

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.

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. Natural materials work well in a small space, as does anything that brings the kitchen closer to nature.

small kitchen design ideas

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.

small kitchen design ideas


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 and to save space.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised just how much you have. And, whether you need dining space, cupboard space or valuable floor space, it’s all space.

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.

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.

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.

Ditch the pots and pans

One approach is to ditch the pots and pans and any bulky pieces of kitchen hardware.

Keeping things away from the countertops will help you to make the space look more streamlined and frees up valuable worktop space.

Creating extra counter space is always a challenge when it comes to making the most of a small space.

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.

small kitchen design ideas

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.

Open shelves can work brilliantly.

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.

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 a lot of space.

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 important space, so why not make good use of that empty wall? Hanging pots and pans look neat, smart and highly stylish.

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.

This is a great way of making good use of that precious vertical space.

small kitchen design ideas

Open shelving as an option

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 these, make sure you don’t clutter them up too much. Making shelves too busy really defeats the object of them.

However, open shelving solutions can be really effective in a small kitchen and can be a great alternative to wall cupboards. This is why the contemporary interior designer tends to love them so much!

small kitchen design ideas

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 option 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.

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.

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?

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.

Add extra seating

Unsurprisingly, considering we are dealing with small spaces, most ideas for smaller spaces 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.

small kitchen design ideas

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.

This issue a great option for a small space.

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.

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 this blog, 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.

Creating surface space

You need to both save space and make best use of whatever cabinet space you have. In smaller spaces, you want to have as much space as possible for food preparation. You need to try to maximise space at every opportunity.

Go bright and be bold!

Go bright and be bold… it can all work a treat!

Clear things away or let everything hang out – either approach can be a winner.

The thing to remember is that even in tiny kitchens, there is always a way to create more space. Even if you have a studio apartment or a galley kitchen – even an unusual u shaped layout, there’s a solution and approach that can work wonders.

What about galley style kitchens and a long and narrow format?

Yes, you heard us correctly… even with a galley kitchen or a u shaped kitchen, there is always a way to maximise storage, become more space efficient, and make even tighter spaces work well for you.

Who needs handles?

As we have shown, even if you are short on counter space and you don’t have the room for either a kitchen island or a breakfast bar, all is not lost. A small kitchen can still be a comfortable and aesthetically appealing space.

Once you have adopted some ingenious storage solutions and done all the space saving you can, there are still plenty of clever ways to do more.

Kitchen Warehouse Handleless Kitchens could be the perfect way to do just that.

If you need any guidance or advice about, 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.