35 Clever and Stylish Small Kitchen Design Ideas

tiny grey kitchen with white tiles and wood open shelvesWelcome to the small kitchen ideas session! We hope you have come prepared and ready to explore some great ideas here. We are going to dive into several aspects of this home decor trend. Anything from what elements and tricks to use to how advantageous it can be in any case. The ideas are many, the styles even more, but the idea is one and only. A tiny kitchen can help you achieve excellent kitchen organization and can be your ideal kitchen option.

Image: Shannon Claire Interiors

Sounds surreal? Well, it’s not! Check this brief guide on how to turn a limited space into your favourite one. In this article you will see some key elements you can use in your own kitchen, like open shelves, kitchen cabinets and many more. Actually the list is endless, just let your imagination flow and everything will fall into place. So, without further ado, let’s start!

How to use small kitchen ideas

Bigger isn’t always better as we said. And what’s more, it’s not always possible. Small kitchens are here to stay. Every inch counts when making the most of a small kitchen. With some decorating creativity and practical design tactics, you can ensure your small kitchen yields large benefits. These small kitchens make excellent use of space, and the interior design decisions of the homeowners make them seem even bigger.

brown small kitchen idea

A U-shaped kitchen layout offers efficiency when short on space. This modified U places the refrigerator just out of sight on the right. A half-wall with countertop and stone base hides the workspace from the living area while letting light and conversation pass unobstructed. All the essentials for cooking and cleaning are within arm’s reach. This is very crucial when you have a tiny kitchen.

The horizontal drawer handles are long enough to double as towel racks.

Extra tip: You can use large floor tiles in your small kitchen. The whole idea focuses on making the tiny space look bigger. And what better way to do so by using the power of tiles’ style? Easy and effective. Simple and minimal. Beautiful, yet practical.

Photo Credit: Haier

contemporary small kitchen design with table

Challenged by unusual angles and cramped quarters, these homeowners designed a narrow workspace footprint where every inch of space was an opportunity to be creative. Using blonde wood, stainless steel and spot lighting the kitchen has become an organic work of modern art.

The table is a harmonious extension of the island, where the sink sits. On the left of the oven is a tambour door that rolls up to expose pullout shelves for the KitchenAid mixer and other appliances. This is great when you have kitchen appliances you don’t want to be exposed. You can use these shelves instead of storage cabinets that may as well be used for other purposes.

Photo Credit: Martha & Michael Stano

modern central small kitchen with table 25

Who said that furniture has single purposes? In kitchens, and in home decor in general, you can use home items destined for a purpose to fulfill another one. This is what we call home decor hacks! Smart ideas that can be used for transforming a minimalist kitchen or any other type into an amazing kitchen space.

Don’t hesitate to go with a clever solution, such as a dining table that can pull double duty as an island. A kitchen with island, after all, is quite beneficial in case of a small kitchen.

small kitchen design with table and brick walls

Have you run out of possible changes in your kitchen space? Well, hold on! There are still tricks you can use for a fantastic result. This one falls into a different category, that is, kitchen design. You can make some changes in the design of your kitchen to create a friendlier atmosphere.

Sure, we suppose you don’t want to have an uninviting small kitchen. Limited space isn’t the only factor that can contribute to that. The overall design is also another point worth noticing.

The idea? Exposed bricks, of course! Exposed brick in the kitchen warms up the cozy space and gives it character. Combine it with other earthy colors and let the natural color palette play its part towards an amazing kitchen design.

modern  wood small kitchen with high cabinets

Choose open shelves in kitchen

Open shelves are a great way to maximize your limited space in kitchen. At the same time they serve as decorating items to fill your small kitchen walls. After all, this element has other benefits as well. By placing the most used kitchen items in your open shelves you can see them more easily. Let’s see some instances where open shelves are incorporated in a kitchen space.

small kitchen in a blue paint

This otherwise cramped, semi-enclosed kitchen space gets a life of its own with the help of a careful and precise paint job. It now looks like a little cozy oasis, set apart from the rest of the home. The kitchen space is well organized and makes good use of open shelves, thus achieving great pantry organization.

small kithen design with smart shelves 15

Again here open shelves, pullout storage and well-designed storage cabinets provide easy access to items. The chores like cooking, prepping, and cleaning up become easier that way. Not only does this help in pantry organization, but also frees up the counter space immediately. Thus, making the kitchen space look as it should. Organized, clean, and everything properly arranged.

Extra tip: This is definitely one of the things you should opt for. Whether you have a shaped kitchen or not, this will most likely make your life way easier in the kitchen organization. And also, you will notice a big change in the way you cook. You will use your time more efficiently!

turquoise small kitchen design with kitchen stand bar

country small kitchen design 8

small kithen design 12 with free shelves

As you can see, no matter the style of your kitchen, open shelves are worth trying. They can be used solely or in combination with storage cabinets. Whatever the case, it is an inexpensive way to freshen up your small kitchen. And also make it warmer for your guests.

Pro-tip: Place the most impressive dish sets there, so that they can be seen.

Consider dark colors for a tiny kitchen

Still want more small kitchen ideas? Say no more.

Undoubtedly, no one could deny that white kitchens really look brighter and bigger, no matter how small they are. This is not to say, though, that dark colors are out of your league here. Yes, you read that right. You may as well use bolder tones in all small kitchen ideas you see. However, this fulfills another purpose more than anything else. And that is making your tiny kitchen look as modern as it can be. Moreover with the right elements you can still make smart options for counter space, so to speak.

small kitchen design 16 with dark cabinets

Check this instance, for example. Dark cabinets with brown-and-black tiger striping make for a sleek, contemporary look. While, on the other hand, the pale solid-surface backsplash creates a bold contrast. The design makes the most of very little counter space with a wenge butcher block that slides over the sink. A dining table on casters allows an eight-seater to slide under the island when not in use.

small kitchen design with sink in the corner

The wall between this tiny kitchen and an adjacent living space was removed to make room for more storage. Visual separation between the rooms was maintained with an island-breakfast bar.

The best part that can be implemented in all small kitchen ideas, probably? Placing the sink in the corner of the room like in this case. This makes for more food prep space, which is great if you spend much time cooking. Meanwhile take some time to see how the brushed and polished stainless tile form a standout backsplash. It is a small detail that adds to a contemporary style, if that’s what you wish to have.

Small kitchen ideas that incorporate sliding parts

Another option that is great for small kitchen ideas? Sliding kitchen parts, of course! When not in use, some parts of your tiny kitchen could be hidden so that they free up the limited space. Maybe not the kitchen cabinets that aren’t removable, but other parts like tables can come in handy in such cases. The freed up space can then be used for other purposes, like adding some chairs or modern stools for your guests.

small kitchen deisgn with hidden table

Above you can see mother-of-pearl granite countertops and frosted-glass tile that contrast with dark cabinets. This creates a contemporary atmosphere full of modern touches and colors. This color combination is quite common in modern small kitchen ideas. While dark colors and white colors serve different purposes when used in kitchens, what would a combination of them do? Wonders, we’d say!

The point that is of most interest here though is the custom-built, space-saving table on casters. This genious element nests into the back of the island when not in use. By sliding it back to its place you can immediately free up some kitchen space and make your small kitchen look instantly bigger. Great, isn’t it? Even though implementing such an idea can be a little bit expensive, it is definitely worth considering it. The space saved will completely transform your kitchen and revitalize your whole home decor.

A white kitchen will do the trick as well

White kitchens make for excellent small kitchen ideas. The reason is self explanatory, we’d say. White belongs to the color palattes that make literally any space look bigger, larger, brighter and more open. And this is exactly what you want to do when your kitchen space is small or you don’t have much storage space.

Below are some illuminating examples to help you understand what important role the white color plays here. And maybe, this will also help you determine whether you would want to apply something like that to your limited space. Off we go for some great white small kitchen ideas!

white small kitchen design with green tiles 10

The brightness and openness here are quite visible. This color creates a great white balance, with some green shades in tiles breaking the monotony. A beautiful detail here is the marble counter space that adds a modern touch to the overall decor. The storage cabinets are also of paramount importance when it comes to kitchen organization. Keep everything clean and in place while freeing up space and making your small kitchen appear larger.

modern orange small kitchen design 19

Are you wondering about what to do if you have (or want) a minimalist kitchen that is small? How can you arrange things and achieve the best kitchen organization possible, while still keeping it simple and minimal? Now, this is a great case.

This modern contemporary small kitchen design goes far beyond the bounds of a traditional small kitchen. Beginning with the color scheme, this decidedly minimal, yet entirely functional small kitchen space is very ‘bold’ and clean. Notice how the bright work areas create a largeness along with the use of a glass bar top that doubles as an eating area.

small kitchen with white cabinets and lime wall

These examples showcase kitchen design. The one is simpler, while the other is “fuller”. Still, both of them are inspiring small kitchen ideas.

total white small kitchen design ideas

Maximize space with storage cabinets

Another way to maximize space in small kitchen ideas is to use storage cabinets. But not just use them. You should consider placing your pantry that way so that the inner space is optimally used.

glass cabinets

For example, here you can see how storage cabinets with glass details add to the best kitchen organization. If your kitchen looks like this, then you can use many kitchen cabinets to save anything from your plates to glasses. Honestly in such cases the more, the merrier! This is highly useful especially when you have way too many kitchen items you need to store somewhere.

Say you moved in a new house, for example. And your previous one had a bigger kitchen where you could put anything anywhere without overthinking about it. Now what? Install some storage cabinets. Voila, problem solved!

contemporary teak design

Another case here, with a minimal touch and kitchen cabinets to fall in love with. This wood, reddish color makes this limited space really inviting and warm to spend time in.

The teak-like finish is very rich and the styling is modern contemporary without being garishly minimalist. Functionality meets design in this example of a modern small kitchen. Ample cupboard space and well placed small appliances enhance the dual beauty of this design.

high cabinets that touch the celing

Home Depot designer Emily O’Keefe added cabinetry with period charm to this small kitchen. “Since space was tight, I went up, stacking the cabinets,” she says. “The ceilings are 11 feet high, but not every cabinet touches the ceiling — that way they look more like furniture.”

two color cabinets

If you want to break the monotony that one-colored kitchen cabinets create, here is another option you can consider. Still, white is a good option in cabinets as well.

Tip: Ceiling windows also add more light to the place, thus making it look bigger.

Add some light to your small kitchen

Did you know? Lighting can also play a huge part when it comes to home decor. Indeed, the same place with different lighting can look quite different if compared side to side. An area that is properly illuminated can become more open and fresher, looking appealing and more inviting to the human eye.

design with curved cabinets

It is important in case of any small kitchen to use a combination of lighting ideas. That is, to use several lighting layers in the kitchen. This way you can have more coverage and use it for two purposes. First, to brighten up the area. And second, to use it as a decorative feature. There are three types you can use in this case, ambient, task and accent.

Ambient is the most commonly used form. You have probably used it, as one of the most representative example here is wall lighting. The purpose of this layer is to provide glow throughout the entire area of your small kitchen. Another useful layer is task lighting that is used to provide light in case you want to do something very specific. For instance, this kind is helpful for lightening the sink or kitchen cabinets. Last but not least, there is the accent layer as well. This one is handy for providing light over particular objects you might want to highlight in a small kitchen. Examples here are wall sconces or track lighting.

Tip: These lighting objects will not only make your small kitchen look bigger, but also turn it into a modern interior.  

lighting idea in home interior

The photos here will offer you some great inspiration and visualize how lighting can affect even the darkest small kitchen ideas.

Extra Hint: Position fully integrated appliances alongside pull-out larder units and wall cabinets with concertina doors to make the most of your available space.

deep blue cabinets and vintage tiles

Small kitchen design with deep blue cabinets and interesting wallpaper by elegueller arquitetos. In this case you can see how wall lighting provides some brightness despite the dark color in storage cabinets and counter space.

Colors for your small kitchen ideas

If you believe that nothing else works, which we find highly unlikely, then go for painting the small kitchen area. The bold colors here will completely change the space, making it cozier and inviting. Your guests will love it so much that they won’t want to leave!

bold green colors

This funky small kitchen design goes big on boldness, for example. The almost fluorescent green wall color scheme, together with a white back splash help to create a personable comfort for this small kitchen. The use of wacky ‘non-traditional’ decor fixtures such as the bathroom mirror backsplash (a ‘watch yourself cook’ fetish?) adds to the personality of this small kitchen design. Notice the shale blackboard note minder on the divider face, and the shelving unit over the doorway…? This is definitely something to consider if your small kitchen looks like this.

futuristic contemporary colors

Looking at the wall partition a stylish light fixture provides functional light, while dramatically adding to the futuristic contemporary feel, and allowing an open space into the front entranceway, making the whole area more inviting for guests. Now this is a unique case that depicts a tiny kitchen transformed by simultaneously using two of tricks here. First, the bold colors and second the accent lighting. Remember when you read about lighting before? Well this is a great example you can turn to.

bamboo cabinets

Kitchen with bamboo storage cabinets by Erdreich Architecture. Do you love L-shaped kitchen? Well this is one of those small kitchen ideas you will want to use, then.

breakfast bar in kitchen

If there’s a return that you can add a breakfast bar to, too – do it. Equally, if you can stand your kitchen on show-legs so that you can see beneath your units, that will trick the eye into seeing the kitchen as larger than it is, especially if your flooring is reflective.

Take advantage of an already existing space

Now this is for the ones that have kitchens and feel they are not making good use of their space. Is there a better way to go for it, than placing part of your kitchen in that space?

kitchen under stairs

Like in here, for example. A beautiful creation of white kitchen that makes the space open, wide and fresh.

The above modern small kitchen design under the stairs is by Loadingdock5 Architecture. This is of great interest. The biggest and most important thing to mention is the way of saving the space and maximize it to its full potential. The idea here is for taking advantage of the already existing space under the stairs. Genious, isn’t it?

Combinations of small kitchen ideas and tricks

As you might have already understood, when it comes to a small kitchen it’s all about being clever. Did you like more than one of the tricks mentioned in this article so far? Great! Why not use several for your own kitchen space then? Below you are presented with some cases in which multiple tricks have been used to skyrocket the tiny space decor.

open shelves in white kitchen

Here you can see how open shelves save space and saucepans are hanging on the wall to achieve better kitchen organization. The combination of this with the beige and white kitchen color palette makes this limited space look way bigger than it actually is.

dark kitchen with glass ceiling

Dark kitchens can equally look bigger as well. For instance, here you can see how an “outdoor” kitchen with glass ceiling looks open and bright despite the tone color. The element that does the trick is the ceiling part, from where all the natural light comes in. This is definitely a minimalist kitchen you will want to have.

white kitchen cabinets

Open shelves in a white kitchen as another example in the above photo.

Pro- Tip: Avoid the temptation to cram as many units into the room as possible as this will make the kitchen feel smaller. Classic wall-mounted plate racks are an ideal way to keep a country kitchen tidy.

country style in kitchen

Got a small and cosy country kitchen? You’ve got the excuse to clutter it with cute buys as well. Again, here you can see the open shelves in combination with some bright colors and natural lighting.

turquoise kitchen cabinets

Modern small kitchen design by gut gut. Turquoise tones and white color in walls turn this tiny kitchen into an inviting place with clever storage space on the left.


So, all in all, what is the biggest takeaway from this blog post? Well, the truth is small kitchen ideas can be easily implemented. There are many ways, though, that you can turn your tiny kitchen into an area that is used to its fullest. To maximize the limited space of a small kitchen is crucial for your lifestyle and your guests’ experience.

Starting from features like open shelves to open up the space to using dark color tones, every idea is unique and has something special to offer. If dark isn’t your thing, then white kitchen ideas also work perfectly fine to provide more openness.

Some other tricks mentioned were the inclusion of sliding parts in kitchen and the usage of storage cabinets for a better kitchen organization. Any space actually, used for storage space is totally approved in case of a tiny kitchen.

Lighting also plays its part when trying to create the illusion of a bigger place. And, after all these, use the power of colors to just tranform your tiny space into a friendly interior kitchen design. Bold colors is a good way to go.

Also, if you have an unused area near your kitchen, then you’d better use it to your advantage. Already existing spaces are a great way to enlarge your small kitchen.

But, what to choose among all these ideas? The answer is simple. If you can, we would advise you to use multiple of these features at the same time for the best result possible! And after all this you will have an adorable, small kitchen that everyone will love!

Ideas based on sources like: thekitchn,  HGTVDecoistDigsDigs, This Old House, Remodeling space, House Beautiful, Zimbio, House to home, Channel 4

Tags: dark colored kitchens, decorative lights, elegant kitchen cabinets, modern wood furniture design

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5 thoughts on “35 Clever and Stylish Small Kitchen Design Ideas”

  1. Thanks for suggesting that I add more open shelves in my kitchen that can help us use the available space as storage. My husband and I brew our own coffee and because of this hobby, we’re running out of space for our supplies and equipment. It might be a good idea to reach out to remodeling contractors and see if we can have the custom kitchen that we wanted for our interests.

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