Design Ideas for Small Kitchens

Posted by Nicole R. Martin
Remodeling Project Specialist, Brubaker Inc.

We all dream of a large, luxurious kitchen with endless storage, two islands, and industrial appliances; in reality many of us have small, inefficient kitchens. Instead of viewing your tiny space as a hindrance, let’s look for all of the possibilities to add function, storage, and beauty to your tiny kitchen.

Tips to Make Your Small Kitchen Feel Larger

  • Open shelves, in place of wall cabinets.
  • Remove any visual blocks that closes the room in.
  • Using darker finishes on the base cabinets and lighter finishes on the upper fixtures will ground the room, adding visual height.
  • Select different tints and shades of the same color for fixtures will make the room appear larger by creating a continuous, monochromatic color scheme.

How to Create Usable Space in a Small Kitchen

This pictured early 20th century kitchen was very limited in usability. We added shallow-depth cabinets to the left wall, adding both storage and counter space. We also added a work space to an empty wall opposite the range by removing an existing radiator. A large pantry was installed beside the refrigerator to give maximum storage space.

NarrowCabinents-small kitchen design


Storage Cabinent

How to Open a Small Closed in Kitchen

In this kitchen, we cut a pass-through in the wall between the kitchen and dining room not only for convenience between the prep and dining areas but to eliminate the closed-in feel of the very narrow kitchen.

Shallow cabinets along the walls by the entrances to the family room and basement steps add much needed built-in storage and counter space while not impeding the flow of traffic. We shifted the range down slightly to eliminate the cramped feeling of cooking right beside the wall while adding convenient resting spots for cookware on each side of the range.NarrowKitchen Kitchen-Dining pass through


Find Storage in Unique Places

Taking advantage of every possible storage space is essential in a small kitchen. The backsplash area offers abundant opportunities to add storage. A shelf can be added along the length of your backsplash or an inset cubby can be installed above your range to hold oils and spices. Rails can be added to hold cooking utensils on hooks or magnet strips can be installed to hold knives.

Backsplash shelf

Cabinet sides are also a great place to eke out a little more storage. They are excellent locations for message centers and charging stations. You may not have room for an island, but how about a peninsula? These configurations eliminate some of the necessary clearance space allowing them to fit in a smaller footprint.Message Center

Magazines, TV shows, and the internet can often make us feel like happy people have large kitchens. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom once said, “Things taste better in small houses.” How much truer that must be of small kitchens! Never let your small kitchen inhibit the creativity and joy you have in your home.

See more kitchen remodel ideas here and here from our friends at Top Reveal.