26 Clever Small Kitchen Ideas to Make the Most of Every Inch (2024)

A successful small kitchen needs an efficient layout, smart cabinetry, and plentiful storage. See how it's done by touring these savvy compact kitchens packed with impressive features.

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Combine Old and New

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Mix It Up

Including original pieces, like the built-in hutch, has classic appeal and gives a subtle nod to the home's original design. The high-contrast color combination adds drama and helps the room feel fresh and modern.

Fundamental Kitchen Design Guidelines to Know Before You Remodel

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Combine Old and New

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Precise Pullouts

Narrow pullouts across from the island keep oils and vinegars within reach of the cook. The pullouts' different shape breaks up the cabinetry and echoes the home's original style.

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Combine Old and New

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Outfit with Outlets

Outfitting the kitchen island with hidden outlets means appliances can be plugged in at any time without affecting the room's vintage sensibility.

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Combine Old and New

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Sky-High Storage

In this 1920s home, a kitchen remodel was necessary to make the space feel fully functional in today's day and age. Taking Craftsman-style cabinets all the way to the ceiling increases storage without making the kitchen feel closed in. The sleek stainless-steel range hood has a distinctly modern quality that matches perfectly with the island stools.

Fundamental Kitchen Design Guidelines to Know Before You Remodel

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Combine Old and New

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Beautiful Banquette

A new custom-built banquette adds convenient seating within the kitchen. With classic wood paneling and molding, the bump-out looks as though it is straight from the '20s. The color combination of white and gray leaves the space feeling elegant and timeless.

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Combine Old and New

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Concealed Dining Storage

Drawers under the banquette benches provide storage for linens and other dining accessories without taking precious space away from the rest of the kitchen.

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Combine Old and New

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Nook for Necessities

A storage-packed nook houses an oven, microwave, and customized cubbies. A small countertop with a coffee bar is the perfect place begin each day.

30 White Kitchen Ideas to Suit Any Style

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Combine Old and New

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Creative Custom Cabinetry

A broom closet and fold-down ironing board are hidden assets that make this kitchen unique. By incorporating storage space into existing cabinetry, a small kitchen can feel larger and ultra efficient.

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Secrets to Maximize a Small Kitchen

Make the most of your space with these ideas for the best small kitchen layout.

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A Layout to Love

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Increasing Efficiency

In this home, a 1970s galley kitchen was transformed into a sleek and stylish alternative. By replacing windows at a higher level, additional counter space was able to be added, increasing the kitchen's efficiency when it comes to cooking.

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A Layout to Love

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Layout Change

A wall that separated the dining room and kitchen was taken out and left the kitchen bigger and brighter. With chairs on both sides of the peninsula, the bar is a full-fledged dining space.

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A Layout to Love

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Clever Cabinet Doors

Frosted-glass cabinets conceal contents while helping the kitchen feel bigger. Without any knobs or pulls, cabinetry looks sleek, modern, and uncluttered.

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A Layout to Love

Cabinet Combination

Mixing cabinetry makes this kitchen feel modern and unique. When combining different types of cabinetry in the same room, keep lower cabinets darker and upper cabinets light. Here, semitransparent cabinets help the top of the kitchen feel spacious, while dark-stained lower cabinets help ground the room.

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A Layout to Love

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Corner Storage

A pullout corner storage unit maximizes often-unusable space, and an automatic light inside the cabinet makes it easy to find items. This pullout cabinet is a custom add-on, but it makes an awkward cabinet usable.

22 Kitchen Island Storage Ideas

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A Layout to Love

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Simple Storage

Storing dishes in lower cabinets prevents having to lift them overhead and eases the task of unloading the dishwasher. Drawers and pullout shelves are often used in lower kitchen cabinets to avoid dark corners where items can get lost.

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Pretty Palette

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Utilize Forgotten Spaces

In this petite kitchen, creamy cabinetry helps to make the space feel more open while a light blue paint appears to raise the ceiling. A counter-height bar allows for a place to eat as well as additional prep space for cooking when the chair is taken away. This kitchen shows how forgotten spaces can be used to instantly increase storage in any kitchen.

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Pretty Palette

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To the Ceiling

Above the sink, one shelf serves as a display space for china. Small glass-front cabinets provide storage without taking up much visual room. By taking cabinetry all the way up to the ceiling, a second window was able to be added to the kitchen.

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Pretty Palette

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Corner Cabinet

Installing corner cabinets provides additional storage without impeding on walkway space. On the counter, there is space for a small coffee center that is out of the way of kitchen traffic.

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Pretty Palette

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In Between Spaces

Between upper cabinets and the countertop is the perfect space for a small television screen that doesn't obstruct the counter. For the kitchen backsplash, taupe subway tiles combine with thin bands of blue and brown tiles for a simple and clean look.

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Pretty Palette

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Instant Organization

Insert risers and organizers in drawers and cabinets to pack lots of ingredients in a small kitchen. Here, simple wooden inserts allow for multiple spice jars to remain organized and always on hand.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

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Renewed and Recycled

Tucked away in a wooded neighborhood, this kitchen remodel drew inspiration from its surroundings. The old cabinets and countertops were removed and recycled, given to the neighbors for their own remodel. The kitchen stayed within its original footprint, but a skylight was installed to bring in more natural light.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

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Height Trick

To make the small kitchen feel more open, the cabinets were run to the ceiling, giving the appearance of higher ceilings. The light maple cabinet finish and buff-color granite counters and travertine tile backsplash play off the natural theme of the room and create a soothing, cohesive look.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

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Open Shelving

A basic solid side cabinet would have closed off the kitchen to the adjacent dining room. A section of airy shelves provides an open transition between the spaces and serves as storage for pretty serving dishes.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

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Smart Moves

Clean lines, plenty of white, and an abundance of light spell success for this small kitchen. The room feels unconfined by its 11x11-foot footprint. Although small in square footage, several smart design strategies open up the area for a statement-making space. Understated and sophisticated finishes, such as the white backsplash and glass-front cabinets, keep the room simple and inviting.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

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Invigorating White

Too much white can be a little dull, but the neutral hue perks up when used in standout ways, such as on these beaded-board cabinets. The grooved design adds texture to a flat, white surface. Wide white crown molding between the cabinets and ceiling tops the room with a final detail.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

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Finishing Touches

Although a colorful tiled backsplash would have added visual interest, a clean, white mosaic version was a more fitting choice for this kitchen. The simple design stays in step with the room's airiness. Accessories and extras, such as a copper light fixture and potted plants, introduce color.

26 Clever Small Kitchen Ideas to Make the Most of Every Inch (2024)

FAQs

What is the most efficient arrangement for a small kitchen? ›

Consider a U-shaped or galley-style layout for maximum efficiency. Organize your space using the kitchen triangle rule to create a smooth path between the sink, oven (or stovetop), and refrigerator.

What are the six 6 basic kitchen designs? ›

There are six basic types of kitchen layouts: Island, Parallel, Straight, L-Shape, U-Shape, Open, and Galley.

What is the simplest and most economical kitchen layout arrangement? ›

The most efficient kitchen layouts are U-shaped and island kitchens. These layouts provide ample countertop space for cooking and prep work, and they allow for fluid movement throughout the room.

What color to paint cabinets in a small kitchen? ›

White, Off-White, and Natural Wood Finishes

Mix crisp white, buttery white, and gray-toned white finishes to create a seamless look. Select warm wood cabinets and floors that take the chill off white surfaces and give your small kitchen an inviting aura.

What is the best color kitchen for a small space? ›

Classic for a reason, white paint is known for its light-reflecting properties, making your walls 'recede' and opening up small spaces. Our top picks include the creamy White 03, a soft white with yellow undertones that can open up your kitchen while keeping those warm, cosy vibes.

Where should I put my fridge in a small kitchen? ›

WHERE SHOULD YOU PUT A FRIDGE IN A SMALL KITCHEN? If you're able to tuck a refrigerator into a corner or against a wall, that could be an efficient use of space. An undercounter fridge is another option for small kitchens if you have no need for a freezer or can put one in a garage or basem*nt.

How do you jazz up a small kitchen? ›

Trading upper cabinets for open shelving is a small kitchen decor idea that helps foster an airy look. The key is to avoid cluttering up the shelves with too many items. Mix in a few pieces of pretty dishware or drinkware with accessories such as small vases, wood cutting boards, framed art, or potted plants.

What color flooring makes a kitchen look bigger? ›

A light-colored flooring such as light oak or a light-colored carpet will make the room appear brighter and more open. The same applies to the ceiling—use a light color or white to "open up" space.

What kind of backsplash makes a kitchen look bigger? ›

Try a long horizontal backsplash tile or subway tile to draw the eye across the room. You can achieve the same effect with horizontal tiled or herringbone flooring while enhancing the kitchen design. As you can see, there are endless ways to trick the eye and make any room appear bigger.

What is the most popular kitchen layout today? ›

L-Shape Kitchen

An l-shaped kitchen design is typically the most popular layout among consumers.

What is the golden rule for kitchen design? ›

A Golden Rule for Kitchen Design

A kitchen work triangle is made up of three areas; the sink, cooktop, and refrigerator. By connecting these three areas within a certain length, you can create a more efficient kitchen design.

What is the golden triangle in kitchen design? ›

A concept based on efficiency

The kitchen triangle is based on the idea that these three zones are the most frequently used areas in a kitchen. The sink is used for food preparation and cleaning, the hob is obviously used for cooking, and the fridge is used for storing food.

What is the most efficient way to organize a kitchen? ›

10 Steps to an Orderly Kitchen
  • Tip #1: Empty Cabinets. ...
  • Tip #2: Group Like Items. ...
  • Tip #3: Organize the Cabinets. ...
  • Tip #4: Use Clear Containers to Store Items. ...
  • Tip #5: Store Containers and Lids Together. ...
  • Tip #6: Make use of Vertical Space. ...
  • Tip #7: Use Lazy Susans. ...
  • Tip #8: Use Drawer Dividers.

What is the most efficient kitchen cabinet design? ›

U-shaped design

'In large rectangular kitchens, U-shaped layouts offer more space on countertops and speed up tasks. This format is ideal for family members who love to entertain large volumes of guests so there would be enough space and a functional work triangle. '

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