12 Kitchen Design Ideas For Small Kitchens

Galley kitchen design
Galley kitchen design. Photo courtesy of Architecturaldigest.com

We all have grand designs for our kitchen. It’s the heart of the home, and the machine behind our cooking. The reality however is that often our kitchen space is at a premium. So we need to get inventive! Here are 12 design ideas to help you stop letting lack of space hinder your cooking.

Sleek and small

Sleek and small
Image: TraditionalHome.com

This luxurious-looking kitchen contains high shine accents and textures that practically scream living large despite the room’s modest size. It’s been dressed in glossy finishes and modern materials, giving the kitchen space a contemporary vibe.

Sculptured island

Sculptured island
Image: TraditionalHome.com

The small scale island here sets the tone for this modest home, which has been designed by Lyndsay Caleo and Fitzhugh Karol. The island is made from fallen oak and a hard carved white painted log. It’s unimposing size helps bring out the rest of the kitchen’s features.


Hidden kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

Camouflaged with folding doors from the living area. Designer Bill Brockschmidt’s kitchen is actually part of just one big room in a New York apartment. Due to just being one large space, the folding doors are integral to transforming the room as the situation requires. Really effective at taking you from an entertainment area to a cooking space with just a few pivots of the door, this is an ingenious use of rationed space.


Mirrored kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

Mirrors have long been known for creating the illusion of space, and nowhere is this more true than for small kitchen. Antique mirrored glass placed on the cabinet doors of this kitchen does just that in this kitchen designed by Jonathan Berger. The countertops in the cabinets together with imperial white backslash are from E. Stone.

Bold black

Bold black kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

Use of black can look alluring, but it’s important to contrast it with the right colors. Blending it with white countertops and walls as well as bright lighting, like this Benjamin Moore Aura kitchen, can make sure that you still have plenty of light on offer.

Charming cottage kitchen

Charming cottage kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

A common problem: A space that is too small to place a dining table yet too big to have nothing. Consider fitting an Adler bar table, with beautifully crafted legs like this one pictured. These tables are ideal for serving breakfasts and buffet-style meals. In the summer they’re even great for outside dining if you have outdoor space, or even lucky enough to have a balcony!

Saturated color

Kitchen with saturated colors
Image: TraditionalHome.com

These kitchen cabinets by the designer Miles Redd in the New York apartment are properly lacquered in bamboo leaf, as was the roller shade by Manhattan Shade. The color has been pumped to give the kitchen much needed life – even the refrigerator has been painted green! These heavy saturated color tones are definitely not for everyone, but help inject energy into dull and small spaces.

Large windows

Kitchen with large windows
Image: TraditionalHome.com

If you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space just outside your kitchen then you can pull off an amazing – yet often overlooked – trick here. Extend your kitchen’s wooden floors to the decking area outside, using large glass windows to separate the two spaces. This coordinated design will create the illusion of a much bigger space.


Colorful kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

In contrast to our saturated color kitchen above, this more modest take on color manages to balance bright colors with wooden cabinets and clean surfaces. This helps create a much more balanced feel which most people will be more comfortable with. Despite its bright aesthetic, it has a calming effect.

Smart storage

Smart storage in the kitchen
Image: Drawhome.com

Space might be limited, but the ways that you can be inventive with storage are not! You can try an étagère for height, a pull-out pantry for ease, or a crockery drawer to maximize space.

Small and elegant

Small and elegant kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

Designer Sheila Bridges added an elegant blue wallpaper to add excitement to her small kitchen in her home. The right choice of wallpaper can do wonders to create the illusion of space in a small kitchen.

The open and airy kitchen

The open and airy kitchen
Image: TraditionalHome.com

Focusing your kitchen in the corner opens up the room significantly. A spacious center can then provide an additional surface needed for food preparation and storage. The white and blue colors keep the environment light and appealing.

Benjamin Smith is a cycling enthusiast-turned-food fanatic. In between thinking about his next meals, he writes over at The Online Grill.

8 thoughts on “12 Kitchen Design Ideas For Small Kitchens”

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. Your blog will be really helpful to people planning to design their kitchens. The points are very useful. But I would like to add one more idea that is “Build upwards and not sideways when building cabinets”.

  2. Yes, I do have a small kitchen and I am really having a hard time decorating it because I only believe that I only have limited options since it was small. Well, I don’t need to worry now because you just gave me great ideas here.

  3. I love the idea of adding a kitchen island to the kitchen! It could add such character and style to the space. I really like the wooden island in the picture. It really goes so well with the white of the kitchen, and it really adds a pop of contrast!

  4. Great post, Benjamin!
    Decorating small kitchens is no easy job, that’s true. You gave plenty of choices, though. I especially like the wooden island and open and airy design.
    And thanks for sharing, Ganka.

  5. Designing a limited space kitchen isn’t really that easy, you can’t place all the stuff you wanted to be there and just pick a few things from your required design. This article helps to consider thoughts for creating an innovative design for a restricted kitchen room.

  6. Great Post! Thank you for providing some great information and ideas for small kitchens to your readers. Please keep sharing.

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