Small Kitchen Design Ideas

62 Ideas For Your Small Kitchen

Small kitchen design inspiration can sometimes be hard to find, with Instagram and Pinterest often presenting impressive statement kitchens that can feel unachievable. Yet, a compact space doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and on-trend. Follow our advice and you’ll soon be on your way to designing the small kitchen of your dreams. 

1. Storage Savvy

One of the most important factors when designing a small kitchen is installing clever storage, as this can make or break how practical your space will feel when you come to use it on a daily basis. Cabinets should be designed to maximise every inch of space available, such as utilising corners by installing swing-out drawers. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets are also a must-have option, as not only will they accentuate the height of the room, making it feel spacious and open, but from a practical perspective, it will allow you to store rarely used items at the top with more commonly used items within easy reach.

2. Love Lighting

Lighting can play a huge role in creating the illusion of a bigger space. A small kitchen design should always, where possible, benefit from natural lighting as much as possible. However, if this is still hard to come by, think cleverly about where you place your light sources, as it’s important to illuminate those areas that may be lost in shadow.

3. Metallic or Mirrored Finishes

The reflective nature of metal and mirrors will help bounce light around the kitchen, and can also trick the eye into thinking the space of your kitchen is much bigger. Opt for an antique glass finish as a statement splashback. Not only will this make for a focal point and create conversation, but it will also serve its purpose well.

4. Bold Colours

Make your kitchen pop with some bold and vibrant colours that are deeply saturated. If you keep everything within a similar tone, it can truly transform your kitchen and give your kitchen its very own personality. Read more about colourful kitchen ideas here.

5. Hide Your Appliances

Toasters, cookers, microwaves, fridges… no appliance escapes this rule of thumb when it comes to small kitchens. If you can get appliances built-in to your kitchen, or purchase appliances which can fit easily into pre-existing compartments, then you will really open up the space around your kitchen in a way that previously was not possible.

6. Single Shelf Safety

You don’t want to go too crazy on the shelving in your kitchen, however, a single shelf can provide some essential storage and decoration space if you have limited worktop room to work with.

7. Ditch the Island

Islands are trendy, attractive, and sometimes… rather large. If you are stuck for space in your kitchen, this is a near-instant solution for small kitchens that need opening up.

8.Maybe Don’t Ditch the Island

Whilst islands can be quite an obstruction, it’s important to define the goals for your small kitchen. For example, would you rather your kitchen be a more practical workspace or a larger, open area to allow for multiple guests? If you’re looking at the practicality option for your small kitchen, then you might want to keep the island and optimise it. You can install drawers, storage units, wine coolers, sinks, hobs – the opportunities are almost endless! 

Need help choosing a small kitchen island?

9. Breakfast Bar 

If you want to dine in your small kitchen but have no room for a table and chairs, a breakfast bar could be just what you’re looking for. It’s not quite a dining table, but it’s more than enough to catch up with your loved ones over a cup of tea and some corn flakes in the morning.

10. “Hang” Out In The Kitchen

A great way to optimise the space in your small kitchen is to hang up important utensils and tools on railings or kitchen pegs. Spatulas, chopping boards, oven gloves, and much more can be stored this way, simultaneously giving you more room in your cupboards and drawers.

11. Look Up

Take a look at your ceiling – is it dark or dirty? Is there room for space optimisation?

A light, bright ceiling can really open up its surroundings and make the kitchen area appear bigger than it actually is. Following up from idea #10, you could also use your ceiling to hang utensils off by acquiring a hanging rack.

12. Insert Strip Lighting

Strips of light underneath cabinets and units can really brighten up a small kitchen, physically and literally. The bright light helps expose the kitchen, which gives it a more powerful and enlarging look, whilst simultaneously coming across as warm and welcoming.

13. Fresh Foliage

Indoor plants are amazing at providing depth and variance in a home. This rule is no different for a small kitchen, as adding a bit of aloe vera here and a spider plant there will create a bright and natural atmosphere for your small kitchen.

Read further about the best plants for your kitchen

14. Make Your Corners Magical

Before you get too ahead of yourself and enrol for a year at Hogwarts, a magic corner does not involve casting a spell at your kitchen corner. However, it is kind of magical.

A magic corner is a kitchen corner unit that, when opened, will swivel out a shelf or 2 for you to conveniently store your groceries and/or utensils on. This allows for more storage space than a conventional shelf or cabinet, without taking up more physical space.

15. Optimise Internal Drawers

Everyone stores their cutlery in drawers, but what about herbs, spices, hot drinks and sugar? There are drawer solutions available that can cater for these typical kitchen ingredients, whilst also giving you more space for your worktops and cabinets.

16. Room For More?

A majority of food and ingredients are stored in the kitchen, which can be an issue for those with a small kitchen and a big weekly shop. If you need a mass storage solution in your kitchen but are short on space, an integrated larder unit would fit the bill perfectly.

17. Make Use Of Accent Colours

From the law of colour, accent colour is used to highlight areas of importance. Utilising this rule in a small kitchen can help divert eyes to impressive pieces of furniture in your kitchen and catch attention. If you use a strong accent colour along with plain and neutral tones, this can lead to the illusion that your kitchen isn’t small, when in fact, it is.

Read more about how to use bold colours in your kitchen

18. Go Digital

If you currently use any older pieces of technology in your kitchen, then consider making the jump to digital kitchen appliances. On average, digital appliances are usually smaller and more compact, meaning that you can save bits of space from your appliances. In a small kitchen, this all adds up.

Check out our guide to kitchen appliances

19. Ditch The Chairs

Chairs can take up a lot of unnecessary room, especially if you aren’t able to completely tuck them in. A great alternative is to replace these chairs with a bench or stools, as the space they take up is completely nullified due to their tuckable design.

20. Are Chairs Essential? If So, Invest In A Higher Table

Higher tables can allow chairs with smaller backrests to be completely tucked underneath, making them a quick and easy solution to save space in your small kitchen. Additionally, the taller table can be used when standing up, depending on the height of the user and the table. 

21. Let The Sun In

Natural sunlight is great for both physical and mental health. Do you know what else it’s good for? You guessed it! It’s great at opening small kitchens up by kissing everything it touches with its warm presence. A neat way to add natural sunlight without being too invasive is to add a skylight to your small kitchen ceiling (if possible).

22. Introduction To Induction

Induction cookers are probably the best single pieces of technology you can get for your kitchen when saving space. They are sleek, minimal, and aren’t required to be attached to anything other than a flat surface. 

23. Monotone, Not Monotonous

Using a clean, single tone in your small kitchen can help give the illusion of space, as it’s harder to see all of the cabinets, island, and chairs all at once if they all blend in. Think of it as camouflage for your kitchen, except rather than hiding from predators, you’re hiding how small your kitchen really is.

24. Lay It Out

Before you purchase or design anything, you could always try and reshuffle your kitchen layout to see if there is any hidden space for you to create. It could be as simple as moving a cooker or a table, doing so could unlock spatial potential you didn’t realise you had. If you want to do some further research on how to get more space out of your kitchen, click here.

25. Sliding Doors

Sliding doors give you the leisure of not bumping into an open door that you forgot about, furthermore, you also get extra space in front of the cabinets when opened. An additional bonus of using sliding doors is that they are practically silent and smooth to operate.

26. Experiment With Clashing Textures

When you combine two opposing textures, it can be an assault on the eyes. However, when done correctly, it can look beautiful, vibrant, and edgy. This takes away from the size of the room by directing eyes towards the brash contrast, rather than acknowledging the true size of the room.

27. Statement Lighting

Statement lighting can also have a powerful impact in a small space, and shouldn’t be dismissed so easily. Whilst an oversized hanging pendant may swamp the area, wow-factor can still be created by opting for an alternative with a certain design flair to it. Whether it’s a striking colour or a vintage design, it’ll make for a bold and eye-catching feature amongst your small kitchen design. More kitchen lighting ideas can be found here.

28. Organisation Is Key

Sauces, spices, cereals and more. All of these items can easily become discarded and cause clutter. When your kitchen looks messy and cluttered, it can appear smaller and more compact. Be sure to keep things organised with spice racks, storage containers, and enough storage space.

29. Necessities Only

You can be forgiven for having things in your kitchen that aren’t necessities, as they make your life easier and appliances can be super helpful. However, if you’re looking to save space then an “audit” of your kitchen could do wonders. After all, do you really need that supreme electric cheese grater?

30. Make Your Utensils Sparkle

On top of keeping your utensils clean, we also recommend polishing your older utensils in order to keep them looking immaculate. This gives off a pure impression to visitors and complements a squeaky clean kitchen.

31. Extract Odours Efficiently

Cooking dishes that have a potent odour in a small kitchen can be unpleasant and opening a window doesn’t quite expel the odour. The quickest and most efficient way to do this would be to install an extractor fan. Our Napoli Range comes with a complete modern extractor hood.

32. Heated Towel Racks

As typically seen in the bathroom, heated towel racks could be a great addition to your small kitchen. They give you easy accessibility for drying your hands and food, whilst simultaneously staying nice and heated for a warm welcome on your hands.

33. A Splash Of Brass

Much like the use of an accent colour, utilising some brass pieces of equipment in your kitchen can really break it up and give your kitchen the breathing room it needs. It’s a great alternative to common metals used like brushed gold or silver decorative items, so it really gives you that sense of uniqueness you may be looking for.

34. Notice Me

Having some sort of family notice board, be it a whiteboard or chalkboard, can help everyone stay on top of chores and reminders. Anything that is scribbled onto these boards will be hard to ignore in such a small space, making it the perfect location to pop one of these up!

35. Double Or Nothing

If it’s possible to double up on counters, this can give you a new outlook on kitchen surfaces that you may not know existed. For example, you could have a work surface attached underneath a breakfast bar that comes out in the opposite direction. This is small kitchen space optimisation at its finest.

36. Light Up The Kitchen Floor

If you have a shiny and reflective floor, installing lighting around the bottom edges of your kitchen can be like opening up a portal to a new reality. The light bounces off surfaces which helps create a more expansive look for your kitchen.

37. Double Door Decadence

Does your small kitchen ever see congestion from everyone trying to pass through the same doorway? If possible, try installing a second door elsewhere to enter and exit the kitchen when it may be a bit too crowded. 

38. Corner Drawers

As with the corner cupboard, the corner drawer is an amazing innovation that can truly optimise the small kitchen you’re using. They might not usually be too big in size, however, it’s perfect for storing away loose bits and knick-knacks that may otherwise be lounging around on the countertop.

39. DIY: Decorate It Yourself

This may vary depending on your expertise in DIY, but some handmade decorations (or furniture if you’re skilled enough) can really give your kitchen a unique charm. This can be the difference between an average small kitchen and a stunning small kitchen if done well enough.

40. Don’t Forget Your Glasses!

As with cutlery and other kitchen essentials, be sure to find glasses, cups, and mugs that complement your kitchen. If everything, including drinking glasses, looks like it’s bought with the intention of matching your kitchen, then you’re on the right track when making inexpensive changes to your small kitchen.

41: Experience The Globe From Your Kitchen

Diversity in a kitchen can go a long way, so don’t be afraid to base parts of your kitchen on different cultures and places you love or have visited. Not only does it compartmentalise your kitchen and give it depth, but it makes a great talking point for your guests!

42. Efficiency Efficacy

When it’s all about saving space, look at multi-use kitchen utensils to save space with storage and time with cleaning. With today’s technological advancements, you can pretty much find a multi-use kitchen utensil for almost anything.

43. Spruce It Up With Fruit

If you do not already have one, invest in a fruit bowl or two. Whilst fruit may be healthy, displaying an array of colourful different fruits in your kitchen will give it a bright, natural, and exotic touch that is hard to replicate otherwise.

44. Safety Proof 

If you have young ones running around the house, then you may want to safety-proof your kitchen where possible, as small kitchens may be attractive for small children as the close proximity of everything could lead to a catastrophe. It’s always better to be safe, rather than sorry.

45. Taller Is Better

Taller units and appliances can save space by being smaller in width, meaning that you may be able to fit more items into your kitchen than you may think. Invest in a tall fridge or some tall units to cater for your storage needs whilst saving a bit of space.

46. Purchase Cutlery & Utensils In Matching Sets

When sitting down to eat, washing up, and even when stored away, mix and match cutlery is an eyesore and it can be visually jarring. This can take away from the beauty of your kitchen, so be sure that everything you purchase matches your other cutlery and utensils where possible.

47. Large Dinner Parties

Are you a fan of hosting large dinner parties, but you can’t fit everyone into the kitchen? Then move the table elsewhere to facilitate for these guests whilst simultaneously opening your kitchen up!

48. Unconventional Uniqueness

Sometimes it can pay to go against the grain, and doing so can help your kitchen find the spark it needs. Think of ways you can challenge the status quo in your kitchen and work from there, for example, food boards rather than plates, recycled drinking glasses, quirky ornaments etc.

49. Pop-Up Tech

Another eyesore in the kitchen are plug sockets and cooker hoods as they’re usually quite abrasive. A great idea to include them whilst keeping them discrete may be to install integrated pop-up tech in your kitchen or island. They’re incredibly neat and work just by pressing down on them – once you do so, they will pop up slowly and reveal themselves to you.

50. Smarter Than Your Average Kitchen

It can be quite daunting if you are inexperienced with it but smart technology is the future. Not only does smart tech make everyday tasks easier and enjoyable, but it is incredibly useful. Adding in a few bits of smart tech can go a long way in terms of attractiveness and usability in your kitchen.

Tips for introducing smart tech into the kitchen

51. Top Tip For Adjoining Rooms

If your kitchen is adjoined to another room in your house, then a great way to make it look bigger is to make sure the two rooms have a matching theme. If you use different colours or themes in the two adjoining rooms, then it will compartmentalise the two rooms and expose the size of your small kitchen.

52. Bye Bye Dishwasher

A dishwasher is a big machine, so it’s an appliance that will inevitably take up a lot of room – no matter where it is placed. Removing this from the kitchen can save a tonne of room for units or other essential appliances. Without a dishwasher, we recommend implementing an integrated sink in your kitchen in order to save room and still look sleek.

53. Complete Opacity

If your small kitchen is next to your back garden, then this is for you! The ultimate way to open any room up is to add floor to ceiling windows or doors to the outside. They will let in so much natural light and the weather outside can dictate how your kitchen feels.

54. Centripetal Attraction

An eye-catching centerpiece is efficient at distracting guests from the rest of the kitchen, making the small kitchen as a whole more distinctive and eccentric. If this is what you’re going for with your small kitchen, then invest in a centerpiece you love!

55.  Accentuate Finer Details

If you’ve got a monotone or plain kitchen, try adding emphasis to small details around the kitchen. Such as different coloured door handles, taps, beading, or even lighting. These minor changes will have a massive effect on the total atmosphere of the kitchen.

56. Tasteful Trays

Incorporating trays into your kitchen can help in keeping your small kitchen clean and organised, as the last thing you want is clutter. Use these trays when dishing out meals or snacks to save the excessive washing up and mess that is left in the aftermath.

57. Kill The Kettle

The space taken up by your kettle on the countertop could be replaced by an integrated hot drinks machine. If you still needed the kettle for hot water elsewhere, you could also invest in a boiling water tap too!

58. Time For A New Coat?

Your kitchen may be fine as it is and the missing touch is just that you need to add a new layer of paint to restore the pop it once had. Heat is one of the main factors when looking at why paint fades, so if the kitchen is too hot, don’t get out – just paint a new layer.

59. Pile On The Tiles

If you’re looking for something to break up your small kitchen and give it some more personality without a whole revamp of the design, then tiles could be the solution for you. You can get tiles in various shapes, sizes, and colours to match whatever theme you are going for. Bold? No problem. Neutral tones? Easy. If you’re looking to add more colour to your kitchen, follow this link to read more.

60. Festive Furnishings

Don’t be afraid to go all out for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and Easter when it comes to decorating your kitchen. The festive decorations can help give a limited time lift to the atmosphere in the kitchen which will detract attention from the size of the kitchen.

61. Foldable Options

If you are adamant on having a table in your small kitchen but you don’t have anywhere to put it, consider a foldable table. This will allow you to save plenty of space in the long term, without the added cost of a breakfast bar. You could also look at some complementary foldable chairs to go with it!

62. Candlelit Ambience

The addition of some candles in your kitchen can add that little bit of ambience you’re looking for. Whether it’s romantic or relaxing to you, a large candle (especially a scented one) can make a great addition to your small kitchen.


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