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Design Ideas for Small Kitchens

Oh, the joys of a small kitchen! We’ve all been there (and some of us are still there)! Small kitchens are particularly frustrating. When you have a small living space, you can opt for a compact couch or remove an armchair. What are you going to do in a small kitchen — take out the stove or fridge? Believe it or not, you have more options than you think!

Beautiful small kitchens design

Today we explore the wacky world of the compact kitchen. If you have one, don’t think you’re alone. In fact, many a chic big-city dwelling is equipped with a small kitchen out of necessity. But there are many things you can do to make sure this space is both functional and stylish. Even if you’re not planning a remodel! Check out our small space kitchen tips below…

Keep Counter Space Clean

We’re starting with the basics. When it comes to kitchens, organization is key. The more clutter on display, the more claustrophobic the space will feel. We know that kitchens are fun to decorate. But resist the temptation to fill the counter tops with purely decorative items. Instead, have your decor pull double duty. Pick a few small containers that you love, and fill them with practical tools and utensils. Or let a modern tea kettle make a statement, as shown in the image below. [from Michael Kelley Photography via Houzz]

A small kitchen with a spacious feel

Another option is to limit decorative items to the shelves. That way, the counter tops are free for food preparation, but your favorite items can still be on display. The next image features a kitchen that showcases decor on the windowsill, leaving surfaces free for items such as pots and fruit. [from Aidan Design via Houzz]

A kitchen with marble counters

Utilize Wall Space for Storage

Let’s be honest…Sometimes there’s just not room to keep everything behind closed doors! If you have limited cabinet space, you will find that it is quickly filled. Try using the walls for extra storage. The kitchen below makes use of wall-mounted pot, knife and spice racks! [from Frisson via Houzz]

A kitchen that makes the most of wall space

In addition to hanging pots on the wall, the inhabitants of the next space make use of open shelving for items such as dishes and serving bowls. [from Andre Rothblatt Architecture via Houzz]

A bright kitchen with wall-mounted pots

Don’t underestimate the power of wall-mounted shelves. Note the wine glasses, wine bottles and fruit on display below, thanks to metallic shelving that leaves the counter space clear. [from Inspired Interiors via Houzz]

Wall-mounted storage in a modern kitchen

Select an Island With Storage

Storage options also abound in the world of kitchen islands! Not only do islands provide a culinary space with more surface area, they increase stashing possibilities. Take the large island below, complete with a plethora of drawers, as well as room for a microwave. Designed by Eddie Lee, this kitchen clearly makes the most of its space. [from Lonny]

A kitchen island with storage

If your small kitchen only has room for a small kitchen island, don’t think you’re stuck with no storage. Even compact islands can have room to stash items below, as shown in this next kitchen designed by Christy Ford. [from Lonny]

A kitchen island with storage below

Incorporate Reflective Surfaces

You may not be able to enlarge your kitchen, but you sure can make it seem larger with reflective surfaces. That’s right–gleaming cabinets, countertops and tabletops amplify the light, as shown in the London kitchen below. [from Celia James Interior Design via Houzz]

A small kitchen with gleaming cabinets

Shiny stainless steel appliances glisten in the next space, a galley kitchen designed by Andreas Charalambous. [from HGTV.com]

A wall of stainless steel appliances in a galley kitchen

Say it with glossy white! Note how the light bounces off every drawer, cabinet and countertop in the kitchen below, which celebrates the power of bright, reflective surfaces. [from DigsDigs]

A glossy white kitchen

Make a Statement With Color

What better way to make color count than by applying it to a compact space? If you’re stuck with a small kitchen, give it a powerful punch! With a compact area, a little goes a long way, which can be a great thing for the budget. For example, just one wall of turquoise tile gives the kitchen below its signature look. Note how the magenta blossoms on each windowsill nicely complement the cool blue backsplash. [from Granite Gurus]

A turquoise tiled kitchen

In the next featured kitchen, green is the color of choice. Small rectangular tile is modern and fresh. Add a vivid, colorful pot and vibrant fruit such as oranges and bananas, and this space designed by Celerie Kemble and Anna Burke is ready for its close-up! [from Lonny]

A small kitchen with green tile

For an undeniably contemporary twist on rainbow design, go with multi-colored cabinets. The minimalist yet striking space below was featured in a previous Decoist post on Colorful Home Decor Ideas[from CubeMe]

colorful cabinets in a modern kitchen

A creative use of color shouldn’t be limited to knock-your-socks-off statements! Keep your kitchen mellow with dark, rich shades, such as the navy blue hue below, showcased in a kitchen designed by Erica Islas. [from HGTV.com]

A navy blue kitchen

Go Ultra Modern

If you have the time and the funds to do a light remodel, dress up your small space with ultra modern flourishes. People will marvel at the sleek design and top-quality materials, leaving them no time to notice that you’re challenged for room. The wooden cabinetry and detailing in the room below is stunning, especially when juxtaposed with stainless steel appliances. [from Apartment Therapy]

A small kitchen with wooden cabinets

Metallic is the word of choice in the next featured kitchen, which boasts dark gray cabinets and stainless steel counters. A variety of silver-toned kitchen utensils are proudly on display, compounding the effect of the cool and shiny palette. [from Home & Garden Ideas]

A modern small kitchen with metallic details

Small kitchen? Who cares when the design is this good?… [from Engberg Design via Houzz]

An ultra modern kitchen

Cleverly Integrate Room for Dining

Many kitchens must also double as dining rooms, especially in smaller spaces. So you’re faced with the challenge of 2-for-1 decor in an already compact interior! Don’t panic. Go with a clever solution, such as a dining table that can pull double duty as an island. [from Diego Bortolato via Houzz]

A small kitchen with room for dining

In the next featured interior, modern stools are a highlight of the kitchen, which features an island that also serves as a bar. Note how the surface can accommodate four stools while still leaving one side free so the chef has full access to the extra space. [from Rina Magen via Houzz]

A kitchen with an island bar

We hope the images above have left you feeling empowered to make positive changes in your kitchen! Sometimes the smallest spaces are the ones where creative solutions can really shine. And when you maximize space there, you realize just how roomy the rest of your interior truly is! Happy decorating!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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