11 Inspiring Kitchens That Defy Their Small Size

Many homeowners dream of a kitchen with loads of workspace, lots of storage, and all the latest gadgets. But what if your kitchen is so small that you're unsure it can accommodate your vision? Fear not. Remodeling a small kitchen can be a big success if you keep a few key concepts in mind.

First, minimize clutter and maximize efficiency. Get rid of unitaskers and anything that doesn’t have a real practical purpose. Find the very best storage for every drawer and cabinet, and if storage elements are out in the open, make sure they add to the overall design of the room.

Next, focus your design details. Make the most, visually, of the space that you have. Open up the areas that you can. A counter bar with backless stools will create an open sense of flow, while providing necessary seating, and consider open or glass shelving instead of traditional cabinets. When you use color, make a statement, whether it’s an accent wall of tile, or a bold color choice for cabinets.

The 11 inspiring rooms that follow prove one important point: Just because your kitchen is small, does not mean you have to skimp on style when remodeling. With clever color choices, smart storage ideas, and an eye for detail, you can remodel a kitchen of any size into the room of your dreams.

  1. Play with Pattern



    One design benefit of having only a small amount of wall space to work with is that you can mix and match colors and patterns without fear that the look will overpower the room. Here, a tiny patch of wall surrounded by white cabinets becomes a canvas for a cheerful checkerboard of blue and green tiles; the green-and-white shade at the window adds a whimsical touch.

  2. Open Up



    If it's structurally possible in your home, open up one wall of a small kitchen and install a high counter to separate it from the other space, like these homeowners did. Not only does the counter become a place to eat and do homework, it's also a gathering spot that will allow you to converse with guests while you prepare food.

  3. Textural Tiles



    In lieu of paint, a wall of gleaming tiles can add an element of fun to a small kitchen. Further punctuate the space with details that catch the eye, like black hardware, colorful canisters, and a sculptural stove hood.

    Related: 17 Backsplashes for a Unique Kitchen

  4. Look Up



    Maximize storage space by choosing cabinets that reach the ceiling. This kitchen's all-white color scheme, which embraces the walls, cabinetry, counters, pendant lights, and seating, helps the room feel more spacious.

    Related: Storage Where You Least Expected It—10 Sly Spots to Stash Your Stuff

  5. Rustic Charm



    Blond wood cabinets echo this cottage's exposed beams and ceiling slats, while a stainless steel backsplash gives the room a modern edge. Along the windows, a wide sill that matches the countertops provides a casual spot for morning coffee.

  6. Color Confidence



    While it's true that whites and lighter hues can visually expand a small space, a bold use of color creates a welcoming atmosphere as well. Here, apple green cabinetry pairs well with the black and white details of the room. Glass-front doors keep the color from overwhelming the space.

    Related: Going Bold—10 Kitchens That Pop with Color

  7. Galley Reimagined



    To create a U-shaped space, this homeowner closed off one end of a walk-through galley kitchen with a glass-block wall behind the stove. The floor tiles echo the grid pattern of the glass blocks, emphasizing the graphic, modern feeling of the room.

    Related: Galley Kitchens—Unique, Compact, and Efficient

  8. Personal Style



    Whatever size room you're working with, let it reflect your taste. This cozy kitchen is brimming with country accents, from the butcher-block counters to the sink skirt and fabric-covered stools. If you paint one cabinet door with chalkboard paint, you'll never again have to search for your grocery list!

  9. Fun Underfoot



    Never underestimate the power of a floor pattern to enliven a small space. A classic black-and-white checkerboard has timeless appeal and can be made with either tiles or paint. Maximize the floor's decorative punch by choosing a streamlined, all-white scheme for the rest of the room.

    Related: Kitchen Flooring: 8 Popular Choices

  10. Classic Details



    Tucked into a sunny alcove, this charming space capitalizes on the decor that is so popular in kitchen design today: white walls, white cabinets, black granite counters, and warm wood floors. Recessed lighting and bare windows underscore the room's clean-lined look.

    Related: I'm Dreaming of a White... Kitchen—10 Bright Beauties to Behold

  11. Take a Seat



    Much loved for their nostalgic charm, banquettes can be a great seating solution in small kitchens. Here, two benches (one with additional storage built into the back) are positioned in front of a sunny window. Other eye-catching details in the room include colorful collections housed on open shelves and a playful linoleum pattern on the floor.

    Related: Is a Banquette Right for You?

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  13. See the Kitchen of the Week


    These innovative and beautiful kitchens may inspire your next renovation or redecorating project. Take a look to see the latest images and inspiration.