Very Small Kitchen Ideas: Creative Designs for Tiny Spaces

Having a small kitchen can be challenging, but with some creative design ideas, you can maximize your tiny space. Whether you live in a studio apartment, a small house, or just have an awkward kitchen layout, there are solutions to make your mini-kitchen both functional and beautiful. With smart storage solutions, space-saving appliances, multipurpose furniture, and a little imagination, you can create the tiny kitchen of your dreams. This article explores very small kitchen ideas and creative designs perfect for tiny spaces.

Make the Most of Limited Square Footage

The first step in designing a small kitchen is to look at what you’re working with. Take measurements of the room and sketch out a floorplan to scale. This will give you a visual of the space and help you start planning.

Focus on making every inch count by:

  • Optimizing traffic flow – Position appliances, furniture and work stations in a logical workflow.
  • Going vertical – Install floor-to-ceiling shelving, hanging pots racks and wall-mounted storage to open up counters and floors.
  • Letting in light – Use reflective surfaces and light colors to brighten up the space. Strategically place windows, skylights or pendant lighting.
  • Multipurposing – Look for furniture like carts, stools or tables that can serve multiple needs.

Planning ahead is key. Decide which features are necessities and which you can live without before undergoing renovations or remodeling.

Clever Tiny Kitchen Storage Solutions

Lack of storage is one of the biggest complaints in small kitchens. Get creative with these storage ideas to neatly tuck away cookware, gadgets, food and more.

Use Wall Space

Take advantage of vertical real estate by mounting wire storage racks, wall-mounted spice racks, knife strips, pot racks and shelving from floor to ceiling. Floating shelves are great for displaying cookbooks, plants and decorative items.

Optimize Corners

Make use of wasted corner space with lazy susans, corner shelving units or vertical storage towers designed to fit snugly into corners. These make pantry items, plates and pots easily accessible.

Add Multipurpose Furniture

Carts and islands with built-in storage below and counter space on top provide extra surface area for food prep and dining. Look for models on casters that can roll out of the way.

Hide Appliances

Keep small appliances like the toaster, blender and coffee maker readily accessible but out of sight by stashing them in cabinetry or on slide-out shelves. This prevents clutter on the counters.

Use Under-Counter Storage

Install pull-out drawers, roll-out trays, tilt-out bins and other specialized storage fittings in base cabinets and under the sink to fully optimize the space.

Space-Saving Kitchen Appliances

Standard ovens, stoves and refrigerators need a good amount of space. Consider installing smaller or compact versions of essential kitchen appliances.

Compact Refrigerators

Substitute a full-size refrigerator for a slimmer model no wider than 18 to 24 inches. Choose a top freezer model to eliminate the need for bending. Mini fridges that fit under counters are another option.

Small Sinks and Faucets

Avoid an oversized sink that monopolizes counter space. Petite rectangular or circular vessel sinks take up minimal room. A wall-mounted or corner faucet clears up more workspace.

Cooktops and Mini Ovens

Full-sized ranges are bulky. For smaller kitchens, install a two-burner cooktop or induction burner paired with a wall oven or compact convection oven. These ovens can fit in just 25 inches.

Microwave-Range Hybrids

All-in-one appliances like microwave-range combinations allow you to cook, bake and microwave in one piece of equipment. Countertop models have a very small footprint.

Mini Dishwashers

A countertop or portable dishwasher can wash loads of up to six place settings while taking up zero permanent floor space. These hook up to the kitchen sink.

Multipurpose Furniture and Hidden Appliances

Since small kitchens are short on counter and cabinet space, smart storage furniture pulls double or triple duty.

Kitchen Carts and Islands

A movable kitchen island or cart provides a landing spot for appliances, storage in baskets below, and counter space for food prep or dining. Just be sure to leave enough room for traffic flow.

Pantry Cabinets

Tall pantry cabinets reach from floor to ceiling and hide small appliances behind closed doors while also housing shelf space for canned goods and pantry items. Opt for cabinets with pull-out shelves.

Expandable Dining Tables

Make your dining table earn its keep by choosing an expandable pub-height table with hidden storage below. Use it as a food prep station when meals aren’t being served.

Storage Ottomans

An upholstered ottoman with interior storage compartments does triple duty as a foot stool, extra seating and table when entertaining, and a place to stash cookbooks and kitchen gadgets.

Make It Pretty: Design Tips for Tiny Kitchens

While small kitchens value function over form, you can still make them beautiful with some simple design principles.

Lighten It Up

Dark colors tend to make small spaces feel more confined. Paint walls, cabinets and backsplashes in light neutral or pastel hues such as white, beige or light blue-greens to visually expand the room.

Install Mirrored Backsplashes

Mirrored tile, stainless steel and glass tile backsplashes visually double the space by reflecting light. Take care not to use too much, however, or your tiny kitchen may feel chaotic.

Keep Flooring Light

Wood or light colored tile flooring keeps things looking bright and spacious. Save dark floors for larger kitchens.

Add Functional Accents

In a small kitchen, every item counts. Instead of interior decorations that serve no purpose, choose pretty but practical kitchen accents like fruit bowls, wine racks, hanging utensil rails and spice racks.

Let In Natural Light

Maximize every source of natural light with large windows, skylights or glass door cabinets. Consider replacing solid cabinet doors with glass-panel doors. Reflective surfaces also brighten up the space.

Very Small Kitchen Design and Remodel Ideas

If you’re doing a kitchen renovation or remodel in a tiny space, there are smart ways to open it up and improve functionality within your existing footprint.

Remove Non-Load-Bearing Walls

Eliminating walls between the kitchen and dining room can instantly make a small kitchen feel more expansive. Just be sure load-bearing walls that hold up the structure of the home remain intact.

Extend Into Adjacent Rooms

If there’s unused space in an adjoining room, consider expanding the kitchen into that area. Even an extra 2-3 feet can make a noticeable difference.

Bump Out Walls

Bumping out exterior walls or soffits adds a few precious extra square feet without altering the existing floorplan. Just make sure plumbing and electrical can be easily accessed.

Raise Ceilings

When possible, removing low hanging soffits or drop ceilings to expose the full height of the room imparts a feeling of openness. Make sure to add task lighting.

Install Glass Cabinet Doors

Swapping out solid cabinet fronts for glass doors keeps the storage while opening up the sightlines to make the kitchen appear more expansive.

Add a Window or Skylight

Strategically placed windows, glass doors or skylights draw in natural light. If adding a window isn’t feasible, consider installing a solar tube skylight.

FAQs About Designing Tiny Kitchens

What are the standard small kitchen dimensions?

A kitchen under 100 square feet is generally considered small. Most tiny kitchen layouts fall in the range of 50 to 75 square feet. Kitchens under 50 square feet are very small or micro kitchens.

How do you maximize storage in a small kitchen?

Maximize vertical storage space with wall-mounted racks and shelving from floor to ceiling. Use space-saving fittings inside existing cabinets. Opt for furniture like carts and islands that provide both storage and counter space.

What small appliances work best in tiny kitchens?

Compact or mini versions of standard appliances like refrigerators, sinks, cooktops and wall ovens. You can also hide small appliances like coffee makers and microwaves in cabinetry or on slide-out shelves to save space.

Should you go dark or light in a small kitchen?

Light, neutral colors typically make a small kitchen look larger and brighter. Dark cabinetry or floors can overwhelm the space. Strategically placed dark accents work better than dark colors throughout.

How much does it cost to remodel a small kitchen?

According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, the average minor 10×10 kitchen remodel costs around $22,507 while an upscale remodel costs $66,196. Prices vary greatly depending on finishes, details and location.

What storage solutions work best in tiny kitchens?

Corner shelves, lazy susans, wall-mounted racks and fully optimized cabinets outfitted with pull-outs, roll-outs and other specialized storage fittings help maximize every inch of space.


While small kitchens present some challenges, there are many creative design solutions for maximizing tiny spaces. With clever storage ideas, compact appliances, multipurpose furniture and some design tricks, you can create an efficient and beautiful petite kitchen. Use vertical space wisely, stick to a light and bright color scheme, and focus on function over form. With smart planning and strategic remodeling, even the tiniest kitchen can be both stylish and user-friendly. What are your favorite tips for designing a very small kitchen?