15 Small Kitchen Design Ideas That Will Help You Do More with Less: If your kitchen is too small, you’ll always have to deal with the same problems: an oven the size of an Easy-Bake, a prep area the size of a postage stamp, and cabinets that can only hold enough food for one person (we blame the cheap builder, not your Tinder record).
If you don’t have any friends over, a lack of space in your kitchen should never stop you from designing it the way you want to. You might be surprised at how many ways there are to make even the smallest kitchen look and feel big, even if you only use the oven for storing clothes when they accumulate.
15 Small Kitchen Design Ideas That Will Help You Do More with Less
1. ALL-DAY DINER
When Nina Barneih-Blair and the architecture company Method Design worked together to design this 490 square foot apartment in Manhattan, they had to make the most of every inch. How to solve it? A kitchen table that can be used for many things during the day, from a makeshift office to a place to hold a dinner party. Natural light is the best thing about the flat, and an all-white colour scheme with shiny cabinets and surfaces helps show it off.
2. ZIPPY-COLORED CABINETS
This area in a Beverly Hills home built by Gary McBournie is only a butler’s pantry, but it gives us a lot of ideas for small kitchens. If you can afford it, choose drawers that look a bit like these ones, which are Hollywood Regency style. If not, paint the ones you already have a bright colour like key lime that makes you think of vacation. The sunburst light bulb makes us think that somewhere it’s always happy hour!
3. BOLD FLOORING
One of the best tricks in design? Keeps you away. So if your tables or cabinets are really ugly, use your floors to make the room look better. There is nothing bad about this light and airy Ibiza kitchen designed by Studio Muñoz (look at that terrace!). The sea-blue tiled floors are a simple but stylish choice. You don’t have to do a full renovation, but a bright kitchen rug will do the job.
4. TOWERING CABINETS AND WHITE PAINT
Even though the owner of this Manhattan apartment doesn’t really use her small galley-style kitchen, designer Lauren Buxbaum Gordon made it a showpiece anyway. The move she does best? To make the cabinets go all the way up to the high ceilings of the time. Beautiful small kitchen with light countertops and glossy white paint that lets in lots of light. But the gold handles and accents really make the room stand out.
5. CREAM DREAM
The New York firm Husband Wife planned this apartment and used Buxbaum Gordon’s “tall kitchen cabinet rule.” They didn’t go with the standard all-white scheme, though. Instead, they covered the walls with a swirling marble and painted the cabinets the dreamiest shade of glossy cream. It has the right amount of both old and new.
6. INKY BLACK BACKSPLASH
When you’re working with a home from the 1600s, like French designer Eric Allart did, you have to accept the quirks of the time. Terracotta floors were already in this kitchen. Instead of taking them out, Allart left them in place and used strange colours to make the kitchen look good with them. Along this wall, an inky tile border bends light, and a Pepto-pink colour on the walls and ceiling brings the eye up.
7. ECLECTIC AND COLLECTED
It’s sometimes best to let the chaos happen. And this happy kitchen nook owned by senior designer at Jayne Design Studio William Cullum and his partner Jeffery Rhodes is the best example we can think of. A hot-pink pie safe from the Victorian era holds old serving pieces, and a goat sculpture that used to be on display at Saks Fifth Avenue cheekily watches over the fridge (covered in fun art) against midnight snack thieves. Anything is okay in this space as long as you are yourself.
8. PAIR SMART STORAGE WITH A FRESH HUE
Even though it’s not very big, Toast CEO Suzie de Rohan Willner lives in a Victorian home in Oxfordshire, England. It has a lot of country charm. The bright green lower cabinets help the eye move around the room, and the open shelves make it easy to store and show off stylish trinkets.
9. SPLASHY HUES
There is a lot of natural light and very high ceilings in this Brooklyn apartment. Red, ‘nightclub-ready’ Ultraleather was used to reupholster retro-chic Knoll dining chairs and replace the white subway tiles in the kitchen and dining area with this emerald green backsplash. Designer Danielle Fenoy of Revamp Interior Design added bright, jewel-toned colours to make the space feel more open.
10. TINY DINING
Nate Berkus put a small table and chairs (an old architect’s desk and school chairs) in his small Chicago kitchen, even though the space wasn’t very big. The metal cabinets were built into the flat in 1929 and really add to the industrial-chic look.
11. SHIPSHAPE CHARM
You won’t believe it, but this house in Provincetown, Massachusetts, was first a simple fishing shack. David Cafiero, the designer, used a nautical theme all over the house, even in this tiny small kitchen that was made to look like a ship’s kitchen.
12. JEWEL BOX KITCHEN
This Manhattan apartment dweller doesn’t have much time to cook, just like most busy New Yorkers. But that doesn’t mean the kitchen is less important than the rest of the house. With bold marble and cabinets lacquered in Farrow & Ball’s seductive Preference Red, Sarah Mendel and Risa Emen of Cochineal Design turned the room into a practical showpiece in its own right. Bonus: It’s the right spot for the client to show off their collection of ceramics.
13. MINI ISLAND
You don’t have to give up places to prep and eat because you only have a small kitchen. How to do it? Think small, like this tiny kitchen island in an apartment built by Nicholas Obeid. A pair of Allied Maker pendants hangs above and some old stools are tucked under it, giving the scene the same effect as its sprawling suburban cousins.
14. STATEMENT HOOD
The cofounders of Civilian live in a family-friendly Brooklyn flat. We love how this kitchen has funky touches and a lot of storage space. The eye-catching piece of marble on top of the custom island can also be used to store recipes and dinnerware, and the cherry-red hood, which was also made to order, adds a fun postmodern pop.
15. BURNT SIENNA LACQUER
Lacquered cabinets are very popular right now, and this stylish one in a Hugo Toro-designed Paris apartment shows that the finish can make even the smallest room look better. Besides the glossy coat in a special shade of burnt sienna from Redfield & Dattner, Toro added beautiful brass finishes (look at that ceiling!) and bright marble to the walls, countertops, and ceilings.