Kitchens that Maximize Small Footprints

Gather inspiration and do-it-yourself ideas from these small kitchens that make the most of what they have. Clever storage ideas and smart space solutions create small kitchens that wow!

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Compact and Contemporary

    By repeating the same two colors, white and chocolate, this small kitchen feels open and bright. Two-tone cabinets and a beautiful marble backsplash turn the back wall into a focal point.

  • Professional Polish

    A pro-style gas range is the perfect cook's companion. Deep drawers flank the range to provide storage for cookware and large serving pieces. 

  • Pretty Display Space

    Semicustom cabinet boxes framed with white molding mimic the look of expensive custom cabinets. Dark-stained maple doors pop against the bright white molding for an upscale "tuxedo" look. Pops of green add a playful air to the traditional kitchen.

  • Island Storage

    The chocolate-stained island grounds the white kitchen and gives it visual weight while adding useful storage. Using a lighter-color countertop keeps the space feeling bright.

  • Small Kitchen Secrets

    See how to maximize the potential in your small kitchen.

  • U-Shape Update

    The U-shape layout maximizes counter space and cabinet storage in this kitchen. Shifting the range to the right of center allowed for another set of upper cabinets. A stainless-steel range hood adds function and upscale architectural interest.

  • Upscale Accents

    Gain an upscale look with three simple elements: a bridge faucet, an undermount sink, and quartz-surfacing countertops. Earthy green backsplash tile adds an unexpected and soothing splash of color to the kitchen.

  • Faux Built-In Microwave

    An inexpensive stainless-steel trim kit on the microwave boasts a high-end look and frees up counter space for food prep. An oversize window maximizes light in the petite space.

  • Wall of Tile

    Pendant lights illuminate a small serving area and set it apart from the rest of the kitchen. The refrigerator is recessed on the opposite wall to allow for more cabinetry in the main work zone. Floor-to-ceiling tile creates a bold and cohesive style statement. 

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    Maxed-Out Style

    In a kitchen that is only 11x13, incorporating everything on the wish list was a tall order. With a little ingenuity and smart solutions, this kitchen was transformed into a stylish and fully-functional space -- with every upgrade.

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    Sleek Shelves

    By adding slim open shelving instead of upper cabinets, this kitchen gained a window and extra light. Open shelves allow for display space and dish storage, while keeping an open feeling in the kitchen.

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    A Masterful Mix

    White subway tiles and a bridge-style faucet lend a classic feel to the clean lines of the kitchen. Black-and-white curtains with a geometric pattern feel contemporary and are the perfect accent to the room's high-contrast color palette.

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    Save Drawer Space

    To save valuable storage space in drawers, a magnetic strip was applied to the wall and is the perfect place to store everyday knives.

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    Echoing Shapes

    A new door, which was a splurge in the small budget, brings even more natural light into the adjacent breakfast nook. A globe pendant softens the sharp lines in the kitchen and also echoes the circular shape of the table below. An inexpensive pot rack is a simple way to add storage and decorate an empty wall.

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    Dig for Deals

    By searching online and in stores for the best deals on supplies, every wish list item was fulfilled, such as stainless-steel appliances and concrete, espresso-color countertops. Reclaimed wood flooring helped to stretch the renovation budget while still adding warmth to the kitchen.

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    A Vintage Vision

    The trick in this Victorian home was to create a kitchen packed with storage while staying true to the home’s original aesthetic. With vintage-style lighting and traditional choices in the subway tile, apron-front sink, and marble countertops, the renovated kitchen feels as though it was a part of the original home.

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    Center of the Kitchen

    The black island is the perfect counterpoint to the kitchen's off-white cabinetry, grounding the space and adding valuable storage. A soft burnished glaze on cabinet doors adds a worn-in look that works with the home's deep roots. 

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    Unconventional Storage

    Smart solutions, including this built-in paper towel dispenser, fill the kitchen, leaving precious counter space free for food prep and serving.

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    Lovely Latches

    Cabinetry continues to the ceiling and around the refrigerator to maximize every inch of storage, and small glass fronts break up the wall of solid cabinetry. The latches on these cabinets resemble those on a vintage icebox, a charming touch in a kitchen with beautiful details.

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    Tough Surfaces

    The cabinetry's vintage-style millwork is accentuated by sturdy bronze hardware, which ties in the island and dark grout on the backsplash. Marble countertops stand up to daily use and even have a raised marine edge that prevents runoff. 

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    Faking It

    Nearby, a recessed built-in hutch stores stoneware and serving dishes without impeding foot traffic. Molding and paneling make the hutch feel authentic to the home.

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    Contemporary Galley

    This galley plan (15x9 feet) places the ovens next to the cooktop so cooking and baking happen in the same area. Two wall ovens and the adjacent cooktop form an efficient cooking zone, clad in mosaic tile from countertop to ceiling.

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    Multitasking Space

    Tucked away on an adjacent wall, a built-in desk creates an efficient home core centered on the kitchen and satellite spaces. The cabinet-depth refrigerator is a budget- friendly alternative to a built-in model. Cabinets reach to the ceiling above the refrigerator and pantry to create a built-in look and pack in extra storage.

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    Upping the Ante

    An undermount sink, pullout faucet, and oversize cabinet hardware are upscale touches. The contemporary backsplash in the kitchen's work zone features hand-chopped glass tiles with coordinating grout.

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    Perfect Peninsula

    A new peninsula creates valuable counter space and defines the breakfast nook. Granite countertops echo the neutral color palette.

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    Cookbook Cubby

    Built into the end of the peninsula, narrow shelving keeps cookbooks handy.

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    French Flair

    Small touches combine to create the distinctly French feeling in this kitchen. A skirted sink cabinet, mixed types of cabinetry, and decorative accessories give this petite kitchen a chic look. To break up the white-on-white room, a tall cabinet was painted black, adding to the room's unfitted look.

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    Style on a Dime

    To save money, the homeowners mixed existing cabinetry with new pieces and were able to create a kitchen with a purposefully unmatched look that is truly très chic.

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    Simple Message Board

    On the side of two cabinets, chalkboard paint creates a clever place to write messages or grocery lists, and maximizes every surface in the small kitchen.

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    Brilliant Built-In

    This built-in desk just off the kitchen is the perfect place to sort through bills and organize important documents. The small stretch of countertop and pretty glass-front cabinets make use of a corner that would otherwise have been wasted space.

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    Easy Ways to Personalize a Kitchen

    Discover 5 ways to add loads of style and personality to your kitchen.

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    $500 Surface Makeover

    The floor plan of this 10x9-foot galley kitchen was workable, so the homeowners focused on the surfaces. A new black laminate countertop with a more contemporary edge replaced the beige rounded-edge countertops.

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    Working It

    Updating surfaces and bringing in subtle color gave this small kitchen big style without breaking the bank. The appliances, cabinets, floors, and lights were in good working condition, so they stayed. A fresh coat of gray paint on the walls in the same hue as the tile, but lighter, makes the room feel spacious.

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    Awesome Accents

    Two picture ledges holding plates and art create interest on a previously blank wall. Bright colors in the rug, stool, and artwork add bursts of color in this neutral kitchen.

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    Shelf Style

    Black wall ledges on the back wall tie in the black from the countertops and create a place to display artwork.

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    Double Duty

    A double bowl stainless-steel sink replaced a white sink. The high arch on the new chrome faucet makes cleaning large pots easier.

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    Nickel Accents

    Brushed-nickel hardware added to the cabinet doors and drawers is another sleek gray accent.

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    Backsplash Beautification

    Petite 2x2-inch gray hexagonal matte backsplash tile complements the black countertops.

  • Next Slideshow Small-Space Kitchen Island Ideas

    Small-Space Kitchen Island Ideas

    Make meal prep faster and more effective in a small kitchen with an innovative kitchen island. Whether it's a mobile cart or repurposed table, a small-space island can amplify surface area and kick up your kitchen's style.
    Begin Slideshow »
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