26 Clever Small Kitchen Ideas to Make the Most of Every Inch

small white kitchen

A successful small kitchen needs an efficient layout, smart cabinetry, and plentiful storage. See how it's done by touring these savvy compact kitchens packed with impressive features.

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Combine Old and New


Mix It Up

Including original pieces, like the built-in hutch, has classic appeal and gives a subtle nod to the home's original design. The high-contrast color combination adds drama and helps the room feel fresh and modern.

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Combine Old and New

kitchen storage

Precise Pullouts

Narrow pullouts across from the island keep oils and vinegars within reach of the cook. The pullouts' different shape breaks up the cabinetry and echoes the home's original style.

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Combine Old and New

plug in island

Outfit with Outlets

Outfitting the kitchen island with hidden outlets means appliances can be plugged in at any time without affecting the room's vintage sensibility.

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Combine Old and New

white kitchen

Sky-High Storage

In this 1920s home, a kitchen remodel was necessary to make the space feel fully functional in today's day and age. Taking Craftsman-style cabinets all the way to the ceiling increases storage without making the kitchen feel closed in. The sleek stainless-steel range hood has a distinctly modern quality that matches perfectly with the island stools.

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Combine Old and New

white kitchen

Beautiful Banquette

A new custom-built banquette adds convenient seating within the kitchen. With classic wood paneling and molding, the bump-out looks as though it is straight from the '20s. The color combination of white and gray leaves the space feeling elegant and timeless.

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Combine Old and New


Concealed Dining Storage

Drawers under the banquette benches provide storage for linens and other dining accessories without taking precious space away from the rest of the kitchen.

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Combine Old and New

microwave and shelves

Nook for Necessities

A storage-packed nook houses an oven, microwave, and customized cubbies. A small countertop with a coffee bar is the perfect place begin each day.

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Combine Old and New

white cabinets

Creative Custom Cabinetry

A broom closet and fold-down ironing board are hidden assets that make this kitchen unique. By incorporating storage space into existing cabinetry, a small kitchen can feel larger and ultra efficient.

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Secrets to Maximize a Small Kitchen

Make the most of your space with these ideas for the best small kitchen layout.

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A Layout to Love


Increasing Efficiency

In this home, a 1970s galley kitchen was transformed into a sleek and stylish alternative. By replacing windows at a higher level, additional counter space was able to be added, increasing the kitchen's efficiency when it comes to cooking.

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A Layout to Love


Layout Change

A wall that separated the dining room and kitchen was taken out and left the kitchen bigger and brighter. With chairs on both sides of the peninsula, the bar is a full-fledged dining space.

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A Layout to Love

glass-front cabinets

Clever Cabinet Doors

Frosted-glass cabinets conceal contents while helping the kitchen feel bigger. Without any knobs or pulls, cabinetry looks sleek, modern, and uncluttered.

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A Layout to Love


Cabinet Combination

Mixing cabinetry makes this kitchen feel modern and unique. When combining different types of cabinetry in the same room, keep lower cabinets darker and upper cabinets light. Here, semitransparent cabinets help the top of the kitchen feel spacious, while dark-stained lower cabinets help ground the room.

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A Layout to Love


Corner Storage

A pullout corner storage unit maximizes often-unusable space, and an automatic light inside the cabinet makes it easy to find items. This pullout cabinet is a custom add-on, but it makes an awkward cabinet usable.

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A Layout to Love


Simple Storage

Storing dishes in lower cabinets prevents having to lift them overhead and eases the task of unloading the dishwasher. Drawers and pullout shelves are often used in lower kitchen cabinets to avoid dark corners where items can get lost.

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Pretty Palette

L-shape layout

Utilize Forgotten Spaces

In this petite kitchen, creamy cabinetry helps to make the space feel more open while a light blue paint appears to raise the ceiling. A counter-height bar allows for a place to eat as well as additional prep space for cooking when the chair is taken away. This kitchen shows how forgotten spaces can be used to instantly increase storage in any kitchen.

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Pretty Palette

Running cabinets to the ceiling

To the Ceiling

Above the sink, one shelf serves as a display space for china. Small glass-front cabinets provide storage without taking up much visual room. By taking cabinetry all the way up to the ceiling, a second window was able to be added to the kitchen.

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Pretty Palette

corner banquette

Corner Cabinet

Installing corner cabinets provides additional storage without impeding on walkway space. On the counter, there is space for a small coffee center that is out of the way of kitchen traffic.

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Pretty Palette

handsome suite of storage upgrades

In Between Spaces

Between upper cabinets and the countertop is the perfect space for a small television screen that doesn't obstruct the counter. For the kitchen backsplash, taupe subway tiles combine with thin bands of blue and brown tiles for a simple and clean look.

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Pretty Palette

kitchen drawers

Instant Organization

Insert risers and organizers in drawers and cabinets to pack lots of ingredients in a small kitchen. Here, simple wooden inserts allow for multiple spice jars to remain organized and always on hand.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

wood cabinets small ktichen

Renewed and Recycled

Tucked away in a wooded neighborhood, this kitchen remodel drew inspiration from its surroundings. The old cabinets and countertops were removed and recycled, given to the neighbors for their own remodel. The kitchen stayed within its original footprint, but a skylight was installed to bring in more natural light.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

wood cabinets small ktichen

Height Trick

To make the small kitchen feel more open, the cabinets were run to the ceiling, giving the appearance of higher ceilings. The light maple cabinet finish and buff-color granite counters and travertine tile backsplash play off the natural theme of the room and create a soothing, cohesive look.

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Nature-Inspired Kitchen

wood cabinets small ktichen

Open Shelving

A basic solid side cabinet would have closed off the kitchen to the adjacent dining room. A section of airy shelves provides an open transition between the spaces and serves as storage for pretty serving dishes.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

small white kitchen

Smart Moves

Clean lines, plenty of white, and an abundance of light spell success for this small kitchen. The room feels unconfined by its 11x11-foot footprint. Although small in square footage, several smart design strategies open up the area for a statement-making space. Understated and sophisticated finishes, such as the white backsplash and glass-front cabinets, keep the room simple and inviting.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

small white kitchen

Invigorating White

Too much white can be a little dull, but the neutral hue perks up when used in standout ways, such as on these beaded-board cabinets. The grooved design adds texture to a flat, white surface. Wide white crown molding between the cabinets and ceiling tops the room with a final detail.

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Small and Sunny Kitchen

small white kitchen

Finishing Touches

Although a colorful tiled backsplash would have added visual interest, a clean, white mosaic version was a more fitting choice for this kitchen. The simple design stays in step with the room's airiness. Accessories and extras, such as a copper light fixture and potted plants, introduce color.

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