22 Small-Kitchen Decorating Ideas for a Big Impact

white kitchen blue wallpaper graphic backsplash red rug open shelves
Photo: Edmund Barr

Your small kitchen might be limited in square footage, but its style doesn't have to be. Learn how to incorporate colorful accessories, add stylish storage, and use paint to make over your small kitchen. Use these small-kitchen decorating ideas to create a kitchen you love.

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Decorate Open Shelving

open shelving kitchen wood counters
Lincoln Barbour

In a small kitchen, trading upper cabinets for open shelving helps foster an airy look. The key is to avoid cluttering up the shelves with too many items. Mix in a few pieces of pretty dishware or drinkware with accessories such as small vases, wood cutting boards, framed art, or potted plants.

02 of 22

Add an Area Rug

remodeled shite kitchen red color space rug
Laurey Glenn

Rugs can inject a happy dose of color and pattern into a small kitchen without taking up any wall or counter space. Fill open floor space in the middle of the kitchen with a large area rug, or place a runner along the kitchen's main pathway. This bold red and blue rug makes an impactful statement in a small kitchen otherwise defined by white cabinetry and stainless-steel appliances.

03 of 22

Incorporate Accessories

kitchen with blue base cabinets and white shelves over sink
Dane Tashima

Like any room in the home, a small kitchen benefits from the addition of a few accessories. The open shelves at one end of this kitchen display leaning frames and pretty dishware along with a few food-related books for a simple small kitchen decorating idea. The assortment of accessories repeats colors and finishes used elsewhere in the kitchen, including the warm brass of the cabinet hardware and faucet.

04 of 22

Choose Bold Textiles

gray kitchen sink
Adam Albright

Establish the focal point of a small kitchen with colorful kitchen window treatments. This bold Roman shade, for example, draws attention to the window of this small kitchen while delivering another layer of color amid the blue-gray cabinets and concrete countertops. A polished copper pendant contributes extra shine and style.

05 of 22

Play with Pattern

white kitchen blue wallpaper graphic backsplash red rug open shelves
Edmund Barr

A classic white space is a perfect canvas for experimenting with small kitchen decorating ideas. Blue patterned wallpaper covers the backsplash in this room, breaking up the sea of white. A vintage area rug adds color underfoot. Both of these small kitchen ideas are fairly inexpensive and easy to swap if tastes change.

06 of 22

Maximize Every Inch

pegboard kitchen storage
Adam Albright

There isn't an inch of unused space in this small kitchen. A pegboard covers a sliver of wall just off the island, offering easily accessible storage for cookware and utensils. Showcasing a mix of metals and wood tones, the hanging items double as small kitchen decor.

07 of 22

Add Stylish Light Fixtures

Liz Strong home neutral kitchen
David Tsay

Beyond cabinets and countertops, add small kitchen decor overhead with patterned drum shades or unique pendants. Here, a ceiling-mounted fixture with a woven rattan shade adds texture and emphasis to the sink area. By choosing interesting light fixtures, your small kitchen will feel distinctive and sophisticated.

08 of 22

Make the Most of Extra Space

wooden open kitchen shelves
Edward Gohlich

Use small kitchen decorating ideas to strategically fill unused sections of wall or countertop space. In this small kitchen, open shelves corral spices, oils, cookbooks, and other kitchen staples all in one easy-to-reach place. Frequently used countertop items are gathered in shallow baskets and trays so the display looks purposeful instead of cluttered.

09 of 22

Put In a Plate Rack

white kitchen with open storage slots for dishes
Marshall Johnson

Often found in traditional cottage-style kitchens, a plate rack is perfect for breaking up a run of cabinetry and putting pretty dishware on display. Fill the rack with plates in a contrasting color for a fun accent, or keep it cohesive with dishes that coordinate with your cabinetry. As a bonus, this small kitchen decorating idea also makes putting away dishes quicker and easier.

10 of 22

Choose Colorful Stools

dark gray kitchen with subway tile backsplash and green stools
Frances Janisch

Add color to your small kitchen with island stools in a vibrant color. Either purchase stools in a bright finish, or revamp existing furniture with fresh paint. These jade stools provide stylish island seating and establish the foundation for the rest of the small kitchen color scheme.

11 of 22

Boost Organization

hidden cabinet pockets kitchen fridge
Anthony Masterson

Unused space next to the fridge is an ideal spot to tack up grocery lists, hang keys, or sort mail and papers. To minimize visual clutter in a small kitchen, consider hiding the display behind a closed door. Here, shallow shelves that stash all sorts of essentials are recessed into the wall and disguised by a tall cabinet door.

12 of 22

Try Patterned Decals

ceramic tiles decorative backsplash
Cameron Sadeghpour

Add some pattern to a plain backsplash with stick-on decals. This small kitchen decorating idea is easy to apply and mimics the look of expensive patterned tile. Decals can be swapped out at any time to make changing the look of your kitchen quick and inexpensive.

13 of 22

Utilize Additional Storage

kitchen rack near fridge subway tile
James R. Salomon

A narrow shelf or rolling storage cart can be a stylish and practical addition to a small kitchen. Choose a low-profile design that can easily slide against a wall or into a corner. Stock it with dishes, glassware, and other items that will look good on display.

14 of 22

Display Colorful Linens

classic white kitchen with black countertops
Anthony Masterson

Consider linens a small kitchen decorating idea in addition to a hardworking kitchen accessory. Colorful towels and vintage aprons are practical and pretty when hung on hooks or displayed in plain view. Mixing colors and patterns adds extra interest to the room.

15 of 22

Install a Showstopping Backsplash

u-shape kitchen with decorative tile
James R. Salomon

Looking for small kitchen decorating ideas that sparkle? This otherwise-subdued kitchen goes glam with stainless-steel tile behind the range. In a small space, even a tiny portion of eye-catching backsplash tile adds drama and personality.

16 of 22

Display Collections

white cabinets with grey counters
Stacey Brandford

Make use of small kitchen decorating ideas that double as storage. Adding simple shelves between cabinets in front of a window creates a stylish spot to display a collection. The light coming in through the window will make your collected pieces shine.

17 of 22

Showcase Color

cottage kitchen
Adam Albright

In this one-wall kitchen, open upper cabinets help the room feel spacious and allow space for displaying colorful accessories. Showcase dishware, potted herbs, and other kitchen decor that fits your small kitchen color scheme. Closed cabinets below are perfect for storing items you don't want on display.

18 of 22

Cover Walls with Color

green kitchen with black countertops
Robert Brinson

For a simple yet impactful small kitchen idea, give walls a cheery coat of color. In this clean-lined white kitchen, kiwi-green walls add playful flair and inspire the rest of the kitchen decor. Primary-color accessories continue the retro-mod theme.

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Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Smart space planning is key to a successful small kitchen design. Learn the strategies for incorporating storage and creating a seamless flow. With the right layout, you'll have plenty of space to layer in your own style with small kitchen decorating ideas.

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Choose Art with Personality

ice wall art baking station
Helen Norman

Step outside the standards of small kitchen decorating ideas and choose unique art pieces that showcase your personality. Vintage signs, classic advertisements, and art intended for other rooms of the house often look right at home in the kitchen. Select artwork that fits in with your decorating style, whether you prefer a vintage, modern, or classic look.

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Go Beyond Removing Doors

open shelving kitchen pantry
Lisa Mowry

Take an additional step beyond removing cabinet doors and displaying dishes in a small kitchen. For extra style, outfit the now-open storage with textured baskets, bins, and pretty glass storage containers. The small kitchen decorating idea adds texture and color, while the glass storage containers keep what you need neatly on display.

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Play Up Pattern in Tile

black and white mosaic backsplash
Kim Cornelison

A striking backsplash can be a worthwhile splurge in a small kitchen. In this otherwise standard white space, the patterned backsplash tile adds personality and much-needed movement to the small kitchen. A classic black-and-white color scheme can be easily accented by different colors as styles change.

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