Small Kitchen Designs

Pack a lot of style and function into your small kitchen with design ideas that make it look and live a little bigger.

Some people prefer a small kitchen for its efficiency. Others live with a small kitchen because remodeling or expanding just isn't an option. But you can make sure your kitchen looks its best and works for you with these tips. Sometimes all a small kitchen needs is a little out-of-the-box thinking.

Tweak your layout. Plan appliance placement to increase your available counter space. For example, if you need a vent hood over your range or cooktop, install a microwave oven with a vent for a double-duty solution. When choosing a cooktop or range, consider an electric or induction model that can also function as counter when not in use.

Make a design statement. Choose one surface to express yourself: a graphic floor tile or backsplash, colorful painted cabinetry, or eye-catching lighting. Resist the urge to overdo a small space; allow a single, strong design idea to become the center of attention.

Go vertical. When you're short on square footage, remember to use your vertical wall space. Build cabinetry to the ceiling. Choose a mix of glass-front and solid doors. If upper cabinetry feels stuffy, you can remove the doors and use the cabinet boxes as shelves. Be sure to style your belongings in a pretty way to avoid visual clutter.

Choose reflective materials. Glass doors on your upper cabinets add reflection, which can give the illusion of more space. If you don't want to see inside your cupboards, you can use frosted glass or a film to obscure the contents. Mirrors can be another space-stretching solution. Use mirrored tile in the backsplash, or choose canisters for the counter with a reflective quality.

Use open solutions. A magnetic knife holder, a pot rack, or a wall-mount spice rack can take on an architectural look while freeing cabinet and drawer space in a small kitchen. Use shelves to hold items you use every day, like bowls and drinking glasses.

Build in seating. When considering how to best use your floor space for eating, a built-in banquette with benches takes up less room than a table and chairs.

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