52 Small Kitchen Ideas (Don’t Overthink Compact Design)

52 fabulous small and tiny kitchen ideas and designs that are simple, functional, beautiful and make you realize you don't have to overthink compact design for any room in the home including the kitchen.

26. Build in a dining bar right in the kitchen to efficiently use up every square inch

Here’s another favorite of mine because it’s a small modern kitchen that actually looks cool. Notice how there’s a wooden minimalist breakfast bar in the corner which opens up the space making it look bigger yet at the same time offering plenty of functionality (i.e. eating and/or preparing food). All in all, this is a brilliant and efficiently designed kitchen.

27. Brilliant Cabinet Design and Layout for Compact Kitchen Space

39 Stunning Log Cabin Home & Mansion Design Ideas that Will Make You Re-Think Your Favorite Style of Home
Small kitchen with gray cabinets. Notice how much cabinetry is placed in a compact kitchen space. Very well done.

Common Small Kitchen Styles

In many small-sized homes, galley style kitchens are popular because they provide as much space as possible by lining both sides of the room with cabinets and appliances. However, it can be difficult to have more than two people in the room at once, so they don’t have space for guests to congregate in them.

There usually isn’t space to eat in these small kitchens either. Galley style kitchens account for a little over 15% of the 580, 913 kitchens researchers surveyed.

Single-wall kitchens, which account for 7.95% of kitchens in the same survey, are also a common style in small homes or apartments. Single-wall kitchens often open onto the living area, only separating the rooms by counters that serve as a place for prepping meals and, with seating, as an eating area as well.

As for style, the 5 most popular styles for compact kitchens are contemporary (26.51%), transitional (18.68%), traditional (17.39%), modern (13.16%) and farmhouse (3.81%).

Create Space with Paint

Although you won’t create real space, using the right color paint can give the illusion of a more spacious kitchen. Light paint colors open the space, while darker colors make it seem smaller. Painting everything in a kitchen white or pastel colors can make a room seem bigger. Also, painting the trim in the kitchen a lighter version of the wall color gives the illusion of more space.

Creative Storage Solutions

Since storage is usually an issue in both galley and single-wall kitchens, it is important to get creative. Installing shelves on a wall to use for stacking your everyday dishes is a good way to add more storage. You can also add hooks beneath the shelves to hang pots and pans or coffee mugs.

Knock Down Walls

If it is feasible, removing the wall between the kitchen and the dining room or the living room can also provide more space. However, you should first have a contractor examine the wall to make sure isn’t a support wall. If it isn’t, then the contractor can remove it to provide more space in the kitchen.

There are several small kitchen design ideas that can help make your home’s small kitchen area more functional for your household.

We suggest bookmarking this page because as new kitchen photos are added, this gallery will automatically update.

As you can see, you can filter your search by style, color, floor, kitchen features, lighting and more. This way you can really drill down to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Get a kitchen cart on wheels

Our first “kitchen island” was a butcher block on wheels. We had a tiny cottage house with a teeny kitchen. We wanted more workspace so we bought a small butcher block on wheels. Despite being so small, it was a terrific and inexpensive addition to our kitchen.

Check out these kitchen islands on wheels for more ideas.

Use Small Appliances

Counter space is a premium in any kitchen. It’s even more so in small kitchens. For this reason, if you can manage, opt for smaller appliances such as a small microwave, small toaster oven and other small kitchen appliances that typically take up counter space.

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