Small Kitchen: How to Make It Work

A small kitchen can be a beautiful space for cooking and enjoying great food. Here’s a few examples on how to make its small size work for you and your family!

Small Kitchen in a Beautiful FarmhousePhoto by Signature Kitchens

To give the illusion of more space, keep your cabinets lighter in color. White paint brightens rooms, making them feel larger. A hint of pale blue is provided with the subway tile. The effect is soft and pretty.

Beautiful white kitchen with pale blue subway tilePhoto by Studio Miel

Having said that, don’t be afraid to add a bold splash of color to a white kitchen. Navy blue paint on lower cabinets and the kitchen island create depth and warmth in a small kitchen.

Navy and White Cabinets in a Small KitchenPhoto by Studio Miel

White paint lends a monochromatic color scheme to a city apartment. Nothing jars the eye, leaving your vision to travel through the galley kitchen to the outdoor balcony. A patterned rug is used to add a little bit of color and interest.

All White City Apartment Galley KitchenPhoto by CONCEPT SALTIN

A small kitchen in a guest cottage enjoys bold color with a bit of golden glitz to razzle dazzle visitors.

Fun Kitchen Cabinet Color in Guest HousePhoto by Kimberlee Marie Interior Design

When a small kitchen is short on natural light with just a single window to let the sun shine in, white cabinets create the opportunity for the light to bounce around. Bright blue lower cabinets ground the space without darkening the room.

Apartment Kitchen in Blue and WhitePhoto by Lauren Rubin Architecture

A small kitchen doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style. Beautiful wood beams highlight a painted wood plank ceiling. Custom cabinetry with glass fronts open up the space while high-end counter tops add a bit of luxury to the room.

Traditional white kitchen with wood beam ceiling Photo by Lasley Brahaney Architecture + Construction

Tall upper cabinets create much needed storage in a city condo. Pale turquoise paint personalizes the small kitchen while a metal pendant light adds the finishing touch. There’s no need for a small room to be uninspiring – you should always feel free to experiment.

Pale Turquoise Kitchen in a City CondoPhoto by Sheila bridges design, inc

Sometimes all that’s needed in a smaller kitchen is high end counter tops to make the room feel rich and welcoming. Pair a gray counter with white cabinets for timeless appeal.

Kitchen with White Cabinets and Dark Gray Stone Counter TopPhoto by Jeanne Finnerty Interior Design

A variety of appliances are available that work well in a small kitchen. Here, a skinny refrigerator fits snugly into its corner. A vaulted ceiling instantly expands the space while a trio of black pendant lights add an interesting focal point.

Small Farmhouse Kitchen with Vaulted Ceiling and Custom AppliancesPhoto by Smallworks Studios & Laneway Housing

My own farmhouse kitchen isn’t huge, but I do love its quaint charm. Sometimes I wish I had more counter space but the addition of a free-standing kitchen island and square farmhouse table come in handy when cutting veggies and measuring ingredients. Plus, there’s less kitchen to clean!

White Farmhouse Kitchen

More Kitchen Ideas to Love:

Country Inspired Summer Kitchen

Small Space Kitchen: Style and Storage

Fresh Look for the Kitchen

Organizing Kitchen Cabinets

Cozy Cottage Style Kitchen

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  1. I love the city apartment. Would you know if it is located in New York city (just curious )

    1. Yes – I agree, Deb!! Less home to clean is good. I hope to have more posts about living in small spaces. It seems to be the new trend!

  2. My kitchen is 10 x 12, small but enough to cook two big meals a year Thanksgiving and Christmas and that is all that is needed. I love your kitchen and sometimes feel the same way but then there are some that are way too big and would walk me too death every time i cooked.These are great ideas for small kitchens.

  3. Since I just downsized to a smaller home these ideas for a small kitchen was just the right timing. It is an older home with great potential so these great suggestions and photos helped me to see the light at the end of a very small kitchen. LOL Thank you so much for these great ideas!

  4. I moved into house and I’m looking at moving around my small kitchen of 10’x10′ plus an extra cold larder of 3’x3′ (which is great) looking for a plan to work on. Anyone know of a free or cheap floor plan? I would also love to use and paint my cupboards already in place as they are hardwood.

    Thank you!!!

  5. Thank you for this post! I have a small kitchen too but I love it. I don’t like other people in the kitchen when I am cooking so it works for me. It’s also so much more efficient. Less steps to get what I need and i don’t have to run across a big room if a pot is boiling over. And talk about easy to keep clean! I love my kitchen!