Small Kitchen Design Ideas

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How to Plan and Decorate Your Tiny Kitchen

While you can have big ideas for your tiny kitchen, the amount of room you have to work with may sometimes feel constricting. However, when decorating a small kitchen, there are plenty of quick fixes you can try to make the space feel more open. With the right furniture, storage solutions, color scheme and design, you can turn your dreams into a reality.

In this article you’ll learn about:

  • Selecting the right furniture to save space
  • Finding storage solutions that work for you
  • Choosing a color scheme
  • Selecting a style for your kitchen
Counter-height barstools tuck neatly beneath a counter or kitchen island to save floor space and keep walkways clear.
Counter-height barstools tuck neatly beneath a counter or kitchen island to save floor space and keep walkways clear.

Must-Have Small Kitchen Furniture

Carefully selecting the right furniture and decor for your kitchen will go a long way in making the most of your small kitchen layout. Think about items that have a tiny footprint or pieces you can easily put away when you’re done using them. From seating considerations to spacious yet compact dining options, useful small kitchen ideas include a range of furnishings to suit tiny spaces.

Barstools

A chic, space-saving alternative to a typical dining chair, barstools are a smart seating option. Shop counter-height or bar-height stools to help you maximize your square footage. Additionally, you can look for barstools with swivel or adjustable bases for a more functional and customizable layout.

Benches

If you have a rectangular dining table, a dining bench can help save space. A breakfast nook bench is ideal for tiny kitchens because you can push it up against a wall to preserve some square footage. Or, slide your traditional bench beneath your dining table after mealtimes for a tidy look.

The spacious surface of a dining bench provides plenty of room for multiple people to sit comfortably.
The spacious surface of a dining bench provides plenty of room for multiple people to sit comfortably.
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Round or Square Tables

Switching up your table for a smaller round or square model is another route you can take. Round dining tables typically take up less room than other shapes. Meanwhile, a square table saves more space than a rectangle table, and its straight edges let you place it against a wall or in a corner.

Round tables with adjustable leaves save even more room because you can make them bigger or smaller as needed.
Round tables with adjustable leaves save even more room because you can make them bigger or smaller as needed.

Small Kitchen Storage Ideas

The right storage solutions are a big factor when keeping a small kitchen neat, organized and open. Since the square footage of your space is at a premium, you will most likely have less counter space, cabinets and cupboards to work with. When designing your tiny kitchen, look for versatile furniture that offers extra storage.

Bar Cart

Stylish and functional bar carts can serve as extra counter space or small kitchen islands during weeknight meal prep or when friends stop over for drinks. Bar carts with a cabinet offer storage underneath the tabletop to hold kitchen gadgets, while many bar carts with a wine rack have built-in shelving along with designated places for bottled drinks and other kitchen essentials.

To make your storage mobile and easier to maneuver in tight spaces, opt for a bar cart on wheels.
To make your storage mobile and easier to maneuver in tight spaces, opt for a bar cart on wheels.
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Sideboard or Buffet Table

A slightly larger alternative to a bar cart, sideboards and buffet tables are helpful options if you have open space along an empty wall. Many sideboards have storage areas such as cabinets and drawers to stow away utensils, tableware and other essentials. Since they have spacious tops, you can use items like transitional buffet tables or sideboards as extra counter space as well.

Shelves

Taking your storage vertical is another option. Arranging a few wall shelves around your kitchen can free up needed floor space for other furniture. You can add shelving to bare walls, beneath cabinets or above counters. Corner shelves also take advantage of unused space and give you even more storage options.

A standing shelving unit lets you create an open-concept pantry in your tiny kitchen.
A standing shelving unit lets you create an open-concept pantry in your tiny kitchen.

The Best Colors for Tiny Kitchens

Color is an important choice when it comes to decorating a small kitchen. Light colors can make a space seem bigger, allowing the room to appear more open. When deciding on a shade for your kitchen walls or furniture and decor, consider how you want the space to look and feel.

  • Shades of White: The color white reflects light around the room, which can help make smaller areas seem larger. Consider furniture such as small kitchen table sets in pearl, ivory or off-white to achieve your desired look.
  • Warm Colors: Introducing warm, inviting colors makes rooms feel cozy instead of cramped. Check out pieces like breakfast nook dining sets in dark wood tones to create this aesthetic.
  • Cool Grays: Using gray in a kitchen is a smart choice if you want to make a room look bigger but still want a little color. Some small kitchen ideas to try, include decorating with a pale dove gray server or a slate gray round dining table with a glass top to help reflect light.

Stylish Small Kitchen Design Ideas

When revamping your small kitchen, there are several styles that you can consider. Many decor styles work well in tiny rooms, whether you want something classic and familiar or a more minimalistic look. A few popular small space interior design choices are:

  • Modern: A good choice for a minimalist kitchen, modern furniture favors straight, clean lines and neutral finishes. Look for items like modern dining sets and sleek credenzas to achieve this aesthetic.
  • Farmhouse: Warm and inviting, farmhouse style creates a cozy, downhome vibe. Farmhouse kitchen decor favors practicality and rustic charm, which you’ll find in accent pieces like distressed metal bar stools or woodgrain console tables.
  • Classic: Traditional interior design focuses on comfort with a few fanciful flourishes like turned legs or slatted backrests. In a classic kitchen, you’ll often see furniture such as traditional pub sets with natural finishes or dining chairs featuring cross-back designs or curved legs.
Coordinating furniture delivers a polished look in smaller spaces.
Coordinating furniture delivers a polished look in smaller spaces.

With a little planning and the right furniture, you can make a big impression even in a small kitchen.