“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us.” – Henry David Thoreau
Between social media and design magazines, it can feel like all the best kitchens feature an abundance of space. For those of us with tiny kitchens, this perception is nothing short of disheartening.
Don’t be fooled, though, because it’s 100% possible to design a stunning tiny kitchen that rivals its open-concept brethren. Keep reading for top-notch small kitchen ideas that save space while maximizing style.
1. Colorful Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Colorful cabinetry is becoming more and more popular, especially in kitchens with limited floor space. If brand new cabinets aren’t in your budget, there’s a good chance you can repaint the existing boxes and doors.
Another great way to add vibrancy to your small kitchen is with your open wall space. An ornate tile backsplash is often all it takes to transform a boring kitchen into a guaranteed conversation-starter.
2. Wooden Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Despite its sheer versatility, natural wood is often overlooked as a viable kitchen material. You can stain the wood to leave the grain exposed or seal the grain off with paint. Likewise, distressed wood pairs well with rustic, coastal, and farmhouse decor.
Use a basic wooden table as a kitchen island that also doubles as a dining area. Look for a table with built-in shelves or drawers for extra storage underneath.
Many homeowners steer clear of wooden countertops because they fear damaging them, but this often isn’t the case. Be sure to choose a durable wood and sealant for the best results.
3. Rustic Tiny Kitchen Ideas
For a rustic kitchen, use as many organic materials in the space as possible. Stone, weathered wood, and brick will all add to the rustic atmosphere. Hang a live-edge floating shelf for extra storage space.
While elements like a farmhouse sink will produce a quaint aesthetic, you can also take your rustic kitchen decor in a more industrial direction. Emphasize exposed plumbing and ductwork if it exists in the space. Opt for cast iron or steel fixtures and hardware over more contemporary finishes.
4. Spacious Tiny Kitchen Ideas
The vast majority of small kitchen design ideas assume you’re working with very little physical space. But some tiny kitchens have a combination of limited counter space paired with lots of elbow room.
In a kitchen like this, the top priority should be maximizing counter and storage space. Supplement your existing kitchen cabinet setup with open shelving.
If your existing countertops are too tight, look into adding a narrow kitchen island or table. You can also repurpose an old bookshelf as a stand-alone pantry if space allows.
5. Classic Tiny Kitchen Ideas
All decor is trendy to some extent. The fewer trends you follow with your small kitchen design, the more classic it will be. On the other hand, some so-called trends are almost always in style. For example, subway tile has been popular since the early-1900s.
Steer clear of what’s popular right this moment and instead glean inspiration from kitchen designs of the past. This will make it easier to decide what decor is timeless and what is a passing trend.
Light-colored wood and simple, white cabinets are two things that will likely never go out of style — at least not in this lifetime.
6. Modern Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Modern design trends will likely never disappear, especially since they encompass so many easy-to-recreate aesthetics. Because modern decor emphasizes making an impact with as few items as possible, it’s also ideal for a small space like the kitchen.
Modern decor shines most in the details. Cabinetry with recessed or cut-out handles offers a sleek look. Stainless steel appliances can make a modern kitchen feel contemporary, especially paired with mid-century trends.
If your modern kitchen design feels underwhelming, choose a single surface to highlight as a focal point. Multi-dimensional backsplash tiles or funky pendant lights could be all you need to take your kitchen from “meh” to “wow.”
7. Simple Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Simple decor is a great way to design a small kitchen that doesn’t feel overcrowded. Display functional items, like a cutting board or kettle, in place of purely decorative ones.
Light-colored wood can break up an abundance of white in your kitchen design. You can also incorporate a subtle accent color without losing the simplicity of your decor.
Marble or subway tile backsplash will remain relatively timeless, especially if the rest of your kitchen decor is simple. For additional storage space outside of your cabinets, choose simple open shelving that matches your countertops or another element in the room.
8. Stylish Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Creating a stylish kitchen can be done with very little space, but you’ll need to be creative. Be sure to go into your kitchen remodel with a defined theme or color palette — ditch anything that doesn’t fit your vision.
Take advantage of your kitchen’s available wall space to hang decor items. The more items you can place vertically, the less counter space you must sacrifice to get the desired look.
Keep cooking necessities on display, yet out of the way, with elements like a hanging pot rack or magnetic knife strip. If your kitchen features floating shelves or open cabinetry, place small decorative items among your dishes and dry goods.
9. Black and White Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Narrowing down a color palette is, without a doubt, the most challenging part of interior design. Rather than spend hours looking at swatches, you can skip this step altogether with a black-and-white kitchen theme.
Instead of using black and white equally throughout your kitchen design, try choosing just one as your primary color. Pops of white in a mostly black room (or vice-versa) will look much more stylish and dramatic.
10. Boho-Style Tiny Kitchen Ideas
You can fit a whole lot of decor into a tiny space if you know how to embrace the cluttered aesthetic. The boho design trend is perfect for a compact kitchen because it knows how to take clutter and make it beautiful.
Open shelves will supplement your cabinet space and are remarkably versatile — hang them to fill awkward wall gaps or unused corners. Fill shelving with spice jars, dry goods, or dishes that you use most often.
While boho decor trends neutral, don’t be afraid of color (especially if that color is green). Potted plants add life and texture to even the most boring kitchen design. To preserve counter space, opt for hanging baskets or viney plants like Golden Pothos that will grow up and across your kitchen walls.
11. Minimalist Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Minimalism is a definite forerunner in the world of small kitchen ideas. Since you’re working with such limited space, you don’t need to worry about a minimalist kitchen design looking too empty or sparse.
Ditch unnecessary decor for items that are functional first and foremost. Instead of hanging artwork on the walls, install decorative light fixtures. Rather than buying plain bar stools, choose a set boasting a unique color or shape.
Even when it comes to the bare necessities, minimalist design is all about clean lines. Avoid ornate cabinet doors and hardware. Materials should be plain and simple, with texture coming from natural elements like wood or stone.
12. Narrow Tiny Kitchen Ideas
No matter the size, narrow kitchens present a design challenge all their own. To make the space feel as large as possible, build your design around the kitchen window or doorway.
If you haven’t set your kitchen layout in stone, play around with how different countertop shapes affect the space as a whole. While a galley kitchen might suit one space, an L- or U-shaped countertop might be more efficient in another.
Open shelving provides plenty of kitchen space without the cramped feeling of regular cabinetry. To maximize functional counter space, use a slim dining table or kitchen cart in place of a regular kitchen island.
13. White Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Incorporating white into your small kitchen design will instantly make the room feel larger and brighter. You can keep the rest of your decor neutral or add pops of accent colors for a more lively look.
You can also easily add texture to a white kitchen design with natural materials. A quartz countertop is more durable than granite or marble while also adding dimension to a simple color scheme. White-washed wood is another great option, especially paired with farmhouse decor.
14. Cozy Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Muted colors will make your kitchen feel more inviting. If you prefer a white color palette, try to include natural wood elements to warm up the space. Gold fixtures and cabinet door hardware will also do the trick.
While you should select decorations that look good, don’t forget to make sure they’re practical. Decor that looks staged won’t garner the cozy vibes you’re aiming for.
Seasonal items are also a great way to make your kitchen feel like it’s living with you, rather than stuck in a moment in time.
15. Classy Tiny Kitchen Ideas
Modern real estate has become so focused on maximizing space that we now struggle to see small kitchens as anything but dated and cheap. This is a big mistake, though, because decorating a tiny kitchen to look luxurious and classy is a piece of cake.
Stick with a neutral color palette throughout your kitchen space. You can use an accent color or pattern sparingly to add a dose of personality to your design. Ensure everything in your kitchen matches, from the appliances to the cabinet hardware.