Big Ideas For a Small Kitchen

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 14, 2012

Does your small kitchen need a big overhaul? Here are some design ideas to keep in mind during your kitchen home improvement.

Focus on Function
The main function of a small kitchen is food prep. We love to think of areas of our home as being multi-functional and many people want to use their kitchen for general storage, sorting mail, doing homework and hanging out. If you have a tiny kitchen, you probably won’t have the luxury of using it for anything but cooking, cleaning up, kitchen storage and possibly for sitting down to eat.

Modern appliances are available in smaller scale versions. You could install a single sink instead of a double, tiny microwave, apartment-sized fridge or freezer drawers and even your cooktop could be pared down to two burners if necessary. If you need extra workspace, a small-scale island or counter-topped cart would be handy. By having the island or cart on casters, you can roll it out of the way or into a closet when it’s not in use.

Having lots of heavy-feeling upper cabinets can make a tiny kitchen feel even more closed in. By putting in open storage, shelves, pots racks and magnetic knife and spice holders you create an airier feel that seems more spacious. If you aren’t comfortable having all of your upper cabinets wide open because of the visual appeal, try glass or frosted glass cabinet doors.

Unify and Mix-It
When it comes to decor and finishes, try using a cohesive color palette and the same types of fixtures and cabinet pulls to help unify the kitchen. You do, however, want to include interesting elements of various materials in your small kitchen so that it doesn’t feel like a tiny boxed in kitchen in an old apartment building. Choose interesting countertops, cabinetry, lighting fixtures, backsplash and flooring. Think of incorporating glass or mirrors into the space as they lighten up the room and can visually expand the space. Also, don’t be afraid to use some pops of color to create visual interest. Since you have a smaller area, try to stretch your home remodeling budget and use excellent quality finishes.

Shed a Little Light
Just because you have a small space, don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need very much light. In fact, you should include both task and ambient lighting in your kitchen to visually expand the space. A dark kitchen feels even smaller than it really is. Pendant lights are perfect above your eating area or small island, incandescent lighting under the upper cabinets sheds light on your countertop work surface and pot lights above provide general lighting.

No matter what you do during your kitchen remodeling, your small kitchen will still be small. Embrace this tiny room and make it as functional, inviting and esthetically pleasing as you can.

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