22 Small Kitchen Ideas To Make The Most Of Your Space

In the South, the kitchen is the headquarters of the home. It’s the place where food and family come together—two important parts of any Southern household. Even with its high status and heavy foot traffic, you don’t need a huge kitchen for a big impact on your home. When your home layout features a kitchen on the smaller side, there are plenty of opportunities to have ample space and storage without sacrificing any style. Get inspired to bring function and flair together for clever layouts and designs with these beautiful small kitchen ideas.

Mix Whites and Neutrals

“I like to use Charlie’s grand- mother’s silver teapots as flower vases and vessels around the house,” says Williams.

Brie Williams

If you don’t want to keep just one color but love that clean and bright look, mixing whites and neutrals is a great way to achieve this. In this kitchen, designer Molly Williams painted her cabinetry a bright white and added a neutral bamboo wallpaper for visual interest.

Get Inspired by Parisian Style

Hector Manuel Sanchez

French interior design is defined by its classy and charming style which can help make a small kitchen feel like the perfect size. This Nashville condo used black and white checkerboard flooring to make a statement among the clean, neutral color palette of the rest of the elements.

Maximize Natural Light

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Small kitchens have a tendency to feel cramped due to their size, but making sure it is light and bright can help alleviate this issue. This kitchen makes the window the center of the room and has the wall and cabinets painted white to make it as bright as possible.

Use Tile to Make a Statement

Jillian Guyette

In small kitchens, it’s hard to pack in a ton of decoration without feeling cluttered. In this South Carolina kitchen, the bold and vibrant tile was used as the focal point to avoid putting a ton of tiny decorations in the space.

Keep a Consistent Wood Tone

Hector Manuel Sanchez; Styling: Elly Poston Cooper

When your kitchen doubles as your dining area, creating a cohesive look is key in making it feel less cramped. In this kitchen, the wood tone of the dining table in the center is similar to the brown countertops and the decorative paintings.

Add Vintage Elegance

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This Cape Cod style cottage has a stunning vintage-inspired color palette among vintage decor to make a cohesive aesthetic. The island holds refrigerator drawers and a bookcase for cookbooks for effective storage.

Go Sage Green

Alison Gootee; Styling: Elizabeth Demos

If you want your small kitchen to feel larger but don’t love the idea of painting everything white, a light sage green is a great, colorful alternative. This historic Savannah kitchen painted all of the cabinetry green and it still feels bright and open.

Go Full-On Retro

Laurey W. Glenn; Styling: Lizzie Cox

Small kitchens were the norm in the past, so don’t be afraid to take the retro look and run with it. This South Carolina cottage incorporates retro elements like the skirted sink, curtain over the window, metal cut cabinet fronts, and vintage decorations.

Throw in a Pop of Color

When the island is used frequently, making sure it looks great is important. This kitchen painted the island a lovely shade of green to add visual interest and make the seating area look inviting.

Use Open Shelving Wisely

Alison Gootee; Styling: Matthew Gleason

Open shelving, especially in small kitchens, can make the space look cluttered. In this Nashville kitchen, the open shelf above the fridge has dishes of the same family and design so it looks cohesive while still being functional.

Take Inspiration From the Coast

Alison Gootee; Styling: Jenny O’Connor

The coastal aesthetic has been a huge trend recently, and for good reason. The happy blue mixed with bright white is a gorgeous combination to make a colorful yet light kitchen. This kitchen balanced the blue and white elements beautifully to make an open and airy look.

Take Backsplash All the Way Up

Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Choosing a backsplash is for your kitchen is important, as it can be focal point of your design. In this kitchen, the backsplash is taken up to the ceiling to make the kitchen look larger.

Use Glass Cabinets

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Glass cabinets are a great way to show off your dishes, but they also reflect light from the window to make the kitchen brighter. In this kitchen, the glass cabinets are white and reflect light to illuminate the kitchen.

Use Geometry to Design

Marta Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Too much pattern in a narrow space can be overwhelming, so make the focal point floor-level. This kitchen uses bright geometric tiles to create visual interest without having too many small decorations.

Go All Natural

Laurey W. Glenn

If you kitchen has a lot of wood elements, use that your advantage. This kitchen kept the natural color of the wood and added neutral paint to the rest of the kitchen to make an inviting vibe.

Display Non-Dishes

Alexandra Rowley; Design: Kevin Walsh; Styling: Olga Naiman

When it comes to decorating small kitchens, dishes and dinnerware can sometimes act as the decor. If you have cookbooks, putting them on display adds a unique element that isn’t so typical. In this kitchen, the cookbooks are placed at the top to make a bright decorative display.

Add a Colorful Rug

Alison Gootee; Styling: Suzonne Stirling

Keeping the primary color in small kitchens light and bright is helpful when making the space look larger, but a vibrant color is nice to have for visual interest. This kitchen used a multi-colored rug to contrast nicely against the white paint.

Add Pendants

Colleen Duffley

When your kitchen is in the same room as your dining area, keeping the aesthetics similar is a great way to make your space feel larger. In this kitchen, adding identical pendants makes the rooms blend seamlessly together.

Add Contrast

Photo: William Waldron

Contrast is a great way to make your kitchen design look appealing to the eye, This kitchen contrasts black elements like the countertops and island with white elements like the cabinets and shelves to create a satisfying look.

Make it Extra Functional

Charles Walton IV, Ralph Anderson

If your house layout is on the smaller side, functionality is important in making house feel like a home. Even with this, you can use styling to your advantage to make functionality a breeze. This kitchen uses appliances that are all similar in look so you can’t even tell that a laundry machine is sitting to the left.

Incorporate Artwork Tastefully

Marta-Xochilt Perez; Styling: Page Mullins

Adding a surplus of artwork can make a small kitchen feel cluttered and overwhelming. In this kitchen, one large and simple painting siting on top of the stove hood to create a sleek and tasteful look.

Go Rustic

Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

The rustic look is truly timeless and can make a small kitchen feel cozy and inviting. This kitchen embraces the wood cabin look and adds more rustic elements like cafe skirts and rattan baskets for storage.


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