5 Big Stylish Ideas for Small Kitchens

by Charmaine Kenita | February 27, 2024 | 7 mins read

Stylish Ideas For Small Kitchens

Small kitchens come with their own constraints. While muscle and legwork doesn’t work for them, some nifty ideas and clever designs add just the right touch.

Small, tiny, little…. words like this have their own connotations. They help us decide, conclude on how much we eat, what we wear, where we go. Small burgers, tiny countries, little dresses. Small is always reasonable. Small is beautiful. Like poems and couplets. There is so much that can be said in a little.

When it comes to homes, small can be pretty or it can even be suffocating and constricting. It can mean having very little space to navigate between the counter and cooktop in the kitchen. Or it can mean furniture eating up and overwhelming a room. Small can be cozy and warm or it can even mean space used optimally for the right furniture and decor. When doing up smaller spaces in homes, it is tricky to ensure that everything is put together just right, it doesn’t overwhelm yet people find it inviting and warm.

As good as small spaces are, they need more work that larger spaces in homes. Just like preparing a small burger needs more vegetables diced and cut, more sauces to be added and extra flavour, so too kitchens. The kitchen is one such space that feels the brunt of having too many things squeezed into it. It is often the last space looked into when designing a home, often put together haphazardly and without a plan. Yet think about it, a homemaker spends most of her time here. From dawn to dusk, a family cooks and eats in the kitchen, congregates and connects together. Imagine then having to squeeze into this tiny space and get uncomfortable navigating it?

A small kitchen doesn’t have to be a prison sentence or culinary drudgery. It does not have to be punishment, like a tight dress you can’t seem to fit into. With some creative mini kitchen layout ideas and lots of inspiration, it is possible to pack in more into your cooking space and make it an inviting one everyday. Below are five little golden rules you can implement to transform your little kitchen. Here are some mini kitchen design ideas for you.

Smart space saving kitchen interiors for compact homes

Embellish with Neutrals

Neutrals whether on clothing, in food or in a space offers a blank palette. It shines off the light and embraces a space. In small kitchens, neutrals give out a luminous aura, blurring corners and separations, camouflaging joints and lending cohesiveness to any space. While gorging on food, a simple white rice dish is enhanced with the colourful veggie preparations on the side enhancing your appetite. Similarly, a plain white dress looks elegant, chic and is also a raw palette to build creativity.

Kitchen interior design for small kitchen with neutral coloured shelves
Neutral coloured shelves are a perfect blend of modern and classy

Design idea: Neutrals in white, beige, pastels blend well with muted laminates and solid color blocks. A cooking area that is bright and airy will seem bigger and give a sense of space. To lend creativity, embellish with bright crockery, quirky hardware, ornamental tiles and decorative blinds. Isn’t that a sumptuous small modern kitchen idea?

Spruce Up Your Cabinets In Small Kitchen

Kitchens are made up of cabinets. These are similar to accessories that brighten up clothing, making a simple piece appear brighter and more fancier. Cabinets are more than functional storage units. They hide away clutter, add depth to the kitchen, lend texture to the space. You can use them to visually expand the space while also ensuring every part of at the smallest kitchen is used to its maximum.

Kitchen design ideas for small spaces utilise every corner with colourful cabinets
Utilise every corner of your kitchen with these colourful cabinets

Design idea: Make the most of every square inch of the kitchen by adding open cabinets, ledges, lazy Susan’s, magic corners and wire baskets. Never leave dead corners and convert them into storage docks for appliances. This is especially so in small kitchens that have paucity and can look pretty just by a few clever storage hacks.

Also, Read About Kitchen Cabinet Design Ideas

Modular Elements Do Well In Small Kitchens

Getting a readymade dress, tried out at the store is a better option than having one stitched and altered time and again. This works for outside food too. Small kitchens cannot take the additional space of furniture and decor made by hand. There are a lot of adjustments and changes that are warranted which can seem like a waste of time and money. The next best option is therefore to go modular. When space is a premium, modular kitchen designs are best for small kitchen layouts, ensuring that every little part of your space is utilized. From wall to wall, and floor to ceiling, modular kitchens make for clever space design.

Mini kitchen design ideas to every utilize corner of the space
A modular kitchen unit to cleverly utilize every corner of the space
Budget friendly kitchen designs just for you

Design idea: With small kitchens comes lack of storage space. Build modular elements wherever possible. Pull out pantries, retractable trolleys, magic corners in lower cabinets. Upper cabinets provide additional storage space that is useful. There are a variety of options to explore.

Break Open The Space

Small kitchens are constricting and heave with activity given how so much goes on in one. Just like smaller clothing can be embellished with longer and chunkier accessories, a small kitchen layout can be opened up by visually altering the space. Eliminating boundaries and walls marries a kitchen to the rest of the home. Place a breakfast counter as a subtle separation, paint the space different from the rest of the home, use furniture as temporary separators – all of these make for small modern kitchen ideas. Employ large windows that filter in sunshine making the bright and airy. Daylight can add character and charm that no other detail can.

Kitchen design for very small space with a breakfast makes more space
An outward-facing kitchen counter with a breakfast makes the space more contemporary

Design idea:  A great idea for small kitchen layout is adding multi-functional elements to the space. Make your outward-facing kitchen counter pull double-duty by using it as a cooking surface and a delightful breakfast bar. Bar stools offer extra seating for cosy conversations and ones that are promptly hidden away. Put your kitchen counter to good use as a baking nook whenever you’re not cooking. These and several such hacks can open up the space.

Emphasize On the Kitchen Golden Triangle

There’s an art and science to design, and this goes into the structure of clothing as well as the concept of cooking. With small kitchens, this translates into the quintessential golden triangle of mini kitchen design ideas – having the cooktop, washbasin and refrigerator arranged in a triangular layout for easy access. This space optimising strategy is under-utilised and under-used often, yet can enhance function and flow considerably.

Small house mini kitchen design with a smart layout makes everything accessible
A smart layout makes everything accessible in this compact kitchen

Design idea: Whether your kitchen is an L-shaped, U-shaped or parallel design, it is possible to work this triangle into it. Placing two of these elements along one wall and third along another, aligning these elements reduces your leg work, channels negative space towards the centre of the room.

Small kitchens are a blessing. They provide a palette to play with so have fun with design and embellishments. The trick to working with them is to think of them as clothes or food. The more you explore your small kitchen, the more the possibilities seem endless and unrestrained.

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Charmaine Kenita is a content writer at Design Cafe home interiors blog.

Charmaine Kenita

Charmaine Kenita is a content strategist, editor, marketer, & doctor. A professional storywriter providing content across various verticals, she searches for metaphors in everyday experiences connecting ideas and thoughts across industries. She mentors startups & women entrepreneurs, and works with NGOs in the handloom sector.

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