Built-in food bowls for your pets in the side of kitchen island

12 Brilliant Designs For Small Kitchens

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/7/2021


Unfortunately, not all of us are blessed with large, open-concept kitchens. Instead, we have to maneuver around tiny cooking spaces that barely have enough elbow room for you, let alone a whole other person. So what are we to do? Shall we simply sit back and let our small kitchens slowly drive us insane? Absolutely not! It's time to take back our minuscule food prepping area by introducing genius small kitchen hacks into our dwelling, much like the ones below. 


Double-Decker Cutlery Drawers


Making the most of storage space in your small kitchen often means getting the creative juices flowing. And what's more innovative than a two-tiered cutlery drawer. It's so clever yet so effective!


Small Mobile Kitchen Island

Kory 30" Kitchen Pantry

Attempting to make a kitchen island work in your home can feel like fitting a circle into a square — it's just not gonna work no matter what you do. Well, we have some good news, there is something that will work. Meet the tiny kitchen island on wheels. Sure, it may not be the biggest food prepping surface, but the mobile unit can be versatile in so many ways. You can use it as a traditional island, a slim breakfast bar, or even as a serving table when guests are over. How genius!


A Concealed Pantry Cupboard 

Pull-Out Wood Tall Cabinet Pantry
The Home Depot

Utilizing every available nook and cranny is essential in any tiny cooking area. That's why this hidden pull-out pantry can be the perfect solution to your practically non-existent storage. Can't you just picture the slim concealed cupboard blending in with the rest of your kitchen as it resides in the gap between your cabinets and refrigerator? Well…maybe not. After all, the best part of this design is that you have the freedom to make it work in your unique space!


Behind-the-door Cabinet Organizer

Over the Cabinet Towel Bar and Bottle Organizer

Here's yet another way to maximize your storage in a discreet way. Feast your eyes upon this under-the-sink organizer that keeps your cleaning supplies neat and tidy all in one convenient place. But don't stop there, you can use this hack in so many other clever ways — like as a way to arrange your cooking utensils, pots and pans, or even non-perishable pantry items (this works best behind a closet door or long cupboard!).


Vertical Storage is a Must

The Chronicles of Home

You can free up so much floor area and counter space by adding shelves all around your kitchen. Just take a look at the functionality of the wooden boards attached to the cabinet wall built around a refrigerator. From paper towels to woven baskets, there are so many kitchen accessories you’ll be able to store up and out of the way.


Wall-Mounted Wire Rack

Ready to take your vertical storage up another level? Consider an all-in-one wire rack that can house all your kitchen needs. We’re talking dinnerware, cooking utensils, decorative accessories, and even potted plants!


Pull-Out Kitchen Utensil Rail

Not sure where to store your bulky cookware? This clever DIY pull-out rail is your holy-grail answer! The project sees a narrow wooden board attached to a self sliding track. Hooks are secured into the wood and the whole system is then mounted to the inside of a cabinet. Now all your utensils can be discreetly tucked away when they're not in use, and easily accessible anytime they're needed.


Round Rotating Sink

We admit this circular sink may not be the most practical in a tiny kitchen, but that doesn't mean the crafty design isn't a valid choice for your food prepping area. Rather, its revolving nature means that from any angle you'll be able to use the sink, built-in cutting boards, or draining tray. It's so brilliant!


Hidden Baking Sheet Cupboard

Similar to the pull-out pantry, this slim concealed cupboard —perfect for storing baking trays, cake pans, and cutting boards — is yet another creative take on maximizing storage in your small kitchen. 


 Keep Your Space as Organized as Possible

What’s worse than a tiny kitchen? The answer: a small kitchen that feels both claustrophobic and cluttered at the same time. That's why using organization hacks, like DIYing your own built-in shelves or putting your non-perishable foods in labeled plastic canisters, can help your cooking area appear orderly and much more spacious.


Custom Pull-out Pantry Shelves

If a vertical pantry won't work for your kitchen, don't sweat it, we have another trick up our sleeve. Meet the hidden pantry that still relies on pull-out shelves, but in a much more compact design. The shelves, which are attached to metal sliding rails, can be customized to fit your unique cabinet needs. Just think of all the food that, at last, won't end up forgotten in the back of your pantry.


 Island With Built-in Pet Bowls


Even your furry friends can get in on the genius small kitchen hacks with a pair of fixed pet bowls integrated into the side of a kitchen island. It's hard to deny how brilliant the idea is, especially knowing that your pet's eating area is off the ground, therefore giving you extra floor space to work with. And let's face it, we could all use some additional square footage wherever we can get it!