modern small kitchen design ideas

13 Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Originally contributed by • last updated 5/11/2021

R ARCHITECTURE
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Unsplash

Your kitchen may be small, but it can be big on style. This collection of small kitchen design ideas show just how fabulous and functional a tiny kitchen can be.

They’re proof that the right layout, features, and design elements make a kitchen feel bigger than its square footage. Whether you’re remodeling a studio apartment or designing a tiny home, a little inspiration can go a long way. 

01/13

Kitchen Design For Small Space

Pickawood
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Unsplash

Kitchen and dining room blend together in this small white kitchen. The white-on-white color palette expands the space, helping it to feel larger than its square footage.

If you don’t want to use an island as your dining table, here’s an attractive solution. The dining table butts up against the kitchen island, meaning it can function as extra prep space, too. Bonus points for the fact that guests can sit at the table and chat while you prepare meals. 

02/13

Small Kitchen Organization Ideas

Evy Prentice
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Unsplash

Kitchens have to serve many purposes. This one functions as both a food prep space and a laundry room. Closed cupboards work well in this kind of design rather than open shelving.

While open shelving makes a space feel, well...open, it also shows everything. When you’re organizing a wide range of items — pots, pans, laundry detergent, stain removers — in a single room, doors can keep the room from looking cluttered. 

03/13

Small Galley Kitchen Ideas

Dinh Ng.
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Unsplash

Galley kitchens make use of a narrow kitchen area. This kitchen takes that good use of space to another level by combining a galley kitchen with the laundry.

The line-up of appliances doesn’t interfere with counter space, leaving plenty of work space. This particular kitchen is also a good example of smart use of vertical space, with hanging racks and a magnetic strip for knives when there aren’t upper cabinets.

04/13

Floor-To-Ceiling Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Beazy
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Unsplash

Floor to ceiling kitchen cabinets take advantage of every available inch of vertical space. These dove gray cabinets include sleek, modern fronts that let the eye keep moving.

Out of the way storage spaces, like the cabinets at the very top, are a small kitchen’s dream (that is, if small kitchens could dream). Extra linens, food storage, or any other number of extras stay safely stashed out of the way yet remain accessible in a pinch. 

05/13

Modern Small Kitchen Design

R ARCHITECTURE
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Unsplash

Modern kitchen designs skip ornamentation in favor of smooth cabinet fronts. That streamlined look works well in a small kitchen where too much ornamentation can overpower a small space.

Wood cabinets are on the rise in the modern arena, too. They pair well with the white countertops and the marble backsplash, softening a kitchen that could otherwise feel stark and institutional.

06/13

Small Kitchens With Open Organization

Jean van der Meulen
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Pexels

When you think of open shelving, it’s usually the uppers. However, in a small kitchen, open shelving can work almost anywhere. In this kitchen, a remodel left extra space underneath a cooktop that’s a perfect spot for open shelving. Cookie sheets, pots, and pans are within easy reach. 

07/13

Patterned Backsplash Kitchen Design For Small Space

Houzlook .com
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Pexels

While we love a small kitchen in white because it looks and feels open, there’s something warm and cozy about a small kitchen with color.

You might be tempted to avoid busy patterns in a small kitchen, but in the right scale, it pulls everything together and adds personality. This kitchen’s backsplash brings a vintage feel to the otherwise modern misty blue cabinets. 

08/13

Classy Kitchen Design For Small Space

Max Vakhtbovych
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Pexels

This kitchen’s small footprint doesn’t look small at all thanks to a design that integrates classic pieces that flow from one room to the next.

White quaker cabinets don’t ever really go out of style. They work well in this cozy nook kitchen and its small eat-in island. 

A colorful backsplash keeps the room from falling into the boring category, yet doesn’t completely stray from the styling of the rest of the room. The result is a kitchen that makes you want to snuggle down as much as it does cook. 

09/13

Modern Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Max Vakhtbovych
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Pexels

There’s modern and then there’s modern-modern. Those looking to push the boundaries of the style take sleek and smooth to a new level.

This kitchen’s barely distinguishable cabinetry almost hides the kitchen completely. The table and divider wall become the focal point, letting everything else fade into the background. It’s a functional kitchen but the design almost borders on art. 

10/13

Small Kitchen With Island Ideas — With Open Shelves

Charlotte May
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Pexels

When there’s nothing to start with, you make do. The small open shelves in this kitchen are a make-do addition. They tie the kitchen design together with the butcher block island.

In a kitchen that’s sparse on decor elements (in favor of function appliances), the smallest of design elements pull everything together. Without the open shelves and the island, this kitchen would fall prey to pure functionality. The small details give it a welcoming touch. 

11/13

Symmetrical Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Maria Orlova
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Pexels

When the budget doesn’t include remodeling, work with the architecture you’ve got. This small kitchen’s square window and perfectly symmetrical layout get styled with a little less perfection, and it’s homey and fun.

Styling that juxtaposes the architecture helps prevent it from feeling stuffy. Instead, it feels loved and lived in, which is exactly how a kitchen should feel. 

12/13

Dark Kitchen Designs For Small Spaces

Max Vakhtbovych
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Pexels

White kitchens get all the attention, but those on the dark side can be just as gorgeous. This beautiful (small) black kitchen and its dreamy backsplash transform this small space into something special.

The wall of windows keeps it bright even though everything else about it is moody. Take note — if you go dark, make sure there’s natural light to fight off that dungeon feel. 

13/13

White Small Galley Kitchen Ideas

Hakim Santoso
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Pexels

Small galley kitchens don’t always get the best natural light. That’s the case with this kitchen, and yet it manages to feel more open than the actual footprint would hint at.

When you’re working with a narrow space, look at ways to help it feel longer and wider. The white on white palette in this kitchen does the trick. However, you can do it with a runner, vertical stripes in the backsplash, or another single-color palette, too.