If you are blessed with a small kitchen you may find it difficult to create a working, stylish space but there are ways to make the most of the space you have.
With some creative design ideas, a few hacks and tricks along the way, it is possible to turn your cute kitchen from drab to fab – and it’s a lot easier than you think.
In today’s post I’m looking at 30 easy ways to make that small kitchen feel bigger and how you can make more of the available space, giving you a working kitchen to be proud of.
Read More: The 10 Best Kitchen Trends 2023
How to Make a Small Kitchen Feel Bigger (on any Budget)
1. Go Floor to Ceiling
Traditionally we have only used waist height storage cupboards in kitchens, with a few wall cupboards too, but now the trend has moved towards full banks of kitchen units, creating a seamless display of storage or using taking wall units as high as we can.
It makes sense. With homes being so much smaller, and the demand to improve the way we use our home space increasing, kitchen designers like Magnet Kitchens have led the way in revamping kitchen design.
So if it appears you don’t have enough cabinets in your kitchen, could you use the height of the room to install more?
Keeping the bank of high cabinets away from natural light sources will help retain a bright room whilst solving your storage issues.
2. Keep the Design Simple
Magnet Kitchens: Fusion
Help a small kitchen feel bigger by maximising light and introducing a simple kitchen design. White gloss is a clever use of finish in a smaller space and helps bounce the light around with its semi-reflective surface.
A simple, modern, uncluttered design will help the space feel sleek and minimal no matter what the size. Add in the storage ideas from above and you can create a really useful, stylish kitchen space.
Be very clever and you’ll even manage to fit in a small breakfast bar and stools. I’m a huge believer in creative design and many design flaws can be overcome with a little imagination and compromise.
3. Use Creative Storage Solutions
Magnet Kitchens: Shelf Plus
You may have solved the layout issues with your simply designed kitchen and bags of cabinet space, but sometimes we still need more. There are lots of innovative solutions you can use in a kitchen to increase the volume of usable space you have and make your kitchen more user friendly.
Take these raised table top shelves for example. Placed around the room they help give you an extra shelf, particularly on a free standing island or worktop. Use them for herbs, jars, utensils or more without forgoing the space underneath. Double up on your storage in a spot where you originally had none.
4. Adding an Island
Magnet Kitchens: Meteor
You may think that it’s virtually impossible to add an island unit to a small kitchen. I’d argue that small kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, and particularly when you’re designing an open plan layout you may not have many walls to play with.
Whilst many designers simply add wall cupboards and create an ‘L’ shaped design, installing an island will give the kitchen a completely different feel.
For starters, it helps to zone the area completely, fully identifying the area as a the kitchen space to all who enter. Next, it gives the kitchen a much better layout, allowing for that extra line opposite the wall of cabinets. And of course it offers more storage and a space to create seating.
Before you know it, your small kitchen has become the hub of the home where you can cook, socialise and entertain. It’s well worth researching your options when you go to speak to your kitchen planner.
5. Maximise Cupboard Space
Magnet Kitchens: Somerton
You may feel like your small kitchen can’t hold as much as you need it to, but have you really organised your storage as well as you could? Be honest.
I’m sure we could all benefit from introducing better storage solutions into our home, not just the kitchen, but a smaller room needs extra special attention.
Ensure that you’ve used all the kitchen cabinets effectively. Use solutions like draws, racks, pull out larders, boxes, spice racks and more. It’s a good idea to identify what kind of storage you really need – make it bespoke where you can.
In my kitchen we use a large number of spices and herbs for example so need a lot of storage to keep them neat and easily accessible. Are there areas of your small kitchen which would benefit from firstly, a declutter, and then secondly, some better organisation?
6. Consider Hidden Storage
Magnet Kitchens: Cabinet Plus
This is one of those innovations that every small kitchen should own.
It’s quite likely that your smaller kitchen doesn’t have a large amount of worktop space, and that which you do have needs to be used for food preparation.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if, at the touch of a button, hidden cupboards revealed themselves from behind wall units to present your kitchen knives, some spices, oils or other condiments, and better still – a glass of wine!
I’ve actually seen these in action and they are as good as they look. In the case of the knives, they’re also a great way to keep them safely stored away from the hands of little people.
7. Add a Folding Table
Magnet Kitchens: Table Plus
Every small kitchen should have one of these. The Magnet Table Plus is a folding table top which hides itself into a very useful wall cabinet.
When you have a smaller galley kitchen, or simply don’t have enough floor space for a permanent table solution, pop one of these on the walls and instantly create a space in which you can eat and entertain.
Finish the look with some folding chairs stashed on the wall, or a couple of stacking stools that fit neatly in the corner of the room. This really is the perfect way to maximise the space in your smaller home and make it work harder and more effectively for you and your family.
8. Hidden Worktop
Magnet Kitchens Worktop Plus
A rollout cupboard is a great idea when you need to gain easy access to the content, but add in a worktop and you suddenly have twice the food preparation area.
What a genius idea for smaller kitchens.
We all need more worktop space – even slightly larger kitchens can benefit from this idea, and I love the way it can be more accessible to the younger members of the family too.
9. Pop Up Storage
Magnet Kitchens: Qanto Pull Up Unit
So we’ve had drop down storage, and now it’s the turn of the pop up shelf.
When it’s not in use, push down on the top shelf and secure it in place hiding the content beneath. Again, it’s a clever solution for smaller worktops, freeing up the space for all important food prep and helping to keep your small kitchen clutter free.
It’s the perfect solution for your kettle and tea making pieces which can be hidden away easily and effortlessly. Another genius idea for smaller space.
10. Add More Worktop Space with a Hidden Sink
Magnet Kitchens: Illusion Sink
Finally, in my tour of great ideas to make the most of a small kitchen, let’s take a look at this novel idea – the hidden sink.
The Illusion Sink from Magnet Kitchens comes complete with a push down tap and removable panel. When not in use simple push down the tap and slide the lid into place. You’ll gain yourself some extra, very useful worktop space and keep the kitchen looking neat and tidy.
Not only is this great for the small kitchen, it would work well in many a bigger kitchen too. I love the glossy finish and sleek, minimal design.
11. What Colour Makes a Small Kitchen Look Bigger?
This will depend on the amount of natural light in your kitchen, but a lighter colour will make your small kitchen look and feel bigger. Dark colours can make a small kitchen feel cosy, but also make the room feel smaller too.
12. How do you make a Small Kitchen look Elegant?
Elegance is in the eye of the beholder, but generally declutter the room and leave only bare essentials on the counter tops. Then use a stylish wall and cabinet colour in a soft grey. Don’t forget to add the best flooring you can, like a luxury vinyl and add soft lighting throughout.
13. Add a Designer Kitchen Wallpaper Splashback
If the kitchen is small and you want to add some quirky, fun patterns, go for a kitchen splashback wallpaper like this one in Cactus from Lime Lace. It’s a new and revolutionary wallpaper which is very easy to apply and is completely water and fireproof so also usable behind your stove!
14. Add Lots More Glassware
Why do you want more glassware in a small kitchen? It’s simple really. The light travels through the glass making your small kitchen lighter, brighter and more sparkly.
15. Maximise Floor Space
Keep the floor as uncluttered as possible, and use as many cabinets and accessories on legs as you can. This will draw they eye through to the walls as much as possible creating an illusion of space.
16. What if you don’t have space for a kitchen island?
Well if your kitchen is small and there’s not enough space for a large kitchen island, how about a smaller, portable kitchen table to wheel from one area to another. It’s a great way to add extra preparation and storage space.
17. Colour Co-ordinate your Accessories
Pick a colour for your kitchen accessories and stick to it. Ideally keep it a light, bright colour that keeps the room feeling full of light to give a more spacious interior.
18. Continue the Wall Colour to the Ceiling
I’d only recommend this if you’re using a lighter colour. Dark colours on the ceiling will make the room feel oppressive, but a light colour, carried up and over on the ceiling gives uniformity and helps the ceiling feel taller.
19. Add Reflective Paint
We all know the value of natural light in a small kitchen, so you want to maximise as much of this as possible. Using reflective paint adds a sparkle to the room and allows the natural light to flood the space.
20. Use Suspension Lights over a Table or Breakfast Bar
Suspension lights are a great lighting solution for small kitchens, particularly if you need lighting over a breakfast bar or kitchen island.
21. Hang plants from the Ceiling
We all love plants, and they do amazing things for our wellbeing and mental health, so include them in your small kitchen, but hang them in hangers from the ceiling. We love this DIY plant hanger which works in any kitchen and is inexpensive to make.
22. Keep the Window Clutter Free
If you’re anything like me, you’ll fill your kitchen windowsill with all kinds of clutter. Jugs, plants, hand wash, keys, paint brushes and so much more. Take my advice and keep your window area clutter free, so it feels more spacious and light-filled.
23. Don’t Mix Styles
Stick to one type of style and look in your small kitchen. Try not to confuse the interior by mixing too many styles together – you’ll only end up with a kitchen that looks and feels smaller than it is.
24. Use Space Saving Recycling Bins
Even if you have a small kitchen, you’ll want to collect your waste and recycling. Using a clever waste collection system like the one above, helps the kitchen feel less messy and keeps all your recycling in one place, maximising space.
25. Avoid Using Curtains at your Kitchen Window
Keep your window dressings neat and tidy by avoiding curtains at all costs. Stick to a simple roller blind or add window film if you need privacy. We love this vinyl stained glass window film.
26. Minimise your use of Patterns and Prints
It’s tempting to add lots of bold, busy patterns to any fabric or accessories, even your tableware. Try and avoid to many different patterns that fill the space and make it feel cluttered. Instead, opt for more simple white pieces, and plain colours in your fabrics.
27. Use Stackable or Foldable Chairs
If you do have space for a small table, perhaps a fold down version like above, then opt for stackable or foldable chairs so you can move them out of the way when they’re not in use.
28. How do you Reduce Noise in a Small Kitchen?
Image: Quiet Mark
A small kitchen can feel even smaller if its noisy. The noise has nowhere to escape and can be overwhelming when your kitchen is on the smaller side. With more of us working from home now, and using our kitchens as temporary offices, the room needs to be quiet. Choosing appliances and gadgets with the Quiet Mark means they quieter than other models and will make your kitchen feel calmer and more spacious.
29. Use More Open Shelving if you Need It
If you do need more storage space and have run out in your lower cabinets, instead of adding wall cabinets, opt for open storage shelves and display items in an organised, streamlined way.
30. Add Large Wall Art (Avoid Wall Collages)
Use one big piece of wall art instead of multiple smaller pieces. This keeps the wall looking and feeling less cluttered.
BONUS TIP: Strategic Lighting for Small Open-Plan Kitchens
Lighting does more than just brighten a room; it sets the mood and defines spaces. In open-plan kitchens, which seamlessly blend cooking and living areas, the right lighting can make all the difference. By hanging pendant lights over the kitchen counter or island, you create a focal point for the cooking space. On the other hand, subtle floor lamps or wall sconces in the living area can create a relaxed ambiance, perfect for unwinding.
So which of these ideas would you like to implement into your small kitchen design? If you’ve ever wondered how to make a small kitchen look bigger you now have plenty of ideas on any budget.
My favourites have to be Cabinet Plus drop down units and the Table Plus fold down table. I love creative solutions that really make the most of dead and unused space, and these tick all of those boxes.
PIN FOR LATER: