7 Essential Design Tips for a Small Kitchen

What are the major design factors to consider when designing a small kitchen? Read on to discover the 7 most essential design tips for a small kitchen.

Many of us dream of a spacious country kitchen with enough room to prepare food and entertain guests.

However, the reality of the situation is that this type of kitchen is extremely hard to come by, with homeowners having to pay a premium for extra kitchen space.

Does this mean that you have to give up your dream? Absolutely not.

This article will highlight a handful of kitchen design ideas perfect for those with small kitchens, enabling you to create a space that meets your cooking ambitions.

Image: Brayer Design

7 Essential Design Tips for a Small Kitchen

1. Use the Upward Space

If space is a little tight then why not think upward? An efficient way to use your kitchen space is to extend the height of your kitchen cabinets, making full use of the vertical space.

Kitchen cabinets should be thin and narrow with glass panels to maximise the illusion of additional space.

2. A Kitchen Island is your Saviour!

Image: Brayer Design

A kitchen island is the essential piece of furniture necessary to transform your small kitchen space.

If your kitchen is lacking storage, then this can be your saviour! Investing in a kitchen island will reduce the amount of often wasted floor space, whilst maximising much needed cooking and storage space.

3. Install Gloss Kitchen Doors

Incorporating gloss finished kitchen doors provides your kitchen with a distinctive finish whilst being right on trend.

Not only do they look great, but glossy units are a wonderful idea if you’re trying to maximise your kitchen space.

Due to their reflective surface, this enables natural light to bounce around the room giving the illusion of a larger space. Shop with a supplier that allows you create custom units that fit your kitchen perfectly.

4. Don’t Neglect Colour

Image: Olive and Barr

You may feel that because you haven’t got the space, you don’t have the opportunity to express your personality when designing your kitchen.

Although this is somewhat correct, adding a splash of colour can be the ideal way to put your stamp on the kitchen and if used cleverly, colour can give the impression of more space.

For example, adding a bold block of colour to a feature wall or simply opting for coloured gloss kitchen doors.

5. Utilise Wall Space

Image: Olive and Barr

An ideal solution to your storage dilemmas is to utilise the empty wall space in your kitchen.

For example, hanging rails for utensils help maximise space by making full use of normally empty walls. A quick tip is to focus on the wall above the sink; I bet it’s currently empty!

6. Open Up

Although this is not necessarily a solution that’s available to everyone, opening up your kitchen by fitting French doors will allow you to bring the outside in, making a cramped area seem a lot more spacious.

French doors essentially allow you to extend your kitchen into the garden whilst enabling an abundance of natural light to regularly enter the room.

7. Let there be Light!

Clever lighting solutions can embrace the space that’s already there, whilst making rooms of all shapes and sizes feel bigger and brighter. Installing task lighting for worktops and cooking areas enables you to illuminate those dark spots, creating the illusion of more space.

Feature lights can also be used to accentuate open shelving and floor lighting is a clever way to open up a narrow walkway.

When used in conjunction with light-reflecting materials (such as the high gloss mentioned above) your kitchen will be brighter and seem spacious.

If you loved this, you’ll also love 30 Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger and 25 Simple Small Kitchen Hacks.

Author Bio: Janet Walker regularly writes on a variety of home related topics, with a specific interest in kitchen design. Janet works for Doors Sincerely, specialists in wardrobe and kitchens doors.

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Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an award winning digital publisher and has been creating interiors and home decor content for over 10 years.
She has an insatiable love of home interiors, has worked with hundreds of brands, and currently supports many bloggers within the creative industries to share their expertise through writing.
She spends most of her time in her little garden office pod, has 2 daughters and 2 (fighting) cats.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Matthew
    September 9, 2013 / 11:38 am

    Interesting tips, thanks for sharing! It’s actually surprising the effect that a few changes can make to the perception of a room.

  2. Monty Schlaar
    April 17, 2015 / 3:36 pm

    Thank you for the very interesting post. I especially like the part about incorporating gloss finished doors in kitchen design to make a kitchen look larger. This is especially helpful for people living in flats or townhouses where space is usually limited.

  3. Joe
    March 17, 2016 / 2:29 pm

    Using the upward space is such a great idea. Hardly anyone knows how to make use of that vacant space in their house. Love your post so much and I definitely will come back to read others.

  4. Trina
    March 23, 2016 / 9:14 am

    Excellent advice. I wish I had the time to do this when we were building our home.This is especially ideal for people residing in apartments or townhouse where space is usually limited.

  5. Outdoor Kitchens
    March 24, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Much obliged to you for the extremely intriguing post. I particularly like the part about consolidating shine completed entryways in kitchen configuration to make a kitchen look bigger.

  6. Shane petersen
    April 1, 2016 / 10:44 am

    Beautiful tips to enhance the surroundings of kitchen by just taking some designing ideas from and an expert decorating company

  7. erin
    April 1, 2016 / 10:47 am

    Some interesting ideas you have shared.I loved them!! I was planning to renovate my kitchen..Thanks for the ideas..

  8. seandsouza
    April 12, 2016 / 7:39 am

    Very informative post!!!! I love your tips

  9. Steven S. Rojas
    May 12, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    We see a lot of great small kitchens, and the best ones have smart layouts, maximized efficiency and clever storage solutions

  10. Veta
    May 21, 2016 / 5:24 pm

    Great ideas!
    Pantry cabinets is another solution. Get pantries with roll out shelves they will fit a lot of dishes and pots and pans. Top shelves use for long storage or cans and so on.
    Kitchen Cabinet Discounters

  11. Plano Remodeling Pros
    May 24, 2016 / 5:09 am

    Nothing like starting off my day reading and learning about something cool. Your blog post accentuated my breakfast perfectly! Thank you 🙂

  12. Shanna Martin
    June 1, 2016 / 8:28 am

    Thank you Jen, for sharing this helpful post. I never thought that colour can also give the impression of more space. I would remember it while renovate my own kitchen. Thanks again.

  13. Mike Sherly
    July 16, 2016 / 4:47 am

    Just terrific small kitchen decorating ideas. I love them all. Thanks for posting.. 🙂

  14. gas plumbers
    August 2, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    absolutely amazing kitchen ideas.

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    October 14, 2016 / 7:52 am

    For a look at your new Infinity at Brickell Condominium for sale or rent, visit our site now for more details.infinity condos in brickell

  16. Sanjeev Kapoor
    April 3, 2018 / 11:32 am

    My Kitchen is smaller than you can imagine. These are really helpful tips for renovation work.

  17. Best Deals
    April 23, 2018 / 10:21 am

    Thank you for the very interesting post.Just terrific small kitchen decorating ideas.

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