60 Small Kitchen Ideas To Make Your Space Seem Bigger

While having a small kitchen may seem like the ultimate challenge to design and keep organized, fortunately there are an abundance of methods to help make it easier. From cabinet choices to seating options and from shelving variations to space saving solutions, the chances are that you can find something that works for you, your style, and your size kitchen.

It would also be beneficial to look at the potential benefits of living with a small scale kitchen. According to Architectural Digest, when the major appliances are geographically closer together, the act of prepping and cooking food is easier and more seamless. Therefore, a thoroughly thought out design can make even a tiny kitchen much more functional.

Even if you have no plans to renovate your small sized kitchen at the moment, take a peak at the following 60 ideas as many of them can be simple DIY weekend projects or an online shopping adventure. The end result of incorporating a few changes or additions? A space that seems bigger than it actually is.

1. Lighten up the palette

Any room in the house can seem bigger with a coat of light colored paint. In the kitchen, keep the walls a variation of white or a pale pastel. Consider lighter cabinetry, countertops, backsplash, and even floors as well.

2. Choose complementary colors

If bold colors are more your style, look for those that complement each other such as emerald green with gold accents. A cohesive looking kitchen will make it appear larger than it is.

3. Match the cabinets to the walls

Blending the exact color of the cabinets with the color of the walls and backsplash can ultimately have the effect of an expanded kitchen.

4. Install floor-to-ceiling cabinets

Want the kitchen to seem taller? Installing cabinets all the way to the ceiling does the trick. Not only that, it gives additional storage space and prevents dust collecting like it often does when there's a gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling.

5. Look for slimmer cabinets

When more cabinet space is needed but space is limited, look for cabinets that are slimmer than average. Narrow cabinetry will also give the illusion of a larger kitchen.

6. Save space with shallow cabinets

For maximum floor space, steer clear of deep cabinets and drawers. Most items get lost in the back anyway, so stick with shallow ones and give yourself a bigger walkway.

7. Forgo hardware

Deciding to leave handles and knobs out of the design will help to streamline the kitchen and, therefore, make it appear larger. It will also diminish the amount of things to potentially bump into as you're cooking in a small space.

8. Find a drop leaf island

Having a space to eat a quick breakfast or prep meals is important, especially in a small kitchen. Consider adding an island with a drop leaf table that can save space when not in use.

9. Use an island with storage

Finding a space for everything in a small kitchen can be a challenge. Using an island for storage can help solve the problem and also clear up cluttered countertops, making the space seem bigger overall.

10. Incorporate a microwave cart

Keeping the counter clutter free is especially vital in a small kitchen, so consider incorporating a microwave cart. It takes up less space than an island and can not only hold a microwave, but can also serve as a coffee bar or meal prep station.

11. Hang floating shelves

Using the vertical space available in the kitchen is an excellent way to add storage and open up the space. Consider hanging floating shelves to keep the lines clean and store favorite or most often reached for items on them.

12. Utilize recessed shelving

If the kitchen already has recessed shelving, great. If not, consider adding some. By having storage set back into the wall as opposed to jutting out, it will instantly increase the size of the room.

13. Install shelves onto existing cabinets

Your current cabinets can give you the extra space needed with a little DIY project. Add small shelves to the end of a cabinet to help keep counters clear.

14. Flank a range with shelves

Adding shelving to either side of the stove range will give the kitchen a symmetrical look and feel, as well as, potential storage for items often reached for while cooking.

15. Own matching dinnerware

If open shelving appeals to you and the plan is to store plates, cups and bowls for easy access, consider storing matching sets only. This will reduce the visual clutter and make the kitchen look more unified.

16. Create storage above the refrigerator

The area above the fridge usually becomes wasted space depending on how easy or difficult it is to reach items stored on top of it or inside a cabinet. Creating accessible wine storage in this space gives the area a true purpose and a fun focal point in a small kitchen.

17. Frost the cabinet doors

An alternative to glass doors, frosted cabinets give an open look and feel in a small kitchen without displaying everything behind them. Choose to frost all of them or just a couple for the effect.

18. Put in a pull out pantry

Installing a slim pull out pantry next to the oven or the refrigerator is an excellent way to increase space in a small kitchen. This method will free up cabinet real estate and when it's closed, it's barely even noticeable.

19. Add an armoire

If the existing cabinet space isn't enough for your kitchen essentials, consider placing an armoire or a bookcase wherever there's an open wall. Not only can a piece of furniture such as this store servingware or small appliances, it also gives a uniqueness to an otherwise standard kitchen.

20. Embrace the appliance garage

Appliance garages are fast becoming a trendy design although they have been in existence for quite some time. Essentially, they are designed to hide or tuck away small appliances so they can be conveniently used, but not take up precious counter space.

21. Invest in aesthetic appliances

If you chose to leave out some appliances on a small kitchen counter, consider investing in ones that are aesthetically pleasing and match with the room's design.

22. Choose a ceramic cooktop

One subtle way to make a small kitchen seem bigger is by choosing a ceramic cooktop, giving your counters a sleek look. If you are thinking about switching from a traditional gas range stove, first consult with your electrician.

23. Align big appliances

By lining up large appliances such as the oven and microwave, the kitchen will feel more streamlined and likely save space overall.

24. Cover appliances with cabinetry

Cohesiveness is one of the key techniques to achieving a larger looking space. Consider covering larger appliances such as the refrigerator and dishwasher to match the existing cabinetry.

25. Consider a microwave drawer

A pull out microwave drawer can be designed to fit alongside kitchen cabinets or into an island. This small space solution makes the microwave barely visible and opens up the countertop.

26. Add pull out drawers

Keeping things organized in a small kitchen is an ambitious task to say the least. It can be made easier by having pull out drawers installed. Having a place for everything to be stored easily encourages items to be put away, leaving the kitchen feel clutter-free and more open.

27. Make use of shelf risers

For additional space inside of cabinets, use shelf risers or cabinet organizers to maximize the storage of everyday items such as bowls and glasses.

28. Take advantage of cabinet doors

The inside of cabinet doors can easily be used to create extra storage and keep the kitchen clutter-free. Hang dish towels and dustpans inside the under sink cabinets and cutting boards or pot holders near the stove.

29. Get creative with spice racks

A traditional countertop or drawer spice organizer isn't always the best option for a small kitchen. Hang a wall shelf near the stove for effortless reach while cooking.

30. Jump on the matching jar trend

Similar to prioritizing matching dinnerware, spices that are out in the open can benefit from being in matching jars. Not only are they easier to get and keep organized, they look more attractive — especially in a tiny kitchen.

31. Decant bulky items

Saving space by any means possible is critical in a small space. One quick way to do this is to get rid of bulky food packaging by decanting the items into airtight containers.

32. Use lazy Susans strategically

Lazy Susans can be used to corral condiments in a cabinet or decorative items such as candles and vases. Keeping items contained helps make the kitchen seem more open and spacious. Be sure to store mostly round items on them to maximize the space-saving effect.

33. Affix a knife strip

Knife blocks can take up a chunk of counter space and there may not even be any room in the drawers to adequately store knives. A magnetic strip is a smart alternative as it only uses a bit of wall space and makes for an easy reach when prepping food.

34. Show off your mugs

If cabinet space is lacking in a small kitchen, your mugs can find a home hanging on the wall. Not only is it functional, it can also double as décor.

35. Hang pots and pans

Pots and pans are some of the bulkiest items to store in the kitchen. If the cabinets or drawers are too small to comfortably store them, consider hanging them using a rack designed specifically to hold their weight.

36. Hide visual clutter

Keeping as much visual clutter hidden as possible is a key to keeping a small kitchen feel bigger than it is. Feel free to take it one step further and use containers inside cabinets to corral and conceal loose items such as Tupperware lids and blender parts.

37. Keep the counters clear

In attempting to make your kitchen seem larger, keeping the counters as clear as possible will go a long way. Use some of the methods mentioned, such as floating shelves and appliance garages, to free them up.

38. Befriend baskets

Hiding visual clutter on the counters or open shelves is easy if you embrace using baskets. They can hold anything from snacks for the kids to dish towels, allowing everyone to grab what they need instantly while keeping a small kitchen looking neat.

39. Incorporate a bench with storage

Breakfast nooks are not only an excellent way for creating table space in a small kitchen, they can also provide needed storage. Open-top benches or pull out drawers can hold servingware, extra placemats, and even seasonal tablescapes.

40. Stick with a small table

Small kitchens can still be eat-in kitchens. Stick with a small round table for two or three to save as much floor space as possible and keep the room feeling open.

41. Find a fold down table

Similar to a drop leaf island, a fold down table allows for ample walk space when not in use. Simply clear it off and collapse it when you want the kitchen to seem instantly bigger.

42. Consider a window bar

If the window in your small kitchen is at a good height, add a ledge to it wide enough for a place setting. Set stools under it for a breakfast bar that takes up virtually no space.

43. Opt for backless stools

When choosing seating for an island or breakfast bar in a small kitchen, backless chairs or stools may be your best bet. They can comfortably slide underneath the ledge, leaving you with more room to move about.

44. Knock down a wall

If you really want to make a cramped kitchen feel more spacious without doing a major renovation, consider having one wall knocked down. Opening up the kitchen into another room such as a living or dining room can make it feel like a whole new space.

45. Add a skylight

Natural light works wonders when it comes to making rooms appear bigger. Installing a skylight in a small kitchen is one way to let a lot of light in without taking up any space.

46. Take advantage of tall windows

If your small kitchen comes equipped with tall windows, do everything in your power to accentuate them. Avoid blocking them with furniture and keep the window treatments light, both in color and material.

47. Install task lighting

Illuminating a small kitchen can be an easy task when task lighting is involved. Installing small fixtures above the prep areas not only helps you to see better but it also lights up the kitchen as a whole.

48. Choose a statement pendant

Draw eyes up in a tiny kitchen with a statement light fixture. This will add visual interest and potentially make the room seem taller than it is.

49. Illuminate with LED lights

A genius way to add more light and illuminate a small kitchen is by adding LED lights or strips. This simple DIY project can be used under the upper or lower cabinets or under open shelves.

50. Reflect light with mirrored backsplash

Mirrors have a great way of expanding any room by reflecting and bouncing light. You can hang a mirror in small kitchen, but if that seems out of place for you, consider going with a mirrored backsplash instead.

51. Go bold with backsplash

Don't be afraid to add visual intrigue with a bold backsplash. An unexpected pattern or color in a small kitchen can elevate the space and make it seem brighter.

52. Play tricks on the eye

Use stripes to your advantage in a small kitchen. Horizontal ones widen the space while vertical lines elongate the height. Stripes can be added in the form of paint, wallpaper, or even shiplap.

53. Infuse pops of color

Give your small kitchen a designer look by adding pops of color. Deep blue or bright yellow lower cabinets add appeal and can detract from the size of the space.

54. Add interest with flooring

A fun floor design is an ideal accent in a small kitchen as it doesn't take up any space and can be low cost due to the low square footage.

55. Lay large tiles

When deciding on basic flooring, consider large tiles or planks. These can help make the kitchen seem bigger by widening the floor space and giving it a clean appearance.

56. Catch attention with a runner

Adding a unique rug in a small kitchen will catch the eye. Runners are ideal to use due to their narrowness and ability to fit into most kitchens regardless of their size.

57. Decorate with greenery

While décor should be kept to a minimum in a small kitchen to avoid overcrowding, decorating with plants could be the exception. Greenery livens up a small spaces and makes it feel airier.

58. Stick to timeless accents

Classic kitchens never go out of style no matter their size. For a clean looking aesthetic, opt for timeless over trendy items such as shaker cabinets or subway tiled backsplash.

59. Go with a minimalist look

Less is more when it comes to making a kitchen seem bigger than it is. Keep the cabinet lines clean and the hardware simple, or forgo it altogether as already mentioned.

60. Declutter regularly

Clutter piling up in a small kitchen is more noticeable than in a larger one. Get into the habit of decluttering and tidying up on a daily basis to keep your kitchen feeling as spacious as possible.