Want to get more from your small kitchen? Check out these storage, seating, and cooking ideas—and find out how to include those extra features you thought would fit only in a large space.
1. Microwave. If you don’t want to clutter up limited workspace with small appliances, how about tucking them underneath instead? This kitchen has just one countertop, so the designers put a microwave in a lower cabinet. Now the owners have a clear work surface plus a handy microwave for quick heating and defrosting.
2. Work surface. One of the most challenging aspects of designing a small kitchen is ensuring that there’s a surface large enough for food prep. A neat solution is a pullout counter.
3. Shelves. Make room for plenty of shelving by using the full height of your space. Here, the owners installed shelves above and on both sides of the door. There’s lots of extra storage, and the recessed design prevents it from protruding into the room.
4. Pantry. Pantries aren’t just for big kitchens — you may be able to fit one into a small room as well. In this narrow space, the designer made use of the wall by creating a tall recess. The slim cabinet installed inside maximizes the space with its pullout pantry.
The door is flush to the wall to create a streamlined finish, but when it emerges from the alcove, it reveals masses of storage.
5. Undercounter fridge. Sometimes the last thing you want in your petite kitchen is a massive refrigerator. However, an alternative like an undercounter model may prove awkward, as it can be tricky to bend down to reach the back. The solution is a drawer version that tucks in under the counter and pulls out to provide easy access.
6. Breakfast bar. Just because your kitchen is tiny doesn’t mean it can’t be sociable. With clever planning, you can fit in a breakfast bar where people can perch.
In this small space, the owners ditched an extra cabinet to create knee space beneath the counter. Two backless stools can tuck out of the way, then come out for morning coffee or when friends want to enjoy a glass of wine while chatting with the cook.
7. Cafe table. Make room for convivial dining in your compact kitchen by popping in a table. A circular design is ideal, as the curved edges don’t poke into the room. Round designs are also more flexible since the seats can be moved to fit.
Alternatively, opt for a drop-leaf design that can open out when you need more dining space.
8. Abundant storage. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have lots of storage in your small kitchen. This photo shows how it’s done by making the most of every inch of wall space. The upper cabinets go all the way up to the ceiling and drop down quite close to the counter.
Split your upper cabinets into two rows, with the lower one for frequently used items, and the higher one for things that aren’t needed so often.
9. Plants. Bring the outdoors into your miniature cooking space with container plants. Think you don’t have room? Here’s a solution: Install curtain rods across a window to provide a handy place to hang pots. The plants get plenty of sunlight, and the countertop remains clear.
10. Double sink. Make room for a larger sink area by using the space in the corner of a countertop. The angled spot here provides enough room for a double sink and frees up space on both sides of the counter.
The back of a corner lower cabinet is an awkward shape for storage, so it’s a good place to put plumbing pipes instead.
Content by Amanda Pollard of Houzz.com. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish. From decorating a room to building a custom home, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts, and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world.