September 17, 2021

Small Kitchen Ideas - How to Efficiently Utilize Kitchen Spaces

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a big kitchen, but this doesn’t mean that we have to suffer in a cramped, cluttered room. Below are several ways to functionally maximize space and give your kitchen the appearance of one that is much larger and more appealing.

Use the Space All the Way Up to the Ceiling

modern kitchen with ceiling pendant

In a small kitchen, every inch counts, so why not use the space that would otherwise collect dust. Store rarely used items in the space between the cabinets and ceiling.  If you’re lucky enough to have high ceilings, add a rolling ladder to access the highest cabinets. Or, add pull-out steps to drawers as a clever and clean way to have access, without making your kitchen look cramped. Make sure you measure your height before choosing the right place for your hidden steps.

Use Color Blocking

kitchen with different types of paint

For some time now, color blocking has been a term not only used in fashion design. Interior designers are using it to create incredible rooms filled with colors. Worried you won’t like the way your kitchen will look with floor to ceiling color? Create a visual illusion by painting the upper part of your cabinets white and you will seemingly make them disappear.

Glossy Effects

kitchen glossy effects

Using reflective surfaces is one of the oldest tricks to make a room look bigger. Use glossy finishes for your cabinetry to create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

Go All White

kitchen in white

The oldest trick in making a place look bigger than it is, is by painting everything in white. If you’re not a fan of color, just make all your cabinets, backsplash, walls, and ceilings white to create a bright and beautiful kitchen. Make sure to use warm-toned whites, because if your room is small and lacks sufficient light, pure, architectural white will make it look too grey and cold. Make sure to lose the hardware too, so the lines are clean and elegant.

Be Bold with Colors

kitchen with bold colors

If you’re not afraid of colors, embrace them. It’s commonly believed that if you have a little room, you should use only variations of white. On the contrary- using a dark, rich color for your kitchen cabinets gives you the opportunity to make a statement. Add a beautiful light fixture or an artistic backsplash that will really pop. And if you paint your walls and ceiling in the same color (especially with a glossy finish), it will give a lot more depth to the space and will virtually make your cabinets disappear.

Ditch the Hardware

Creating a beautiful, fully-functional and well-organized kitchen in a small space is hard enough, but to make it look clean and tidy is the real challenge. Don’t overdo the materials in a small space.  That’s why it’s best to go handleless. This way your cabinets have clean endless lines, making the room look less cluttered. You can achieve this look with three popular styles of handles:

- Push latches are completely invisible mechanisms installed on the inside of the cabinets, allowing you to open it by simply pressing on the door.

- Integrated handles allow you to pull the door open by a mostly invisible edge around 2 cm under the countertop.

- Hidden pulls are fixed to the top edge of each door,  and are nearly invisible, yet easy to grasp with your fingertips to pull out.

Mirror, Mirror on the...

mirror back kitchen

If glossy effects aren’t enough, go all-in by putting up actual mirrors. You can add mirrored cabinet doors, mirror backsplash tiles, or hang mirrors on walls next to or across your kitchen to see it immediately double in size.

Distract with Flooring and Backsplash

colorful kitchen tiles

Bright and colorful tiles or patterns serve to distract from your surroundings. You can draw attention to the flooring and backsplash, distracting from the size of the space.

Backsplash Storage Space

hidden backsplash storage

As we said earlier, every inch counts, so why not use the backsplash for additional storage space? If you have 15-20 cm of extra depth, you can add hidden shelves behind sliding doors to store small items, like spices. To make it more visually interesting, why not make them mirror doors?!

Hidden Prep Station or Table

hidden prep station

If you have a small kitchen, chances are you either don’t have a dining area, or it is pretty small as well. A clever idea to deal with this problem is to add a hidden table under your countertop. As an added bonus, it can also double as an additional prep station.

Fold-down Table on an Empty Wall


Another way to have a dining table or an additional prep station is by building it into your wall. Easily accessible, and you can fold it up anytime you aren’t using it.

Hide the Clutter


Remember that when it comes to small spaces, we’re often trying to cram too much stuff in them. Hide small appliances and other clutter in cabinets to create visually open countertops.

Which of those tips are you going to use in your kitchen? 

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An interior design professional with a Master's degree in Architecture and 14 years of practical experience.
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