Getting the most out of a small kitchen can seem daunting, but with some clever solutions, you can maximize your limited space. Here are 17 ingenious ways to save space in a small kitchen.

Utilize Vertical Space

One of the best ways to save space is to make use of vertical storage and surfaces. Consider these ideas:

  • Install wall-mounted cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling. You can store less-used items up high.
  • Use a vertical spice rack to free up cabinet space. Mount it on the wall or inside a cabinet door.
  • Stack plates vertically on plate racks mounted on the wall.
  • Install an overhead pot rack or hanging pans to get cookware off the counters.
  • Use the back of cabinet doors to mount paper towel holders, knife blocks, and other organizational items.

Optimize Storage

Maximize your existing storage with these tips:

  • Use lazy susans in corner cabinets to improve access.
  • Install pull-out shelves in lower cabinets to see everything in back.
  • Use tiered cabinet organizers and risers to double your vertical storage.
  • Purchase cabinets with drawers, which are more space-efficient than cabinets with doors.
  • Get cabinet organizers and bins to divide storage and make items easy to find.

Rethink the Layout

Adjusting the layout of your kitchen can open up precious space:

  • Remove upper cabinets over the sink or stove to give the illusion of a larger room.
  • Place the refrigerator and sink on opposite walls so the work triangle is more open.
  • Use an island or peninsula to separate the kitchen from other rooms instead of a full wall.
  • Knock down walls between the kitchen and dining room for a more open concept if possible.

Downsize Appliances

Look into smaller appliance options to reclaim space:

  • Replace a full-size range or oven with a compact one like a cooktop or wall oven paired with a countertop oven.
  • Swap the dishwasher for a portable or 18-inch slim model.
  • Consider an apartment-size refrigerator.
  • Install a microwave-hood combo to save room over the stove.

Multi-Task Furnishings

Items that perform double duty are perfect for tiny kitchens:

  • Choose a rolling cart that can serve as extra work surface and storage.
  • Find a table that folds up against the wall when not in use.
  • Use stools that tuck under an island or counter when not in use.
  • Select an expandable dining table that can extend for guests.
  • Look for a sofa table that can function as a work surface and eating area.

Embrace Open Shelving

Skipping upper cabinets in favor of open shelving can make a small kitchen appear larger. It also provides easy access to frequently used items. Just be sure to keep things organized.

Add Mirrors

Strategically placed mirrors can visually double the size of a small kitchen. Try placing one:

  • Across from windows to reflect light and views.
  • On the backsplash over the sink to expand the room.
  • Between cabinets to create the illusion of more storage.
  • On closet doors adjacent to the kitchen to expand boundaries.

Keep the Counters Clear

A cramped kitchen always looks smaller when counters are cluttered. Make a habit of:

  • Putting away appliances after each use, like the toaster and blender.
  • Storing kitchen tools in drawers and cabinets instead of on the counter.
  • Quickly wiping down counters after cooking.
  • Using wall-mounted paper towel holders and knife strips.

Let There Be Light

Proper lighting is crucial to make a small kitchen feel open and airy:

  • Choose pale paint colors to reflect light.
  • Use high-wattage bulbs in fixtures to brighten the space.
  • Install under-cabinet lighting to illuminate work areas.
  • Place mirrors near windows to amplify natural light.
  • Add recessed ceiling lights to eliminate dark corners.

Incorporate Glass-Fronted Cabinets

Glass-front cabinets maintain a feeling of openness since you can see their contents. Consider using them for:

  • Upper cabinets instead of solid ones.
  • Shelves or cabinets near windows to carry light.
  • Displaying beautiful dishware to enhance décor.
  • Accent pieces like a coffee bar.

Remove Doors

Another way to make a small kitchen appear larger is to take doors off some cabinets. This works best for:

  • Corner cabinets, so contents are visible and accessible.
  • Upper cabinets above eye-level, to reduce visual clutter.
  • Custom open shelving flanking the stove or sink.
  • Displaying decorative dinnerware.

Paint or Wallpaper Inside Cabinets

Adding color and pattern inside cabinets is an inexpensive way to inject personality into a small kitchen. Try:

  • A fresh coat of paint or wallpaper on cabinet interiors.
  • Lining shelves with decorative paper or fabric.
  • Painting the back wall of glass-front cabinets.

Select Compact Appliances

Specialized small appliances can provide full functionality with a minimal footprint. Consider these options:

  • A single-serve coffee maker like a Keurig instead of a traditional machine.
  • A mini food processor rather than a large one.
  • A thin-profile tankless water heater mounted on a wall.
  • A slim “pizza drawer” oven for baking.
  • An under-the-sink reverse osmosis system for filtered water.

Install Lights Under Cabinets

Mounting light strips underneath cabinets provides great task lighting while opening up counter space. Choose LED tape lights or puck lights. Consider putting them:

  • Under upper cabinets to illuminate the counter.
  • Inside glass-front cabinets to showcase interiors.
  • Under shelves to spotlight decor.

Final Thoughts

With some creativity and smart solutions, you can create an efficient and beautiful small kitchen. The key is editing unnecessary items, choosing space-saving furnishings, and visually opening up the room. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box to come up with clever ways to maximize every inch.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some easy ways to save space in a small kitchen?

Some quick ways to save space include using wall-mounted storage, installing pull-out shelves in cabinets, putting items on the back of cabinet doors, and getting dual-purpose furnishings like rolling carts.

How can I make a small kitchen appear larger?

Strategies like removing upper cabinets, incorporating glass-front cabinets, installing mirrors, and painting interiors light colors can make a small kitchen seem more spacious. Also, keeping counters clutter-free helps the room feel more open.

What storage solutions work well in tiny kitchens?

Vertical storage like wall-mounted cabinets, plate racks, overhead pot racks, and spice racks are great options. Also, lazy susans, drawer organizers, and turntables optimize interior cabinet storage.

Should I get smaller kitchen appliances if I have limited space?

Yes, compact and apartment-size appliances like microwaves, stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators can provide big functionality in small footprints. There are also many specialty small gadgets made for tiny kitchens.

How can I add more usable counter space in a cramped kitchen?

Rolling carts, adjustable tables, and stools that tuck away can act as extra counters when needed. Also, wall-mounted paper towel holders, knife strips, and shelves can keep existing counters clearer.