Having a small kitchen can present challenges when it comes to storage and organization. However, with some clever furniture choices, you can maximize your storage and make the most of the space. The key is selecting furniture that is the right size and offers multiple functions.

When shopping for small kitchen furniture, it’s important to accurately measure your space first. This will help you choose pieces that will fit without overwhelming the room. Opt for narrower or apartment-sized appliances, plus furniture and cabinets with adjustable or removable parts like shelves and drawers. Furniture on wheels or casters allows you to easily move things around as needed.

Below we will explore some of the best furniture options to consider for small kitchen spaces and ways to organize efficiently. With some strategic planning and multifunctional pieces, you can create a comfortable and highly-functional small kitchen.

Types of Small Kitchen Furniture

Space-Saving Tables

One of the biggest space savers is a table that can serve multiple purposes. Look for tables that fold up or slide under other surfaces when not in use.

  • Drop-leaf tables: These have hinged leaves that fold down when you need a compact footprint. Some have two drop leaves, expanding your space even more when needed.
  • Fold-down tables: Wall-mounted or free-standing tables can fold flush against the wall to get them out of your way.
  • Pull-out surfaces: You can find tables that slide under counter overhangs or islands. Just pull them out when you need extra prep space.
  • Pub tables: Extra-tall but with a small footprint, these are great for compact eating spaces. Look for pub tables with space below to slide in stools when not in use.

Multipurpose Furniture

Any furniture that serves more than one function is perfect for tiny kitchens.

  • Storage ottomans: These provide extra seating plus lift-up tops to stash items inside. Some are even big enough to double as coffee tables.
  • Bench seating: Built-in or freestanding benches maximize seating in a small footprint. Look for storage benches to also use for stashing kitchen supplies.
  • Slide-out pantry units: Mounted onto the backs of cabinet doors, these pull out to provide bonus storage when you need it.
  • Microwave carts: Carts with microwave shelves double as extra prep space and storage. Some have wheels for portability.
  • Kitchen islands on casters: A movable island adds prep space, storage and seating to a small kitchen. Use locking casters to keep it in place when needed.

Space-Saving Appliances

Every square inch counts in a small kitchen, so look at downsizing major appliances.

  • Compact refrigerators: Slim refrigerators can be as narrow as 18 inches wide while still offering ample storage. Some have bottom freezers, which are easier to access than top units.
  • Mini ovens: Just 24 inches wide, these ovens have capacities under 2 cubic feet but still let you bake and broil. Countertop or under-counter models are available.
  • Small dishwashers: Look for dishwashers measuring 24 inches wide or less – they hold place settings for 6-8. Drawer dishwashers have an even smaller footprint.
  • Apartment-sized washer/dryer units: All-in-one units as small as 24 inches wide offer laundry functions in one space-saving appliance. Some stack the dryer compartment above the washer.
  • Compact sinks: A small single-bowl sink takes up less room than a double-bowl option. There are even corner sinks that make use of unused space.

Smart Storage Solutions

Strategic storage is key for small kitchens. Make the most of cabinets, pantries, drawers and any unused nooks and crannies with these tips:

Shelving Strategies

  • Install extra shelving inside existing cabinets – try adding an extra shelf above or below existing ones.
  • Use tall, narrow wall-mounted shelving units placed vertically. These make use of wasted wall space.
  • Adjustable shelves allow you to accommodate items of different heights.
  • Tiered shelving doubles your storage capacity in a compact footprint.

Storage Containers

  • Clear storage bins let you see contents easily while keeping items organized and maximizing vertical storage.
  • Nesting storage containers save space since they fit inside each other when not in use.
  • Use matching containers to keep your space looking tidy. Label them for easy identification.
  • Store cooking utensils upright in containers on your counter or shelves to save space.

Under-Counter Storage

  • Install pull-out drawers under sinks, stoves and other appliances to access that wasted space.
  • Add roll-out trays, lazy susans or spice racks to unused areas under cabinets.
  • An under-cabinet paper towel holder clears up counter space.

Pantry Storage Tips

  • Use shelf risers/risers or vertical dividers to double your storage surface.
  • Mount a second rod under an existing shelf to hang additional items.
  • Use over-the-door storage racks on the pantry door to stash small jars, cans and bottles.
  • Lazy susans create easy access to items that get lost deep in shelves.

Choosing Kitchen Tables for Small Spaces

The kitchen table may be the focal point of the kitchen, but it should also fit the space properly. Here are some tips for selecting the right kitchen table for a small kitchen:

  • Measure the space carefully, including pathways, to determine the maximum table size possible.
  • Look for tables with leaves that can expand the table when needed. Drop-leaf or gateleg tables are great space-saving options.
  • Round tables take up less space than rectilinear shapes, and corner banquettes utilize unused space.
  • Pedestal tables with no legs opening up floor space; bench seating does the same.
  • Expandable tables allow you to accommodate more people when needed. Look for butterfly leaves stored within the table.
  • Counter height tables take up less visual space; you can use stools for seating.
  • Glass or acrylic tables have transparent surfaces to maintain an open look.
  • Folding tables can be stowed out of the way and set up only when needed.
  • Nesting tables stack together but can be separated for flexible space usage.
  • Wheeled tables, like kitchen carts, can easily be moved aside when not in use.

Clever Seating Options for Small Kitchens

With a bit of creativity, there are many space-saving seating options that work for squeezed kitchens:

Built-In Banquettes

  • Banquette seating is compact, allowing more people to dine comfortably.
  • Corner banquettes make use of wasted space and keep walkways open.
  • Choose benches with storage drawers and lift-up seats for stashing kitchen items.

Space-Saving Chairs

  • Backless stools take up minimal space when pushed into tables.
  • Clear acrylic chairs have see-through shapes to keep sight lines open.
  • Folding chairs can be minimized and stowed out of the way.
  • Swivel chairs can be turned sideways under the table to save room when not in use.

Unique Seating Ideas

  • Window ledges and kitchen islands can often double as casual banquette seating.
  • Incorporate seating into staircase areas. Under-stair benches are great for kid’s dining areas.
  • Repurpose vintage trunks or ottomans by topping them with a plywood eating surface.
  • Use fold-down wall-mounted seats that rotate up and out of the way when needed.

Choosing Kitchen Islands for Small Kitchens

While you may think islands are only for spacious kitchens, they can actually be space-savers in smaller kitchens. Here’s how to choose the right island:

  • A movable kitchen island with lockable casters allows you to roll it wherever needed.
  • Opt for a narrow island – 30-36 inches wide to leave walking space even when pulled out from the wall.
  • Islands with hanging racks above provide bonus storage. Open shelving keeps the space looking open.
  • Choose an island with raised countertops for comfortable prep work and eating. Standard counter height is 36 inches.
  • Islands with drop-leaf features allow you to expand your workspace when needed.
  • Include electrical outlets in your island for convenient access when using countertop appliances.
  • To avoid a cluttered look, opt for an island with closed cabinet doors and drawers instead of open shelving.
  • The island can often substitute for a full-sized kitchen table by allowing barstool seating.

Small Kitchen Cabinet and Storage Ideas

Your existing kitchen cabinets probably offer more storage options than you think. Here are some tips for maximizing cabinet space in a small kitchen:

Storage Accessories

  • Install interior cabinet fittings like racks, drawers and lazy susans to better organize interior spaces.
  • Use door racks, vertical dividers and interior shelves to double your storage capacity.
  • Add pull-out vertical storage racks next to cabinets to utilize wasted space.

Work with Wall Space

  • Wall-mounted cabinets can accommodate small appliances to clear counter space.
  • Open shelving gives you quick access to frequently used items.
  • Install pegboards to hang utensils, freeing up drawers below.

Take Advantage of Corners

  • Use corner cabinets with lazy susans or pull-out shelving to access awkward spaces.
  • Floor-to-ceiling corner shelving creates lots of storage capacity.
  • A blind corner base cabinet has removable options so you can access the interior space.

Choosing Backsplashes for Small Kitchens

The backsplash is both a functional and design element in a kitchen. For small kitchens, consider these backsplash ideas:

Mirrored Backsplashes

  • Mirrored backsplashes visually expand small spaces and reflect light.
  • Subway-shaped mirror tiles are a popular modern look that suits contemporary and vintage kitchens.
  • Etched mirror backsplashes diffuse the reflection while still opening up the space.

Clear Glass or Acrylic Backsplashes

  • Transparent backsplash materials maintain visibility, so the kitchen feels more open.
  • Glass tile provides shine and depth with light passing through.
  • Acrylic sheets are affordable, durable options. Look for molded styles that appear like glass tile.

Small-Scale Tile Patterns

  • Avoid large-scale tiles which can overwhelm a compact space.
  • Opt for smaller mosaic tiles or penny-sized tiles to make the space appear larger.
  • Tiles in a brickwork pattern or mini-subway tiles also suit small kitchens.

Choosing Color Schemes for Small Kitchens

Color can be used strategically in small kitchens to visually expand the space:

Light, Bright Colors

  • Soft whites, off-whites and very light grays reflect the most light, making small kitchens appear more open and airy.
  • For accent walls, consider barely-there hues like powder blue, pale yellow, or lilac.

Monochromatic Palettes

  • Sticking to one single color and simply varying shades and tones keeps a small space feeling unified.
  • Try an all-white or all-beige scheme. Or go bold with one intense color in lighter and darker versions.

Neutral Base with Pops of Color

  • Keep cabinets and major surfaces in neutral whites or grays so they recede.
  • Incorporate bold colors in smaller accents like barstools, appliance fronts or backsplashes.
  • Vintage themes like red and turquoise are fun yet timeless.

Glossy Surfaces

  • High-gloss, reflective cabinet finishes reflect more light to make kitchens feel airier.
  • Glass cabinet fronts maintain visibility and prevent the space from feeling too closed in.

Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas

Proper lighting can make a small kitchen much more functional and visually appealing:

Task Lighting

  • Use under-cabinet lighting or pendant lights above key prep and work areas for visibility.
  • Look for dimmable lights so you can control the brightness as needed.
  • Light inside glass-front cabinets illuminates displayed dishes or cooking equipment.

Maximizing Natural Light

  • Sheer curtains allow sunlight to filter into the space while preserving privacy.
  • Glass cabinet doors, mirrors and reflective surfaces bounce and amplify incoming sunlight.
  • Squeegee your windows regularly so they stay free of dirt and grime that blocks light.

Overall Ambient Lighting

  • Recessed ceiling lights provide overall illumination without visually cluttering a compact kitchen.
  • Skylights or light tubes draw sunshine from roof openings.
  • Island pendant lights hang above the center workspace for general lighting.
  • Under cabinet lights also contribute supplemental ambient lighting.


Small kitchens may present some unique storage, seating and spacing challenges. However, the variety of specialized small kitchen furniture and smart storage solutions available makes it totally possible to create an efficient and organized space that doesn’t feel undersized.

Following the tips above, you can select space-saving appliances and furniture, make the most of storage nooks and crannies, and incorporate design elements like light colors and mirrors to maximize the look and feel of your petite kitchen. With some strategic planning and careful furniture choices, your small kitchen can gain big function and style.