Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, but this week we’re highlighting a small space that packs a big punch when it comes to style and function. At just 142 square feet, this kitchen proves that you don’t need a massive area to create a cooking space that’s both beautiful and highly functional. Read on to learn how the homeowners and designers made the most of every inch.

Introduction: Embracing the Small Kitchen

For many homeowners, having a small kitchen simply comes with the territory. Urban apartments, cozy cottages, and even some suburban homes often have compact cooking spaces. But don’t dismay—a petite kitchen can be just as gorgeous and useful as a large one with the right design approaches.

This 142-square-foot kitchen is a prime example. Located in a 1920s bungalow, the kitchen previously had an awkward layout and felt dark and closed-off from the rest of the home. The new homeowners wanted to open it up and make it brighter and more spacious-feeling. They achieved that goal through smart layout changes and by embracing the kitchen’s small size rather than fighting against it.

Read on to learn the strategies and design choices that make this kitchen both stunning and highly functional within its bijou footprint. Whether your own kitchen is snug or you simply want inspiration for working with a small space, the ideas can apply to any size.

Brightening Up a Small Kitchen Space

Natural light and bright, reflective finishes are keys to making a small kitchen feel open and airy rather than boxy and dark. Here are some of the methods the designers used in this kitchen remodel to take advantage of every bit of light:

  • Remove upper cabinets: Eliminating upper cabinets is a big spatial illusion. It draws the eye up to the ceiling, makes the room feel taller, and allows more light to spread. For small kitchens, focus cabinetry storage on the lower half of the room.
  • Add windows: The existing kitchen had just one window. The designers added two more to flood the space with natural light. Big windows also connect the kitchen visually with the outdoors.
  • Choose light finishes: From the white cabinets to the marble-look quartz countertops, light finishes keep things bright and airy while still providing plenty of contrast through colors and textures.
  • Incorporate glass: Glass-front upper cabinets, glass pendant lights, and a glass tile backsplash all contribute to the light, open look. Glass reflects and amplifies natural light.
  • Go matte: While some glossy surfaces can brighten a kitchen, they can also look overly busy in a small space. Matte finishes on the cabinets and backsplash keep things light but subtle.

With these strategies, the tiny kitchen feels illuminated, cheerful, and much more expansive than its footprint would suggest. The light, minimalist look also pairs beautifully with the home’s airy cottage style.

Maximizing Functionality in 142 Square Feet

A small kitchen needs smart storage solutions and a layout that makes the most of every inch. Here’s how this kitchen delivers maximum function:

  • Add a Peninsula: The new peninsula dramatically expanded workspace and storage. It houses the sink, provides seating, and conceals cabinet storage.
  • Optimize corners: Blind corner cabinets and pull-out shelving optimize tricky corners that might otherwise go unused.
  • Include a butler’s pantry: Just outside the kitchen, a butler’s pantry houses a second sink, fridge, dishwasher, and extensive storage. This takes pressure off the main kitchen.
  • Use every vertical space: Stacked wall cabinets provide overhead storage while keeping the room feeling open. Floating shelves offer bonus display space.
  • Rethink the layout: The previous layout had a awkward work triangle. The new L-shaped galley layout allows for an efficient circular flow.
  • Add multifunctional furniture: An antique storage cabinet between the kitchen and dining room provides extra storage and serves as a buffet.

Through clever planning and space-saving storage solutions, they achieved a kitchen with ample room to prep, cook, and entertain—all within 142 square feet.

Design Elements that Personalize and Enhance

While light and function were priorities, the homeowners also wanted to infuse personality and enhance the kitchen’s beauty. They accomplished this through:


  • Material: “Café Glass” matte ceramic tile
  • Adds: Subtle shine, texture
  • Benefits: Light-reflecting without too much gloss


  • Color: Sherwin-Williams “Pure White”
  • Style: Slab-front Shaker with routed edges
  • Hardware: Satin brass pulls
  • Adds: Crisp, classic look with vintage flair


  • Material: White quartz with marble-look veins
  • Edge: Stacked slab
  • Adds: Light color, durability, marble beauty

Open Shelving

  • Finish: Wire-brushed oak
  • Style: Floating wall shelves
  • Adds: Warmth, texture, display space

Statement Lighting

  • Style: Faceted glass pendants
  • Finish: Brushed brass
  • Adds: Sculptural elegance

Vintage Furnishings

  • Pieces like an antique cabinet and Danish modern barstools
  • Adds: History, eclectic flair

These choices, along with thoughtful styling with greenery, art, and accessories, give the kitchen an inviting, magazine-worthy feel—all within its petite footprint.

7 Key Takeaways for Designing a Small Kitchen

While every home and family is different, this dazzling kitchen offers universal lessons for making the most of a tiny cooking space:

  1. Bring in abundant natural light. Add windows, eliminate upper cabinets, opt for light finishes, and incorporate glass elements.
  2. Focus storage on lower cabinets and furniture. Move storage off upper walls visually expands the space.
  3. Create an efficient, user-friendly layout. Make the most of every inch through your floorplan.
  4. Multi-task with furniture choices. Islands, peninsulas, and buffets can provide both storage and extra seating.
  5. Incorporate vertical storage. Wall cabinets, tall pull-out pantries, stacked appliances, and floating shelves keep things neat and tidy.
  6. Don’t overlook “useless” spaces. Find ways to utilize awkward corners and gaps with specialized cabinetry and shelving solutions.
  7. Infuse personality. Don’t neglect style—small spaces can pack just as much wow-factor with attention to materials, colors, lighting, and decor.

Achieving Openness and Function in a Micro Kitchen

This kitchen may be just 142 square feet, but it exemplifies gorgeous design and highly functional spaces. For old homes, apartments, or any small kitchen, it provides abundant inspiration for achieving an open, light-filled, and user-friendly cooking space. With smart design, multi-functional elements, and spatial illusion, small square footage need not limit your kitchen dreams.

This bright and tidy retreat excels as an intimate gathering spot for casual meals. Thanks to careful layout and storage solutions, it harbors all the essentials for easy meal prep. Despite its petite size, the kitchen feels pleasantly spacious, gracious, and light-filled. For inspiration about maximizing a small kitchen, it proves that big style can thrive within tiny square footage.

FAQ About Designing Tiny Kitchen Spaces

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about making the most of small kitchens:

How many cabinets should a small kitchen have?

Focus on ample lower cabinets, limit uppers to avoid clutter. Aim for enough lower cabinets to organize essentials without overly boxing in the space. Consider open shelving too.

What size refrigerator works best for a tiny kitchen?

Counter-depth fridges help maximize space efficiency. Apartment-sized fridges (18-24 inches wide) fit nicely into compact kitchens. Undercounter units are another option.

Should I use light or dark cabinetry in a small kitchen?

Light, neutral cabinet colors like white or pale wood tones keep things airy and spacious-feeling. Too much dark cabinetry can overwhelm a petite kitchen.

What kind of sink is best for a small kitchen?

A single-bowl sink maximizes work area next to it. For very small kitchens, a compact apartment-sized sink (25 inches or less) allows ample counter space.

How can I add seating to my small kitchen?

Islands and peninsulas with overhangs offer great built-in seating. A bistro table or fold-out chair also allow for casual dining in a tight space.

What backsplash tiles work best in a tiny kitchen?

Small tiles, penny rounds, and subway tiles create an expansive look. Mosaics can overwhelm a little kitchen. Matte finishes are less busy than high-gloss.

Should I avoid upper cabinets in a small kitchen?

Yes, removing upper cabinets creates a feeling of openness. Supplement with some open shelves, narrow wall cabinets, or glass uppers if storage is needed.

The Takeaway on Petite yet Powerful Kitchens

Kitchen of the Week proves that small spaces can be big on both beauty and function. For homeowners and renters dealing with a tiny kitchen, remember that limitations in footage need not limit your dreams. With clever layout adaptations, multi-functional elements, space-enhancing finishes, and customized storage, even the most pint-sized kitchen can be a gorgeous, efficient heart of the home.

While this kitchen measures just 142 blissful square feet, its careful design delights the eye while handily supporting everyday life. It’s a small but mighty space whose details provide lessons in stylish use of every inch. For inspiration in downsizing your cooking area without downgrading its beauty or utility, this lovely remodeled kitchen packs loads of smart ideas into its petite package.


This small but stunning kitchen makes a bold style statement while also serving its homeowners well for daily use. Despite measuring only 142 square feet, its light-filled, functional design delights. For anyone working with a tiny kitchen, it serves up abundant inspiration for achieving an efficient, gorgeous cooking space full of natural light, smart storage, and distinctive details. This week’s petite but perfectly formed kitchen proves that size limitations don’t have to limit beautiful design.