This week we’re taking a look at a beautiful tiny kitchen in New York City that makes the most of its small space. Despite its diminutive size, this kitchen is bursting with style, functionality, and charm. From the creative storage solutions to the fresh coat of paint, every design decision was made to maximize the potential of this petite kitchen. Read on to see how the homeowners transformed their little New York kitchen into an inspiring, fruitful space!

Overview of the Tiny Kitchen

This week’s tiny kitchen is located in a pre-war apartment building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan. At just 70 square feet, the kitchen is quite small, especially by New York City standards. The original kitchen was very dated, with old laminate countertops, tired wood cabinets, and poor lighting. However, the homeowners saw the potential to turn this little kitchen into a stylish, modern, and efficient space.

By making a few strategic tweaks, they completely transformed the look and feel of the kitchen. They gave the cabinets a fresh coat of bright white paint, replaced the countertops, added new backsplash tile, installed new lighting fixtures, and incorporated clever storage solutions. Despite its petite footprint, this new kitchen packs a big punch when it comes to both form and function.

Bright White Painted Cabinets

One of the easiest ways to update the look of old kitchen cabinets is by painting them. The homeowners opted for a clean, bright white paint to give their dated wood cabinets a modern facelift. The white paint instantly made the small kitchen feel lighter, brighter, and more spacious. It also served as a crisp, neutral backdrop for the new countertops and backsplash tile.

Painting the existing cabinets was a budget-friendly alternative to installing brand new cabinetry. Thanks to the white paint, the old cabinets look fresh, renewed, and custom. The paint gives them a high-end, built-in appearance that belies their affordable makeover. White cabinetry is a classic, timeless choice that will never go out of style.

Quartz Countertops

In place of the previous laminate countertops, the homeowners installed beautiful new quartz countertops. Quartz offers the look of natural stone with increased durability. Unlike marble or granite, quartz does not need to be sealed and is resistant to scratches, heat, and stains. Given the high use a kitchen countertop sees, quartz was a practical choice for this space.

The homeowners selected a quartz with a crisp white background and subtle gray veining. This light color palette kept the small kitchen looking open and airy. The white quartz countertops complement the fresh white cabinets beautifully. Their sleek, contemporary appearance modernized the kitchen. The durable quartz will withstand years of use while retaining its like-new beauty.

Handmade Tile Backsplash

The new kitchen backsplash helps add pops of color, texture, and personality. The homeowners chose cheerful handmade ceramic tile in shades of avocado green, warm yellow, and bold tomato red. The handmade tiles have natural variations that give the backsplash depth and character. Their muted, retro color scheme injects fun without overwhelming the petite space.

The tile backsplash provides a creative contrast to the crisp white cabinets and countertops. The homeowners aligned the tiles in a classic staggered brick pattern. This layout highlights the charming irregularities of the handmade tiles. The backsplash protects the walls while also infusing artisanal style. It is truly one of the crowning details of this vibrant tiny kitchen.

Maximizing Storage in a Tiny Kitchen

One of the biggest challenges in a small kitchen is fitting in ample storage. This kitchen is quite constrained, so the homeowners got very creative with ways to stash everything needed for cooking. Here are some of the ingenious storage solutions they implemented:

  • Roll-Out Trays: Installing roll-out trays in the lower cabinets instantly doubled the storage capacity. The trays allow easy access to items in the back that would normally be forgotten.
  • Tray Dividers: Using small removable tray dividers optimized the organization of the cabinets. Food staples and cooking utensils have dedicated compartments.
  • Spice Drawers: Dedicated narrow drawers for spices kept them visible and easily accessible.
  • Pan Lid Organizer: A wall-mounted pan lid organizer freed up precious cabinet space.
  • Under Sink Storage: Every inch of the under sink area is used with a multitiered shelving system.
  • Floating Shelves: Wall-mounted floating shelves add storage for oils, spices, and decorative items without taking up counter space.

By getting creative with organization solutions, this tiny kitchen can hold far more than its size would suggest. The homeowners can now comfortably cook and prep meals despite the kitchen’s petite footprint.

Problems and Solutions in Tiny Kitchens

While tiny kitchens offer benefits like coziness and efficiency, they do come with unique challenges. Here are some common problems in small kitchen spaces and ingenious solutions:

Problem: Limited counter space

Solution: Add stacked storage, use wall-mounted shelving, install fold-down prep stations

Problem: Not enough room for kitchen table

Solution: Opt for a small bistro table, tall bar-height table, or fold-out wall table

Problem: Appliances take up too much room

Solution: Choose apartment-sized appliances, install combination appliance units

Problem: Nowhere to put trash/recycling bins

Solution: Use under-sink roll-out bins, install pull-out cabinet trash/recycling organizers

Problem: Cabinets and shelves fill up too quickly

Solution: Regularly evaluate contents and donate unused items, use vertical organizers

Problem: Difficulty prepping multiple dishes at once

Solution: Make use of all vertical and horizontal surfaces, have only key items out

Problem: Nowhere to store larger kitchen tools

Solution: Use wall-mounted racks or hanging pots/pan racks

With some creativity and careful organization, a tiny kitchen can be just as functional as a more spacious one. The key is making the most of every last inch!

Incorporating Plants in a Tiny Kitchen

One way to soften the look of a small kitchen and make it feel fresher is by incorporating plants. Introducing greenery is an affordable way to add color, oxygen, and warmth to kitchens of all sizes. Here are some tips for picking and arranging plants in tiny kitchen spaces:

  • Choose smaller plants like herbs, succulents, or air plants that won’t overpower the petite footprint.
  • Opt for low-maintenance plants that can thrive with minimal care. Great options include aloe, pothos, philodendron, and ZZ plant.
  • Use wall-mounted planters or hanging pots to display plants vertically and save counter space.
  • Place small potted plants in sunny windowsills or in a mini garden window box if available.
  • Line the windowsill with an array of tiny potted herb plants like thyme, basil, and oregano.
  • Install mounted rods or floating shelves on the walls to display a row of tiny potted succulents.
  • Use a magnetic strip to hold a series of mini air plant containers against the wall.

The pleasant greenery will make the kitchen feel fresh and lively without taking up valuable space needed for food storage and prep. With the right selections and creative displays, plants can flourish beautifully in tiny kitchens.

Clever Lighting Solutions

Poor lighting can make a small kitchen feel dark and gloomy. The homeowners took steps to maximize the lighting in this tiny space:

  • They painted the walls and ceiling a crisp bright white. This reflective paint amplifies the existing light.
  • They replaced the old fluorescent fixture with slim, modern LED under-cabinet lighting. This directed light illuminates the countertops beautifully.
  • Stylish new over-sink pendant lights provide ample task lighting for washing dishes.
  • Accent lighting strips attached under the upper cabinets cast a soft glow for evening ambiance.
  • A large mirror above the sink visually expands the room and reflects light.

Thanks to the thoughtful new lighting plan, this kitchen is bright, airy, and cheerful around the clock. The lighting transforms this compact footprint from a dark cramped box into an open, well-lit workspace.

Style Tips for Tiny Kitchens

Decorating a kitchen that is pint-sized presents unique styling challenges. Here are some helpful tips for adding style to a small kitchen space:

  • Stick with a minimalist, uncluttered look to prevent the room from feeling overstuffed.
  • Monochromatic color schemes with a pale neutral palette help rooms feel light and airy.
  • Open shelving reduces visual clutter compared to bulky cabinetry.
  • Glass doors on upper cabinets keep items visible but streamlined.
  • Use reflective materials like glass tile or metallic accents to open up the space.
  • Large patterned tiles can make rooms feel grander and more spacious.
  • Multi-purpose furniture like a storage bench or breakfast bar saves space.
  • Squeeze in a small bistro table and stools for a little dining area.
  • Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to decorative accents. A few impactful pieces look best.

With careful styling choices, a tiny kitchen can feel just as big on personality as more generously sized cooking spaces.

The Final Reveal

After living with an outdated cramped kitchen, the homeowners are absolutely thrilled with their new space. It exceeded their expectations in terms of aesthetics and efficiency. The kitchen now embodies a minimalist, modern style with the homeowners’ unique stamp.

While the footprint did not change, the kitchen feels radically different. The revamped layout, new surfaces, improved organization, and abundant lighting transformed the space. Thanks to innovative solutions, they were able to inject plenty of style despite the petite parameters. This kitchen may be tiny, but it is brimming with smart solutions, charm, and functionality.

The homeowners relish spending time cooking, relaxing, and entertaining in their new favorite room of the home. It proves that big things really can come in small packages. With the right approach, even the tiniest rented kitchen can be completely transformed into an inspiring space.

This clever and colorful makeover offers many valuable lessons for optimizing a small kitchen. Hopefully it sparked ideas and inspiration for your own tiny home cooking space!

Frequently Asked Questions About Tiny Kitchens

Here are answers to some common questions about designing and living with a tiny kitchen:

How small is considered a “tiny” kitchen?

Kitchens under 100 square feet are generally considered “tiny.” Very small kitchens may be as compact as 50 square feet.

What are some tips to make a tiny kitchen feel bigger?

Using light colors, open shelving, large tiles, and glass cabinet doors can visually expand a tiny kitchen. Good lighting and decluttering also helps.

What are some smart organizational ideas for a tiny kitchen?

Roll-out shelves, drawer dividers, vertical storage, multi-tiered countertop displays, and wall-mounted racks keep tiny kitchens organized.

What are the best appliances for small kitchen spaces?

Compact or apartment-sized appliances, countertop ovens, and microwave-and-oven combination units work well for tiny kitchens.

How can you fit a table into a small kitchen?

Space-saving options like a bistro table, bench seating, fold-down wall table, or tall seated counter can provide a spot for quick meals.

What about air quality and ventilation in a tiny kitchen?

Proper ventilation is essential. Range hoods, built-in fans, and opening windows help maintain air flow.

How can you make food prep easier in a tiny kitchen?

Organization is key. Have only the essentials out on the counters, and store other items efficiently so they are easy to access as needed.

What are some good lighting options for a small kitchen?

Under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights over key tasks areas, and ample natural light from windows keeps a tiny kitchen well-illuminated.


This clever New York kitchen makeover demonstrates that a tiny space can still be ultra-functional and beautiful. With creative solutions, any petite kitchen can be optimized for efficiency and style. This inspiring renovation featured space-saving storage, a mix of textures and colors, good lighting, and a minimalist decor approach – all great takeaways for designing your own delightful tiny kitchen.