Remodeling a small kitchen can seem like a daunting task, but with careful planning and design, big improvements can be made without breaking the bank. Here are some tips for maximizing your small kitchen remodel.

Planning Your Layout

When working with a small kitchen, it’s all about optimization. Every inch of space needs to be utilized efficiently. Consider the following to make the most of your layout:

-Evaluate traffic flow – Avoid collisions between the refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Create clear pathways with enough room to open doors and drawers.

-Look for wasted space – Fill awkward corners with narrow pull-out cabinets, spice racks, or open shelving.

-Combine appliances – Install a wall oven next to the stove cooktop to consolidate appliances but still allow for an oven.

-Add windows -Bring in more natural light. Place windows over the sink or cooktop.

-Open sightlines – Knock down non-load bearing walls to open the kitchen to living areas. Remove upper cabinets for a more open feel.

Storage Solutions

Lack of storage is one of the biggest complaints in small kitchens. Try these solutions:

-Optimize cabinets – Use pull-out shelves and lazy susans to access items in deep cabinets. Install rollout trays under upper cabinets.

-Hide appliances – Keep small appliances like the toaster oven and microwave behind closed cabinet doors when not in use.

-Add drawers – Replace lower cabinets with large drawers for pots and pans. Consider full-extension drawer slides.

-Think vertical – Use wall space for tall, shallow cabinets. Add open shelving up to the ceiling.

-Multitask furniture – End of kitchen islands can double as a breakfast bar and dining table.

Materials to Consider

Selecting the right materials for your remodel can make the space appear larger:

-Mirrored backsplashes – Reflect light and create the illusion of more room.

-Glass cabinet doors – Transparent doors keep things visible but tidy.

-Light countertops – Granite, quartz, or solid surface in light colors open up the space.

-Multi-use islands – Opt for an island on casters that doubles as extra counter space and a breakfast nook.

-Skylights – Add skylights to the ceiling to make the kitchen brighter.

Style Ideas

Just because the kitchen is small doesn’t mean it has to look boring. Consider these fun styles:

-Cottage – White cabinets, beadboard, and vintage accents give a cozy cottage feel.

-Modern – Sleek cabinets, metal accents, and concrete counters create a stylish, urban look.

-Rustic – Butcher block counters, exposed brick, and farmhouse sinks are hallmarks of rustic style.

-Coastal – Paint cabinets a coastal blue and add reclaimed wood open shelves for a beachy vibe.

-Retro – Colorful retro appliances paired with checkerboard tile create a fun, nostalgic style.

With some creativity and smart solutions, your small kitchen can be totally transformed. Focus on making every inch count through optimized storage, multi-functional elements, and bright, stylish finishes. You’ll be amazed at what a difference your small kitchen remodel can make.

Frequently Asked Questions About Small Kitchen Remodels

How much does it cost to remodel a small kitchen?

The average cost to remodel a small kitchen is $15,000-$25,000. The price can vary based on the extent of the remodel, choice of materials, and if you change the layout. Generally, small kitchen remodels aim to maximize efficiency without significant layout changes to keep costs down.

What are the best ways to make a small kitchen appear larger?

Some good strategies to visually enlarge a small kitchen include using light colors on walls and cabinets, adding glass cabinet doors, knocking down non-load bearing walls, installing mirrors or a glass tile backsplash, and incorporating multifunctional island carts.

What storage solutions work best for small kitchens?

Look for ways to add storage vertically with tall, shallow cabinets. Also utilize pull-out shelves, lazy susans in corner cabinets, rollout trays under cabinets, and drawers for pots and pans. Removing upper cabinets entirely can also make the space feel more open.

How important is lighting in a small kitchen remodel?

Lighting is extremely important to make a small space feel bright and airy. Incorporate ample task lighting, under-cabinet lighting, pendant lights over islands and peninsulas, and natural light through skylights or windows. Avoid overhead lighting which can create shadows in a small space.

Should I avoid certain materials for a small kitchen?

Dark countertops and cabinets can make a small kitchen feel closed in. Opt instead for light countertops like white Carrara marble or quartz and painted or white cabinets. Glossy surfaces can also highlight the small space, so satin and matte finishes are preferable.

What design elements can make a small kitchen look more modern?

For a contemporary feel, use minimalist cabinetry with integrated handles, metal accents, and concrete or quartz counters. Install a sleek chimney-style range hood and prep sink. Add a pop of color with bright, glossy appliances and modern pendant lighting. Open shelving and glass cabinet doors keep things streamlined.

What renovations add the most value in a small kitchen?

Boosting functionality with improved layouts, storage solutions, and new, high-end appliances adds significant value. Updating countertops and cabinetry with quality materials also recoups costs. Curb appeal improvements like new exterior finishes help maximize returns.


Remodeling a small kitchen requires careful planning, creative storage solutions, and visually enlarging design strategies. Focusing on maximizing every inch of space and adding multifunctional elements can make your new kitchen feel much larger. Quality materials, ample lighting and an efficient, optimized layout are keys to success. With the right approach, your small kitchen remodel can result in a fresh, stylish, and highly functional new space.