Tiny Kitchen Ideas

We read a lot about the “tiny house” movement – some are as small as 225 square feet.  While these miniscule homes are certainly not for everyone, many people are living in rather small quarters for one reason or another – empty nesters who have decided to downsize, first time buyers on a tight budget, and city dwellers in studio apartments.  These properties can be quite charming, but they generally come with a very little kitchen.

Ideas for making the most of a really small kitchen abound. While it is definitely hard to pare down and edit our possessions, one can think about it in a good way – how many sets of dishes do we really need? We offer the following tips for making the most of a tight kitchen space.

*Make every inch of space livable and your small kitchen can still be big on style and efficiency.

Notice the floor to ceiling cabinetry including a drawer above the refrigerator, the shallow depth of the counter, and the tall open shelving.  (Mark McCauley for HGTV)

Notice the floor to ceiling cabinetry including a drawer above the refrigerator, the shallow depth of the counter, and the tall open shelving.  (Mark McCauley for HGTV)

* Efficiency is key – don’t have anything in your kitchen that is purely decorative

* If possible, remove a wall between the kitchen and another living space. Even though some wall space may be sacrificed, this will make the space appear larger and keep it airy and light.

* Open shelving can also make the space appear larger and will help to keep you organized and allow for greater ease in finding things.

We love this small kitchen designed by Kathryn Ireland and seen on HGTV.com - the open shelving and the bright and colorful Fiesta Ware add a major dose of charm to this light-filled space. (Edward Addeo, photographer)

We love this small kitchen designed by Kathryn Ireland and seen on HGTV.com - the open shelving and the bright and colorful Fiesta Ware add a major dose of charm to this light-filled space. (Edward Addeo, photographer)

* A good way to let in the light and make the space appear to be so much larger is by installing antique mirrored glass on cabinet doors or by using a mirrored backsplash.

* Go high with upper cabinets for extra storage.

* Even a small kitchen may have room for an island to provide much needed storage or seating – it can become an “everything” space.

* Speaking of storage, consider a built-in banquette.  Banquettes are great because they can fit into small corners or under windows.  They provide extra seating because more people can squeeze around the table, and they can provide additional storage underneath.

We love this stylish nook. This built-in banquette really packs in a ton of storage in a small space with its under-the -bench drawers and cabinetry above. (Ross Chapel for HGTV)

We love this stylish nook. This built-in banquette really packs in a ton of storage in a small space with its under-the -bench drawers and cabinetry above. (Ross Chapel for HGTV)

* Look for scaled-down or innovative appliances if need be – things like two-burner stoves or refrigerator and freezer drawers.  Pull out pantry shelves can fit into a tiny sliver of space.

As always in design go for function! While a small kitchen may not be able to accommodate everything a larger one can (things like office or homework space, laundry duties, or lounge space), it can still be workable and beautiful to boot. And, think of all the positives.  You may be able to splurge on higher-end finishes because you won’t need as much, and think of all the steps you can save when working in a small kitchen!