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Making the Most of a Tiny Kitchen

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Sep 12, 2013 9:11 AM
Kitchen Dollhouse

Photo by shershe

Sometimes your kitchen can feel so claustrophobic, it's like cooking in a dollhouse.

The kitchen is one of the most high-functioning, high-traffic rooms in any house. Or, it should be – but it can be difficult to use a kitchen to its full potential when it’s abysmally small. A tiny kitchen can feel claustrophobic and be a terror when trying to cook, clean and entertain. If your kitchen is less-than large, don’t worry! Below are some tips to help make your tiny kitchen more useful, effective and even look and feel bigger.


Having furniture in a tiny kitchen is almost impossible, but hey, everyone needs to eat dinner somewhere. Here are some ideas to help bake your cake, and have a place to eat it too.

  • Have a higher kitchen table with stools as seating. When not in use, the stools can be pushed under the table to create more space.
  • If you aren’t privy to stools, buy chairs without arms, as you can fit more of them around a small table.
  • Have an island that can double as a table, and use stools that can push under the island when not in use. Under the island you can have more storage for kitchen essentials and gadgets that aren’t in use.
Kitchen Island

Photo by Wendi Dunlap

This island has room to sit, and the stools can be pushed underneath when not in use.


If your kitchen is small it probably has minimal storage space. To make the most of your space, a little creativity goes a long way. First, be sure that you are using all your surfaces.

The Walls: Instead of hanging a picture on the wall, hang open shelving. Put glassware or other small appliances or cutlery on the shelves. Open shelving makes a kitchen look more spacious too. You can also hang a pegboard for your tools or even use a magnetic strip to support knives.

The Ceiling: Yes, you can even use your ceiling for storage. Hang your pots and pans on an overhead rack on your ceiling to give you more space in the cabinets. As a bonus, your kitchen will look really fancy!

Also be sure to store less frequently used items outside of the kitchen. Even though you don’t have enough storage spaces in your kitchen, you might have spare closet space elsewhere. Put the blender, toaster, wok or other bulky kitchen items you don’t use daily in a hallway closet or in your basement to create room for what you really need.

Organized Pantry

Photo by Pieter Pieterse

How extreme you take your organization is up to you.


When you don’t have enough closets, drawers or cabinets to hide your stuff, you need to make what’s left out look stylish and integrate it into your décor.

  • Use decorative containers to store everyday essentials such as flour, sugar, beans, and tea bags. Leave them on the counter or stacked inside open shelving.
  • You can display a matching set of glassware or other dishes on your open shelving.
  • Put utensils or larger cooking tools (spatulas, whisks, wooden spoons, etc.) in a large open container for decoration.


In a society whose buzzword is “supersize,” the idea of having to downsize isn’t too appealing. However, if your kitchen is petit, smaller electrical appliances are the way to go. There are many refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers on the market that are narrower than their full-size counterparts, and will fit better in your kitchen. They will provide storage and a smaller electric bill!

Simple Tricks

There are also some easy ways to trick the eye into thinking a small kitchen looks larger.

  • Decorate with light colors and neutrals; a lighter color palate will brighten your small room and make it look and feel like a larger space.
  • Different types of lighting – and lots of it – will make your room seem more spacious.
  • Try adding mirrors to your kitchen; the reflection gives the illusion of double the space.
  • Using glass as a design element enhances lightning in a room, creating a big effect.

Knocking out clutter will also open up your kitchen. Make sure the kitchen is tidy and everything is in its place – this will make the kitchen a more enjoyable room to inhabit as well as creating more space.

Less is More

The smaller your kitchen, the less space you have for stuff, so get rid of the excess! Do you actually use that redi flo pump more than once a year? Keep only the essentials and items you regularly use, and don’t keep doubles of the same item. (Do you really need five spatulas and three cheese graters?) Less stuff means more breathing room, and a in a tiny kitchen that’s exactly what you need.

So, when faced with the challenge of maximizing the efficiency of a tiny kitchen, keep these key ideas in mind:

  • Take advantage of sensible furniture
  • All your surfaces can be storage
  • You can make your storage stylish
  • Use smaller appliances
  • Open up the space with lighting and mirrors
  • Ditch the clutter
  • Less is more

Bearing these tips in mind, enjoy making your kitchen a place for great company and cuisine!

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