The 21 Best Small Kitchen Ideas of All Time
Good news, all you small-space dwellers: There are lots of ways you can increase storage or workable room in your kitchen. We scoured the internet to find the most ingenious small kitchen hacks out there.
From unique cabinetry solutions to little tricks, these 21 ideas will help you make the most of the space you do have. You might even find hidden square footage you didn’t know was there.
1. Hang a pegboard.
Your walls can hold more than you think they can. (Think: pots, pans, and even canisters that can hold utensils.) Instead of hanging a couple of more limiting shelves, try a pegboard, which adds very flexible storage space that can be adjusted over time as your needs change.
See more: Alison, Liz & Nicole’s Shared Space at Apartment Therapy
2. Use the tops of your cabinets.
The tops of your cabinets offer prime real estate for storage. Way up there, you can stash special-occasion serving platters and even extra pantry supplies that you don’t need all that frequently. Elsie at A Beautiful Mess used wire bins to corral her supplies without making the space feel too cluttered.
See more: Home Tour: Elsie’s Kitchen at A Beautiful Mess
3. Downsize your furniture.
Yes, you can obviously get a smaller-than-usual breakfast table. We also love this idea: The kitchen features a half-moon table instead of a full, round one, which would have wasted space. Putting the straight side against the wall was a smart use of space here.
Take the tour: A Scandinavian Design Strategy for Beating the Winter Blues at Apartment Therapy
4. Add a nesting table to your cabinets.
We’re kind of obsessed with this space-saving solution from the folks at South Shore Cabinetry. This built-in nesting table easily tucks away into cabinets when not in use, and pulls out to act as a bonus chopping surface when needed.
See more kitchens: Gallery at South Shore Cabinetry
5. Add shelving under your island countertop.
Look closely at this peninsula, featured on House & Home: Do you see that little shelf under the countertop? It’s a great way to add a lit bit of extra storage for small dishes, magazines, or cookbooks.
Get more ideas: 20 Small Kitchens That Prove Size Doesn’t Matter at House & Home
6. Put the space above your fridge to good use.
When remodeling her kitchen, blogger Bev Weidner, from Bev Cooks, took the time to plan a custom storage solution for the (typically unused) space over the fridge. Her design has room for open storage (to house pots, pans, and the like), as well as dividers to keep cutting boards in order.
See the before and after: The Great Weidner Kitchen Reveal of 2012 at Bev Cooks
7. Add cubbies around your kitchen entrance.
Designer and architect Lauren Rubin added custom cubbies around a kitchen’s door frame. They’re the ideal place to house items like vases, cookbooks, and more. We love the practical storage here — and the fact that it looks very museum-like.
8. Use your windows as storage.
You might not think of windows as a storage space, but this Chicago apartment proves otherwise. The designer who lives there made the bold decision to hang her collection of pots and pans in front of her kitchen window. Thanks to a uniform collection and pop-y orange handles, it ends up turning into a fun focal point that is smart storage, too.
Take the tour: Lauren’s Bold Chicago Apartment Bursting With DIY Projects at Apartment Therapy
9. Add free-standing shelves.
Take a note from professional restaurant kitchens and chefs (the people who know food best, of course!) and work a metal shelf into your room for added spots to stash everything from pots and pans to appliances. You can’t beat the extra square footage they pack in, and they add just a touch of an industrial vibe.
Read more: The Renter-Friendly Secret Weapon That Solved My Small Kitchen Storage Woes at Apartment Therapy
10. Hang things over your stove.
Another often-overlooked spot that adds extra storage to a snug kitchen? The empty space above your stove. If your kitchen doesn’t have a hood, you can put that wall space (and more) to use with help from a shelf or pot rail. Here, the blogger behind Tidbits uses both to find room for her cooking utensils and larger cookware.
See the transformation: Complete Before and After Home Tour at Tidbits
11. Build a holder for large platters.
Finding storage space for larger platters and cutting boards can be tricky. Why not give them a spot to shine? Meaghan of Oliver and Rust made this DIY plate rack and hung it on the side of a cabinet, which would have been wasted space anyway.
Get the steps: Plate Rack Kitchen DIY at Oliver and Rust
12. Hang a magnetic knife rack.
When countertop space is at a premium, every square inch counts. Squeeze out a bit more room by taking your cutlery to the walls with a magnetic knife strip. We like that this kitchen, featured on The Everygirl, has the knife rack running vertically, proving that you don’t need a ton of free wall space if you’re willing to get creative.
See more: Kate Davison’s San Francisco Home Tour at The Everygirl
13. Install toekick drawers.
If you have the opportunity to do a full-blown renovation on your kitchen, we insist you consider adding toekick drawers, no matter how small (or big!) your space is. Seen here in the renovated kitchen of Shawn, the blogger beind I Wash You Dry, they’re a great way to transform a previously unused spot into a drawer just slim enough to hold a short stack of pans, linens, or pantry items.
Get more ideas: Kitchen Hacks to Organize and Make Your Kitchen Flow BetterTK at I Wash You Dry
14. Use the sides of your cabinets.
If you have cabinets that don’t butt up against a wall, you’ve got a few square feet of bonus storage space. It’s true! You can hang a pot rail, add shelves, and more.
15. Build a pantry between the studs.
If you don’t have room to hang shelves (because they’ll protrude out too far and take over your walking space), try adding shelves in the wall between the studs. The owners of this tiny house use their shallow shelves as a little tea and spice station.
See more: Christopher & Merete’s Truly Tiny Home on the Range at Apartment Therapy
16. Use the bottoms of your cabinets.
Just when you think your cabinets are totally full and they can’t possibly hold another thing, consider the undersides of them! You can add hooks to the bottoms to hold mugs and small tools. Or use magnetic strips to make a floating spice rack.
See the rest of this kitchen: A Baker’s “Hip Grandma” Small Studio Apartment in Chicago at Apartment Therapy
17. And the inside of all your doors.
Whether we’re talking about your cabinet doors or your pantry door, there is space to be used on the inside of them. Hang up measuring cups, make a bulletin board, add a shelf, etc.
Get more ideas: 6 Smart Ways to Make Use of Your Cabinet Doors
18. Add shelves in all the places.
Put shelf risers in your cabinets, hang shelves on any available wall space, and add little shelves to your counter to free up space.
Tour this space: Melissa and Sonny’s Countryside Sanctuary Among the Rolling Hills at Apartment Therapy
19. Steal space from neighboring rooms.
So your kitchen is only five square feet? Try stealing a few extra inches from an adjacent room.
Tour the rest of the space: Danielle’s Bright & Multi-Functional Top Floor Apartment at Apartment Therapy
20. Store stuff between the fridge and the wall.
If you have space between your fridge and the wall, you can slide in a folding step stool. Or try this tutorial from Savannah and Mallory of Classy Clutter to turn those inches of wasted space into a pantry.
21. Turn your stovetop into extra counter space.
During dinner prep, your stovetop is just wasted space. That’s why we love this idea to build burner covers out of cutting boards. Instant bonus counters!
How do you make space in a small kitchen?