Small Changes, Big Impact
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The Ultimate Guide

Introduction

10 Unique and Fresh Small Kitchen Design Ideas

  • 01 of 11

    Small on Space, Big on Style

    English Cottage Tudor Small Kitchen Idea
    Emily Henderson / Style By Emily Henderson

    Small kitchens were practically made for remodeling. You can pour all of your creative energy into designing a small kitchen because your dollar goes farther. With so many unique designs available, you will have no shortage of ideas for your own remodel.

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  • 02 of 11

    Nautical

    For her gracious Pacific Northwest house, with sweeping views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, Melissa Michaels retained her kitchen's basic footprint but demolished the rest. Making this into an open plan kitchen instantly expanded the small space.

    Any self-respecting Seattle home needs a nautical theme, and this one definitely has it. But Melissa's touches are gentle, not literal: a porthole-shaped window, interior shiplap siding, aged brass fixtures, and arched doorways.

    Small...MORE Kitchen Remodel from The Inspired Room

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  • 03 of 11

    Faded Elegance

    Wondering how to transform a classic one-wall small kitchen into an object of beauty? Designer and lover of all things shabby-chic, blogger Flea Market Trixie continued her home's faded-elegant country style into her kitchen when she remodeled.

    Dull white melamine cabinets are turned into white Shaker-style wood cabinets with faux raised legs. Closed cabinets are transformed into airy, welcoming open shelving, the better to display flea market china, glassware and other must-have treasures....MORE Replacing the ordinary ceiling light with a graceful chandelier is the crowning touch on this small kitchen wrought elegant!

    Kitchen Reveal from Flea Market Trixie

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  • 04 of 11

    Island Paradise

    Chris and Julia began with a time-worn, nondescript and quite weary small kitchen in their Idaho home. Like any U-shaped kitchen owners, they faced the challenge of a space defined by three unmovable borders. To make things worse, a massive nonagon-sided (yes, that's nine-sided) kitchen island dominated the area, sucking away precious floor space. Plus, the island's overhangs jutted into the room, monopolizing even more area. But they had a solution:

    First, they freed up space by...MORE recessing the refrigerator into the cabinets. Secret: counter-depth fridges don't so much minimize appliance size as they do maximize cabinet size, all while cleverly disguising this by creating a single, continuous line the entire length of the wall.

    But the game-changer was to ditch the hulking island and replace it with a gorgeous freestanding black island with a butcher-block top. Four-sided and moderately sized, this new island not only provides them with tons more space, it's a beautiful addition that matches the cabinets.

    I daho House Tour from Chris Loves Julia

     

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  • 05 of 11

    Cottage Industry

    Is this a conventional L-shaped kitchen or an English Tudor-style cottage kitchen? It is a little of both. Emily Henderson did begin with the classic L-shape that so many homes have, but she transformed it into a charming light-filled space with a cozy, cottage English feel.

    Brass is back, but not the brass of the 1980s. To begin with, Emily judiciously used brass instead of spreading it everywhere. Second: Emily's brass is unlacquered, so it develops a deep, antique patina over time. She...MORE admits that it is tough to maintain but well worth it. 

    What makes this small kitchen soar is the white-dominant paint color scheme. White opens up everything and reflects the maximum amount of light. 

    Kitchen and Dining Room Reveal from Emily Henderson

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  • 06 of 11

    Replacement Therapy

    Imagine your delight as a cook in this lovingly remodeled corridor-style kitchen. Foodie and chef Kelsey of the popular blog Little Bits Of feels this joy every time she steps into her kitchen, with its high, sweeping ceilings, generous counter space, and large farmhouse (apron) sink.

    Of course, it wasn't always like this. Designed by Kelsey, executed by a local contractor, this small kitchen remodel came together in less than five weeks (but with much dust and effort!). 

    The coup de grace is...MORE the breakfast bar, formerly an interior wall. By removing this wall–which served no structural purpose–and replacing it with the bar and stools, she introduced ​so many positives to her new kitchen. Chiefly, her kitchen is flooded with light on both ends. Also, not just the kitchen but the whole house is open and flowing. And it's so functional, adding quick seating room. Onlookers can alight on a stool with a glass of wine and chat with the chef while she is cooking.

    Before and After Kitchen Remodel from Little Bits Of

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  • 07 of 11

    Thinking Inside the Box

    When you have a small kitchen, it pays to be creative when it comes to rearranging the kitchen footprint. Food blogger Lindsay at Pinch of Yum had a problem: the stove was shoved in the dark recesses of her box-like small kitchen.

    Her solution? Rearrange. She took the rather unique step of adding a breakfast bar and moving cooking activities there. This freed up tons of space for more cabinets. And now she has a place where she can socialize with girlfriends or husband Bjork as she cooks up some...MORE of her culinary delights.

    Kitchen Remodel Final Reveal from Pinch of Yum

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  • 08 of 11

    Gorgeous Galley

    Galley-style kitchens are, by definition, small. In fact, they are so small that lifestyle blogger Tania reports that she felt "embarrassed" to have such a tiny kitchen in a large, 2,800 square foot house.

    The most effective solution for galley kitchens is usually to remove a wall. One wall is typically an exterior wall, which cannot for removed. So it's the other wall that comes down–if the house structure permits.

    What to do with that empty space? Many homeowners just leave it open....MORE Tania added a peninsula, giving her a place to park the dishwasher and sink, as well as providing more countertops and storage.

    Galley Kitchen Remodel from Run to Radiance

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  • 09 of 11

    Bold and Brassy

    With its brass highlights and three-tone color scheme, Emily Clark's freshly remodeled small kitchen calls to mind a lovely French brasserie kitchen at some indeterminate mid-point in the last century. Aged copper-green painted cabinets make the end of the room pop with delightful color, working in perfect harmony with the black honed granite countertops and glowing gold touches.

    Green and White Kitchen Renovation from Emily A. Clark

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  • 10 of 11

    Beautifully Blue

    With its dated, dismal oak cabinets, Cori's small kitchen was no place of joy. So she did the natural thing: she painted the cabinets. In an age when white color schemes rule the kitchen, blue might be seen as risky, unique.

    But look where creativity and courage can take you! Now Cori's kitchen–its teal cabinets working well with the rich, natural wood butcher block counters–is a bright place of happiness and joy.

    DIY Kitchen Renovation​ on a Budget from Hey Let's Make Stuff

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  • 11 of 11

    Tile Delight

    The secret is out: tile is the cure for so many small kitchen design woes.

    When you are tasked with designing a remodel for a local shelter home, as Kate Riley of Centsational Style was, you are faced with limitations. First limitation: the tiny U-shaped footprint.

    But Kate knew that tile–ultra-colorful and shimmering–works wonders in small spaces. She purchased inexpensive clearance ceramic tile at her local Home Depot. In shades of blue, green and cream, it's a tile that "changes colors...MORE throughout the day, more colorful in bright light and subdued in indirect light," as Kate reports.

    Shelter Kitchen Remodel from Centsational Style