How to Give Your Small Kitchen a Functional Face-Lift

  • 01 of 11

    11 Inspiring Small Kitchen Designs

    Small Open Kitchen
    CaSA Colombo

    If your pint-sized kitchen is cramping your style, listen up. These ideas will show you how to transform it into a beautiful and functional space you'll love using.

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  • 02 of 11

    Create a Logical Layout

    Stainless steel small kitchen

    Rethink every square inch: A well-organized layout that addresses your cooking style and kitchen needs will make your space super user-friendly.

    Every item in this single-wall kitchen is assigned a logical spot that makes tasks such as cooking, cleaning and making coffee easier. A good example is the small prep station on the right side of the oven at the end of the counter.

    First off, it's equipped with all the tools needed for slicing and chopping food like knives and cutting boards. Second, it's smartly placed next to the stovetop, so freshly diced ingredients can go directly from the chopping block to the pan.

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  • 03 of 11

    Use Every Square Inch

    Pull-out kitchen island
    Bunker Workshop

    Don't have room for a small kitchen table? Consider a piece of transforming furniture. It will help you make every inch of your kitchen count by making the space that you have work harder. Good examples include this table that folds out from the wall, or the one shared above that pulls out from the kitchen island. Each one creates a spot to eat meals that conveniently disappears after you remove the dishes.

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  • 04 of 11

    Ditch Your Kitchen Cabinets

    Pegboard open shelving
    CaSA - Colombo and Serboli Architecture

    Open kitchen storage is a win-win: Cabinets add a lot of bulk to a small kitchen, which can make you feel pinched for space. Removing their doors, or replacing them with shelving will make your kitchen feel open and airy. Another good to know, both solutions will let you display your cute dishes.

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  • 05 of 11

    Drip Dry Space Saver

    Built-in Dish Rack
    Bunker Workshop

    Consider a dish rack that creates storage space: These smart white shelves double as a place to let things drip dry. While they were custom-built, IKEA makes a dish draining rack that costs less than $30.

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  • 06 of 11

    Lighten up Your Walls

    Glossy white kitchen
    Small House Bliss

    Brighten up your dark kitchen: A sunlight-deprived space isn’t very inviting. But you can illuminate things by adding task lighting over areas where you prep and cook food. Also, reflective surfaces in pale shades, like the subway tile shared here, will amplify both natural and artificial light sources.

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  • 07 of 11

    Create Bonus Kitchen Counter Space

    Custom-built butcher block sink cover
    Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

    Maximize your workspace: Wish your kitchen had more counter space? A custom-built butcher block sink cover will create the room you crave. Need a budget-friendly solution? An over the sink cutting board will whip up extra space when needed without busting your bank account.

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  • 08 of 11

    Maximize Every Inch of Wall Space

    IKEA kitchen

    Put those nooks and crannies to work: This small kitchen is packed with plenty of useful storage. A patch of space above the countertop is used to store forks, spoons, and knives. Built-in cubby units next to the entrance create room for everyday dishes. Lastly, the glass front cabinets over the doorway are reserved for special occasion dinnerware.

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  • 09 of 11

    Go off the Rails

    IKEA's Grundtal kitchen series
    Terra Marie Interiors

    Transform a blank wall: If you're looking for a flexible storage solution for a broad range of kitchen tools, you can't go wrong with a stainless steel rail system. It's what professional chefs use to organize their cooking spaces. The small kitchen shared here uses pieces from IKEA's Grundtal Kitchen Series to create a budget-friendly custom layout.

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  • 10 of 11

    Think Outside the Kitchen

    Open-concept kitchen

    Expand your kitchen's footprint: Got extra space in the next room? Put it to work. A wall on the opposite side of this small kitchen was used to create additional cabinet and counter space.

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  • 11 of 11

    Fakes That Are Both Durable and Beautiful

    Peel-and-stick kitchen backsplash

    You can fake pretty: Don't have the money or time to install a new tile backsplash? Consider a peel and stick option like this one by Smart Tile. It looks like the real thing for the fraction of the cost. Plus, peel and stick options like this one are insanely easy to install and clean. For the most bang for your buck, look for options that are both heat and humidity resistant.

    Hate your countertop? Here are five ways you can transform it using a kit. We even found options that create a real stone or beautiful concrete surface for less than $125.