Maximize Small Kitchen: 5 Design Tips

Over the years, the size of American homes has increased, but so has the average homeowner’s need for space. According to a survey, one in four American families outgrows its living space in only two years. No matter what the size of your home, you may feel short of space due to changes in your lifestyle, needs, and expectations.

Statistics show that the median size of a single-family home in the country was 2,273 square feet in 2021. Overall, average kitchens are about 161 square feet in these homes, which is quite a small proportion of the available space.

As a homeowner, you may want a larger kitchen, but there’s hardly an option for expansion in the available square footage. However, you can get creative with the kitchen design to maximize what you have.

Here are a few clever ways to enhance a small kitchen area and create a spacious ambiance:

Consider Your Needs

Your unique needs should drive your home’s design, whether creating a kitchen from scratch or taking up a remodeling project. These may relate to your family size and lifestyle. For example, families with kids, culinary enthusiasts, and avid hosts require a larger cooking space.

Working with a seasoned custom kitchen designer is a good idea because these professionals keep your needs at the center of the project. Instead of taking a cookie-cutter approach to design and functionality, they dig deep into client expectations, needs, and budgets while recommending layouts.

According to Artistic Kitchen, your cooking space should replicate your unique needs. A custom approach is the best option for small spaces because it can help create a perfect look and feel regardless of the constraints.

Choose a Distinct Color Scheme

Research shows that brighter surfaces make rooms appear more spacious. The right color scheme can do the same for a small kitchen. You need to think cohesively when it comes to picking the color palette for your cooking space. Consider all the elements, from the walls to flooring, cabinets, and curtains.

White or neutral colors are ideal for the walls as they give the area a clean and cheery appearance. An accent wall can break the monotony without creating a tight look. You can add a pop of bold hues with bright blue, red, or green cabinetry. Geometric patterned tiles for the backsplash can bring the element of drama. 

Maximize Storage

The biggest problem with a small kitchen is that it is prone to mess during meal prepping and cooking. Space constraints can overwhelm you if you are an avid chef who loves stocking up on ingredients and cooking tools. You may not have enough space to accommodate them, no matter how hard you try to fit everything in.

Maximizing storage is the best solution. You can do it with proper planning for cabinet placements. For example, a full-height cabinet along the empty wall gives you ample room for dry ingredients and cutlery storage. Overhead cabinets are great for stacking up things you don’t use every day.

Open shelves along the island are minimalist and convenient. You can even install hooks to hang mugs and small kitchen tools. With this idea, these items of daily use look decorative and are easy to reach. 

Rethink Countertops

Countertops on kitchen islands are more than a place for meal prep and dining. They also make a key element of kitchen design. A white marble countertop creates an illusion of space for a kitchen with dark wooden floors and wall tile. Alternatively, you can opt for a gray quartz countertop to enhance white walls and cabinets.

The placement of the kitchen island also makes a difference for a small space. A floating countertop can create additional space along the wall. You can install cabinets under the countertop on both sides of the kitchen island for extra storage. 

Fake a Pantry Space

The popularity of kitchen pantries surged amid the pandemic, with 70% of Americans preparing meals at home. The trend is here to stay because people love the convenience of storing ingredients for their culinary adventures.

However, space constraints in your kitchen can dampen your enthusiasm for having an in-house pantry. Consider carving off a corner or using an existing anteroom for a pantry if you have the extra space. Conversely, you can fake one with some practical organization ideas like installing shelves or placing baskets inside the cabinets. 

The Bottom Line

A small kitchen shouldn’t keep you from buying exotic ingredients, experimenting with new recipes, or having warm conversations with your loved ones. You can try these design tips and ideas to maximize the available area and create an appealing cooking space. 

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