25 Absolutely Beautiful Small Kitchens That Prove Size Doesn't Matter

Small space, big impact.

Updated 10/15/19

 Fantastic Frank

Style knows no boundaries. Whether you’re decorating a tent on a remote beach, an industrial loft, or the tiniest kitchen known to man, there’s always an opportunity to exert your own personal sense of style on a space. You may not love that there are only a few feet between your refrigerator door and the cabinets opposite it, but with some thoughtful use of color, pattern, and material, you can turn even the narrowest galley kitchen into a place you love to look at.

We’ve scoured the web to find the cream of the crop of small kitchens. Scroll below to see 25 style-savvy small kitchen ideas—we hope these inspire you.

01 of 25

Try Open Shelving

small kitchen

Fantastic Frank

This narrow kitchen is laid out like so many rental apartment kitchens we’ve seen before. Nixing closed cabinetry in favor of shelving opens the space up dramatically, while the wall art adds a punchy bit of personality.

02 of 25

Go Minimalist

small kitchen ideas

@ABKASHA

In this bright white modern kitchen, the designer used clean lines, a light palette, and simple, minimalist styling to create an airy, spacious feeling—despite the room’s small square footage. Since there’s not much countertop to speak of, the designer brought in a kitchen table, which can also be used for prep work.

03 of 25

Use Modern Cabinetry

white modern kitchen

 

ELIZABETH ROBERTS ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

There’s barely enough room to turn around in this tiny kitchen, but its designer did a wonderful job of preventing a claustrophobic feeling by using modern, clean cabinets and a white color palette.

04 of 25

Incorporate Luxe Materials

small kitchen

JULIA ROBBS

This kitchen may be petite, but luxe materials like black marble countertops and a high-end oven/stove, give it a fine jewelry effect. In narrow spaces like this, too much pattern or color can be overwhelming, so the designer opted for cream cabinetry and just a touch of pattern in a herringbone mat.

05 of 25

Decorate Thoughtfully

simple kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

 

This beautiful small kitchen has so many things to love: simple open shelves, a fuss-free hood, rustic wooden countertops, beautiful seafoam green cabinetry, and classic black-and-white tiled flooring. It’s a perfect example of how dreamy a small space can become with thoughtful consideration of details.

06 of 25

Go White

white kitchen

 

ELIZABETH ROBERTS ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Sensing a theme here? Clean white walls and cabinets are almost always a foolproof choice for small kitchens. A beautiful collection of cutting boards in this kitchen and freshly picked blooms add a little personal style to the simple look.

07 of 25

Play with Color

colorful kitchen

DZEK 

 

White is failsafe, but if you love color, don’t shy away from it. Design firm Dzek Dzek Dzek made a one-of-a-kind choice with these floating shelves, deep forest green cabinets, and speckled countertops.

08 of 25

Add In Pastels

small kitchen

ALYSSA ROSENHECK for A Beautiful Mess

 

Layers upon layers of pastel colors, sleek hardware, white marble counters, a well-loved area rug, and indoor plants make this bright kitchen remarkably unique and cheerful. Despite its awkward shape, it’s still a space we’d love to cook in. 

09 of 25

Fake It 'Til You Make It

small kitchen

@WHITNEYLEIGHMORRIS

 

Live in an apartment with laminate counters and dated appliances? As this beauty proves, there’s hope yet. The trick here is to remove your cabinet doors to create a feeling of openness (and effectively fake open shelving), then use pretty dishware and serving pieces to function as décor.

10 of 25

Let Architectural Details Shine

small kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

 

Sleek cabinetry and a monochrome palette give this European kitchen simple beauty, but the graphic, architectural details—like the accordion sconce and the paned window—take it to the next level.

11 of 25

Add Fun Accessories

small kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

Even the most basic space can feel full of personality with the addition of a few unique accessories. We love the futuristic chrome pendant, folk candelabra, and figurative linocut in this Scandinavian kitchen.

12 of 25

Head to IKEA

small kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

 

A cramped kitchen can be transformed without having to break the bank. Call on affordable brands like IKEA and shop for supplies at Home Depot to update your cabinets, shelves, and lighting. Then give everything a fresh coat of paint. Despite all of this kitchen's low-budget elements, the geometric runner gives it a designer finish.

13 of 25

Get Statement Lighting

small kitchen

BHDM DESIGN

 

Decorated by BHDM Design, this New York City kitchen is a little oasis. A bit of gray paint, a stylish ceiling fixture in the breakfast nook, and a smart vertical storage space gave this small galley kitchen a sophisticated update. 

14 of 25

Add Personality

small kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

 

This small kitchen has style in spades. The bright white cabinets and asymmetrical pendant lights had us at hello, but the interesting mix of a colorful striped runner, retro country-style furniture, and lived-in linen curtains pack in the personality.

15 of 25

Ditch the Hardware

small kitchen

@ABKASHA

 

Designed by French architecture firm A +B Kasha, this small and oddly shaped kitchen in an old Parisian building looks like it was originally a closet, but its designers installed sleek handle-less wooden cupboards and a classic hood to take it into the 21st century. 

16 of 25

Install Custom Cabinets

small kitchen

FANTASTIC FRANK

 

Make smart use of your limited space by installing custom cabinetry sized and shaped exactly to fit your kitchen tools and serving pieces. A short shelf houses everyday coffee mugs, while little cubbies provide shelter for mixing bowls and cake stands. With almost all the cabinetry housed beneath the counters and just the prettiest pieces on display, the space feels airy and clutter-free.

17 of 25

Take Cues from Architecture

small kitchen

JH INTERIOR DESIGN

 

Taking design cues from architecture is always a smart idea. We love the way the rustic wood paneled walls blend seamlessly into the floating shelves. The wooden furniture also does a nice job of reflecting the architecture, so if you’re working with a kitchen that blends right into the formal dining room, take note from the above. 

18 of 25

Add Mirrors

small kitchen

BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

 

Quite the romantic space, this petite kitchen looks like it was inspired by a Parisian patisserie. White marble cabinets, a magenta runner, blooming florals, and ladylike details give this galley kitchen gorgeous personality, while strategically placed mirrors make the small space feel larger.

19 of 25

Keep It Timeless

country kitchen

@AMYBARTLAM ; DESIGN: @JETTE_CREATIVE

 

Clean country accessories give this compact kitchen a farmhouse vibe, but the foundations of it—subway tile, granite counters, and white beadboard—are classic and timeless, should the owners—or future tenants—want to go in a different direction.

20 of 25

Be Strategic with Appliance Placement

small kitchen

ELIZABETH ROBERTS ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

The hoodless stovetop on the kitchen island is a genius use of space—and that pastel, vintage-inspired serveware might be the cutest collection ever. We love how it draws on the sleek light pink and white marble backsplash, while the navy cabinets add an edgier feel. 

21 of 25

Use Earthy Tones

small kitchen

BHDM DESIGN

 

This contemporary kitchen has something many smaller spaces don’t: warmth. We love how its designers extended the earthy-toned cabinetry into the kitchen stools and vases.

22 of 25

Hang Pans

small kitchen

@AMYBARTLAM ; DESIGN: @AMYSKLARDESIGN

 

Not only is hanging your pots and pans on the wall a solution for a lack of square footage, the trick also adds a graphic element to the surroundings. Don’t believe it if someone says you can’t make space for all your cookware in the kitchen. 

23 of 25

Mix It Up

swedish kitchen

@ABKASHA

 

A mix of traditional furniture and modern appliances gives this Swedish kitchen a healthy balance.

24 of 25

Go Industrial

industrial kitchen

ELIZABETH ROBERTS ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN

Hello, gorgeous subway tile, sexy industrial pendant light and stools, rustic exposed wood beams, and barely there floating shelves. We don’t believe we’ve seen a more enigmatic kitchen.

25 of 25

Update Your Appliances

small kitchen

BHDM DESIGN

This dated little kitchen was given a sophisticated new look with lacquered surfaces, light wooden cabinets, and brand-new appliances. It feels 100% East Hampton, although it’s situated in the heart of New York City. 

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