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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
White is all right, 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.
When opting for an unusual shade, play it safe with a tight color story in your accessories to keep the space from looking too oddball.
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.
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), and use pretty dishware and serving pieces to function as décor.
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.
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.
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 it a fresh coat of paint. Despite all of its low-budget elements, perhaps its costliest item, a geometric runner gives it a designer finish.
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, a smart vertical storage space, gave this small galley kitchen a sophisticated update.
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, a retro country-style furniture, and lived-in linen curtains pack in the personality.
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 wooden handle-less wooden cupboards and a classic hood to take it into the 21st century.
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 and 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.
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.
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 a gorgeous personality while strategically placed mirrors make the small space feel larger.
Clean country accessories give this compact kitchen an eclectic pastoral 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.
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.
This contemporary kitchen has something many smaller spaces don’t: warmth. We love how its designers extended the earthy tones cabinetry into the kitchen stools and vases.
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.
A mix of traditional furniture and modern appliances gives this Swedish kitchen a healthy balance.
Hello, gorgeous subway tiles, 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.
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.
Up next, simple styling tricks that make small spaces feel bigger.
This post was originally published on February 12, 2015, and has since been updated by Hadley Mendelsohn.