best small kitchen ideas

Eric Piasecki/Simon Upton

Being short on square footage should never inhibit your kitchen’s design potential. Whether you’re working with hundreds of square feet or just a dozen or two, getting your cooking space into tip-top shape—both aesthetically and functionally—is just a few creative ideas away from being a reality. Below, see how these gorgeous homes used small kitchen layouts to their advantage, with bold cabinetry, double-duty accents, sleek lighting solutions, and more.

Read on for 60 striking kitchen designs that are small on space but big on style.

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Reflective Surfaces

Small yet striking, this Jean Louis Deniot-designed Miami kitchen features custom stainless steel cabinetry that has been laser-printed with an abstract pattern, reflecting the natural light while creating a sense of movement.

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Streamlined Silhouettes

This snug bachelor pad kitchen features big design moments, with a sleek Carrara marble countertop, brass barstools by CB2, and pendants by Tom Dixon, all of which make a statement while taking up minimal visual real estate.

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Small Statement Backsplash

While a full backsplash may overwhelm a petite kitchen space, Amanda Seyfried’s weekend retreat proves that a little goes a long way. The tiles by Heath Ceramics draw the eye in, while leaving plenty of white space to keep the area bright.

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Multi-Functional Peninsula

Making the most of your countertops is key to a functional kitchen, and the cook space in Joan Smalls’s Miami penthouse offers a place to cook, wash, and dine all in one.

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Mirrored Backsplash

The mirrored tiles of John McClain’s kitchen backsplash reflect light while adding depth, making up for the small square footage and minimal natural light.

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Disappearing Kitchen

In this futuristic Greenwich Village apartment, a sleek gray kitchen features several large door panels, which are fully integrated into the walls and millwork to conceal the small space when needed.

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Pots Hung High

Event designer Bronson van Wyck’s Manhattan kitchen features an Urban Archaeology pot rack hanging over a salvaged pine island, putting the typically underutilized space to good use.

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Compact Design

Just because your kitchen space is small, doesn’t mean you can’t have all of the amenities. This compact design by Jennifer Jones features storage, cooking surfaces, and a statement backsplash.

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Sunny Skylights

In a minimalist—and monochrome—West Village apartment, the petite kitchen feels light and bright with its skylights and streamlined design.

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Smart Lighting

Pastel blue cabinetry, white marble countertops, and bright recessed lighting keeps the small kitchen in Bill Wackermann’s apartment feeling spacious and clean.

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Moody Blues

An open-concept kitchen in this Canadian lake house features moody blue cabinetry that extends up to the ceiling, giving the illusion of a larger space while drawing the eye to the statement shades.

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Black and White Kitchen

In a PR maven’s glamorous New York City apartment, Sam Still artwork hangs on a wall covered in a Madeline Weinrib wallpaper. The antique birthing chair is from New Orleans and the custom kitchen island has a Carrara marble top.

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Pool House Kitchen

Designer Sarah Wittenbraker opted for glossy blue cabinetry, toile wallpaper, and cement tile for a pool house kitchen.

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City Kitchen With A Country Feel

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Impactful Color

The kitchen countertops are poured concrete, and the doors, window frames and custom cabinetry are all painted in a custom color that helps the single row of countertops make a bit impact in this Greek home.

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Modern Galley Kitchen

In the galley kitchen of a bohemian family home, the kitchen’s range and microwave are by Wolf, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero, the custom hood is by Vent-a-Hood and the countertop is Calacatta Gold marble. Hans Wegner chairs, purchased at auction, accompany a table by Eero Saarinen from Design Within Reach. The vintage pendant light is by Max Ingrand for FontanaArte.

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Dark And Sleek

In a Monaco apartment abundant with 70s whimsy, the small kitchen table and chairs are by Jeanneret. The oven, cooktop and hood are by Aster Cucine. Meanwhile, sunlight floods into the space, making it appear larger than it really is.

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Dark Yet Inviting

The kitchen in this neutral NYC apartment features cabinets lacquered in a custom shade by Donald Kaufman Color, proving dark shades don’t always accentuate a room’s small size.

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Bright and Airy

Fashion stylist-turned-decorator Estee Stanley transformed the kitchen in her Mediterranean-style Los Angeles home into a bright and airy space. The design includes a fresh white palette with stainless steel touches. To complete the look, Stanley opted for a Viking hood, a Waterworks faucet, and Ikea barstools.

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Neutral, Modern Kitchen

A modern kitchen by architect Achille Salvagni crafted for a storied Roman palazzo, combines a brass light fixture and a Venetian portrait from the 1780s.

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Sophisticated Charcoal

The Chelsea kitchen of Etsy’s COO features dark charcoal cabinetry, which adds contrast to the white walls and marble countertop.

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Rustic Connecticut Kitchen

For a kitchen in a Connecticut family home, design duo Vivian Lee and James Macgillivray collaborated with a local millworker Wayne Tobin. The appliances in the kitchen are from Miele, GE, LG, and Fisher & Paykel. Most of the light fixtures in the space are from Schoolhouse Electric, with the exception of the Minka ceiling fans.

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Charming Paris Kitchen

In a charming Paris apartment, an open-concept kitchen and dining area is outfitted with 17th-century French chairs, a Napoleon III chandelier, along with a backsplash featuring 18th-century Portuguese tile. The custom French oak boiseries and cabinets are in the style of the 18th century. The kitchen’s flooring is antique oak and the fireplace is original to the apartment.

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A Modern Finish

A 1930s Connecticut weekend house gets a modern makeover; In the kitchen, the island has a top of honed Carrara marble, the wall tiles are by Waterworks, the stove is Viking, and the stools are by York Street Studio; the 19th-century Windsor chair is a family heirloom, and the 1920s English pendants are from BK Antiques.

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Modern Kitchen

In this Manhattan home, high above the city, the kitchen’s lacquer cabinetry is custom made for a clean, modern aesthetic. It is echoed in style by the backsplash and countertop, made of Calacatta marble. The range is by Viking, the refrigerator is by Sub-Zero and the print is by Ellsworth Kelly.

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Colorful Corner

Regency chairs with silk cushions surround a Saarinen table tucked away in a cheery corner of the kitchen in this colorful apartment. The walls are lined with vintage silk paper, the artworks are by, from left, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, James Nares, Steven Klein (top), and Mark Shaw, and the television is by Samsung.

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Amber Kitchen

Pops of orange infuses energy into a small kitchen design scheme. In an effort to add more light to the space, the ceiling is covered in a textured orange wallpaper. The combination of a light backsplash, paired with dark wood cabinetry and countertops, open up the area.

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Deep Purple Wall

A deep purple accent wall adds interest to a small, white kitchen design in Sweden.

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