48 Decorating Ideas For Small Kitchens So You Won’t Feel Claustrophobic Again

48 Decorating Ideas For Small Kitchens So You Won’t Feel Claustrophobic Again


Your kitchen is the heart of your home.

You’re going to spend a lot of time in it.

So there’s no doubt that it should look pretty.

That said, it’s quite difficult to work with a small, oddly-shaped kitchen.

Sure, you can consider a full kitchen remodel. But if your budget doesn’t allow one, don’t stress out.

Here are 48 decorating ideas for small kitchens that’ll help you make the most of what you’ve got!


Decorate Your Tiny Kitchen With These Ideas


1. Warm Up The Whites


The plain ol’ white does the trick for small spaces.

And if you layer white on white, that’s like the HOLY GRAIL of small space decoration.

You can also go with a reflective backsplash.

For example, notice how the pearl iridescent subway tile bounces light in this tiny kitchen.

Doesn’t it make the room feel bigger?

Read More: Summer Decor: 56 Ways To Create Vacation Vibes In Your Home


2. Natural Light And White Brightens Narrow Space


A lick of white paints goes a long way in any classic home.

But in order to brighten up a small and narrow space, light is also part of the puzzle.

  • Specifically, you want to create a layout that’s friendly to natural light.
  • Seriously, just open those windows and see how it makes the kitchen feel bigger instantly.


3. Pops Of Gold With All-White


If the all-white kitchen is too bland for you, go with a white kitchen that has pops of gold and terra-cotta on the travertine countertops.

And for that extra wow factor, you can add a golden rug and earthy plant stand.

It’ll refresh the whole white look while keeping the lightness and space-creating magic of white.


4. Traditional Black And White With A Twist



I can’t decide which one I love more:

The black and white rug on the floor.

Or the wall blackboard-cum-organization solution.

Both are just awesome.

And the common thing is their ability to distract you from noticing that this is not the biggest of the kitchens out there.


5. Pretty With Pink To Sweeten The Room


A small kitchen with pink accents


Again, we have a white kitchen.

But now, it has hints of pink in different places.

The pink pots, wall sign, and chandelier all add character to this kitchen without going overboard.

And this character would be missing entirely if it were an all-white room.


6. Go For Multi-Colored Cabinets


Multi-colored cabinets in a small kitchen



It’s clear that white is a great color for making small kitchens seem bigger.

But to avoid looking too basic, add other bold colors.

For example, red, yellow and blue are three great colors that’ll breathe life into your kitchen.

Take a hint from this kitchen’s cabinet door.

At first glance, it seems like it’s been painted at random.

But still, it has enough contrast in the space for a balanced look.


7. Two-Toned Walls


Here we have another kitchen that’s been painted multiple colors.

This time it’s black and yellow.

Both these colors bring a classic charm to this airy space.

But the best part is how these two colors coordinate with the unexpected green counter.

So amazing!


8. Light Up With Pretty Shades


Blush pink accents in a kitchen



If you don’t want to go with white, choose other light shades.

For example, this small kitchen has a dark shade on the upper half.

But the pale preey shade, specifically, blush pink, lights up everything.

It’s a contrasting color that also works well with the gray countertops and backsplash.

The rule of thumb here is to use more light colors.


9. Get Smart With Floating Shelves


Floating shelving in well-lit kitchen


Expand your small kitchen visually by installing floating shelves.

Some people rely too much on windows.

And that’s not always bad.

But if you stretch floating shelves while making sure that enough natural light is coming, it’ll be a far more practical solution for your kitchen.


10. Decorate Open Shelving


Help a dark and small scheme look fabulous by decorating open shelving.

Upper cabinets are good if you have a large kitchen.

For everyone else, there’s open shelving.

Also, double down on your open shelves by avoiding clutter.

Mix a few dishes, drinkware, small vases and framed art without doing it too much.

And you’ll have an airy look that looks pretty as well.


11. Open Shelving And Wallpapered Ceilings


Open shelving and wallpapered ceilings small kitchen ideas


Look how opting for open shelves instead of cabinets opens up this tiny space.

The green shelves add a charm to the space while the vintage Italian wallcovering looks great.

And don’t forget the wall frame: Isn’t that just so cute?


12. Small Kitchen Design Idea With Open Shelves


Green open shelves in a kitchen


This London house kitchen would’ve looked bad without the thoughtful design.

The first important thing is the use of open shelves.

Then, there’s a thoughtful use of green.

Finally, the highly organized countertops make it look clutter-free.

Overall, a good tiny kitchen to take ideas from!


13. Hang From The Ceiling


A small white kitchen with hanging pots



Most small kitchens have something in common:

They’re low on cupboard space.

So if you have a similar kitchen, one of the best modern small kitchen ideas is to add storage with rods secured to the ceiling.

For example, this designer kitchen has a brass rod for hanging large pots.

And the result is a super chic kitchen with plenty of storage for big items.


14. Use Your Green Thumb


A plant in a tiny kitchen



Notice how good that plant looks on this cute Smeg fridge.

Like this small kitchen, you can create a happier place by bringing plants.

Plus, if there’s light, this setup will brighten up the space.

There’s nothing you’d lose if you brought a couple of plants in your kitchen.

In fact, I recommend bringing a plant to each one of your rooms.


15. Mixed Materials


A kitchen designed using locally sourced stone and timber


If you have a small space, how about the hanging shelves above the sink?

Or maybe, some locally sourced stone and timber?

I know it’s hard to find these items.

But if you can, they’ll create a cozy cooking space.


16. Create Consistency


Same paint color and wallpaper used to create consistency


Want to make a striking statement that brightens up your space at the same time?

Use the same items like paint color, wallpaper or wood paneling throughout the kitchen.

From the wall to the ceiling, lighter colors and smaller prints will keep you from overwhelming the space.


17. Get Bold With Backsplash


Backplash used to make a statement



The pendant lights, white cabinets and countertops, and golden details are amazing in this small kitchen.

But what really stands out is the backsplash.

In this particular case, the vertical design of the backsplash tricks the eye and creates the illusion of height.

That, in turn, makes your kitchen look far bigger than it actually is.

And if you want to make the room seem wider, lay the tiles horizontally.

Also, don’t underestimate the color: You want to create a striking balance.


18. Add An Area Rug


A rug placed under a dining table and chairs


You know what wouldn’t take any wall or counter space and make the room cluttered?

A good ol’ rug!

It gives a dose of color and pattern to any space.

And in the case of a small kitchen, it makes a statement and makes the kitchen seem larger.

Tip: Choose a large area rug to fill the middle of the kitchen.


19. Add A Runner


Modern boho kitchen with a colorful runner



Now, this idea is great for long and narrow galley kitchens.

Take a hint from this kitchen for example.

The white, black, purple and gray colors look fun in this runner.

And the white marble backsplash and the matte black tiles give a great contrast.

I also love the flowers on the countertop.

Copy the whole scheme if you want.


20. Incorporate Accessories


Leaning frames and dishware on display


A few accessories are good in any room.

And a small kitchen is no exception.

For a simple small kitchen decorating idea, you can display leaning frames and dishware, as this kitchen does.

Plus, the warm brass of the cabinet hardware and faucet give a good finish.


21. Choose Bold Textiles


Bold Roman shade in a small kitchen


Notice how this room has a focal point in the form of colorful kitchen window treatments.

The bold Roman shade is the center of attention in this small kitchen.

And at the same time, the room uses another layer of color in the form of blue-gray cabinets and concrete countertops.

And for extra shine, there’s nothing better than a polished copper pendant.


22. Play With Pattern


Blue patterned wallpaper in a white kitchen


It’s no secret that most small kitchen decorating ideas have a classic white space.

And this idea is no exception.

In the sea of white, the blue patterned wallpaper looks amazing.

And I can’t help but notice how the vintage area rugs add a country charm to this otherwise modern space.

The best part?

Both these small kitchen ideas are inexpensive. So use them if you’re on a budget.


23. A Miniature Breakfast Nook


One of the best small kitchen ideas is to create a dining nook using Marcel Breuer–style chairs


How about duck egg for wall color?

It’ll make your small apartment kitchen light and airy.

And I think I’m becoming obsessed with this tiny gallery wall.

Also, don’t miss the small table from Amazon and Marcel Breuer–style chairs if you want to create a similar petite breakfast nook.


24. Woven Barstools In An Open Concept Kitchen


An open concept kitchen idea



If you’re doing a kitchen remodel and you don’t have much space, consider an open concept.

It’ll make your small kitchen seem larger.

And if you make a kitchen similar to this one, you’ll need to contrast the modern cabinetry and island.

For that, use organic elements, like these woven barstools.


25. Bar Cart Or Island?


Using a bar cart instead of an island is a great small kitchen ideas


A large island can be a big no-no in a compact kitchen.

So instead of small kitchen island ideas, you can choose a smaller bar cart.

If you can’t find a good bar cart, a decorative table will also work as an extra storage solution (or maybe workspace).


26. Add Task Lighting


A timeless white kitchen



How about a pretty sconce?

Of course, you won’t mind all the task lighting you can get in the kitchen.

So why not install sconces over the countertop and sink area like this kitchen.

Apart from being a practical lighting solution, they’ll add shiny style even when they’re off.


27. Get Some Statement Lighting


Kitchen with a statement-making lighting fixture


It’s hard to pay attention to the size of a kitchen when you have a statement-making lighting fixture.

In addition to the amazing piece of statement lighting, I love the mixed metals and olive green paint in this kitchen.


28. Add A Skirt


Small kitchen with a skirt to hide area under the cabinete


Here’s a common problem many small kitchens have:

There are no closed cabinets under the kitchen sink.

So how do you hide out different items like wastebaskets and cleaning supplies then?

The solution to tucking away these unsightly things is using a fabric skirt, as this kitchen does.

This is probably one of the best very small kitchen ideas on a budget. So give it a go for your kitchen.


29. Channel A Ship


A small cream kitchen with ship-inspired hardware


If you can’t plan a trip to shores, bring it to your kitchen using retro ship-inspired hardware.

The cream colors and gold fixtures add an extra charm to this kitchen.

Plus, the other design details complement the size of the space perfectly.


30. Opt For Glass Doors


A small black galley kitchen with glass doors


If you can’t have an open plan, don’t worry.

You can create the illusion of a bigger space using tall interior glass doors, as this kitchen does.

I’ve been advocating all-white interior designs throughout the article.

And I still think that most decorating ideas for small kitchens should have all-white or at least lighter ineriors.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace darker spaces.

In fact, the black lacquer paint here is the living proof of that.


31. Pare Down


Clutter-free kitchen



What’s the point in having 36 bowls on your shelves?

It only adds to the clutter.

Instead, try minimalism in your kitchen.

The texture will pop this way, and you’ll be surprised how better your kitchen will look overall.


32. Repurpose Furniture For Storage


Small kitchen with some extra storage


Normally, you’d want to buy a new piece of furniture when you run out of storage space.

But before you do that, think about using an old dresser or armoire for this purpose.

If you don’t already have old furniture, visit flea markets or garage sales.

For example, this Edwardian plaster cabinet displays different plates, glasses and serveware.

Apart from the storage solution, it gives this modest California cottage the royal treatment with antique gilded pieces.


33. Create A Pull-Out Pantry


Small kitchen with pull out pantry



Open shelving above the sink is a great idea for small kitchens.

But if you’re really short on storage, you’ll want to add extra shelves.

That can make the whole kitchen look cluttered.

Instead, go for a pull-out pantry.

For example, this pantry uses the awkward nook next to the refrigerator and hides unsightly stuff behind a chalkboard door.


34. DIY Kitchen Open Space Look


Open shelving combined with the natural texture of wood


Again, we have a thoughtful use of open shelving.

But this time it’s been combined with the natural texture of wood.

The blue wall blends in nicely with the white kitchen.

And the wall frame acts as the final piece of the puzzle.


35. Splashing A Bit Of Wallpaper Color


All-white kitchen with green floral wallpaper


This all-white kitchen wouldn’t have looked too bad itself.

But the green floral wallpaper adds a whole dimension to it.

Notice how the wallpaper doesn’t have any over-the-top patterns.

That’s why it blends in nicely.

And that foldable table would be the perfect piece of furniture in any petite kitchen.


36. Perfect Message Board Placement For Busy Families


Books stacked on open shelves in a tiny kitchen


This white kitchen is nice.

I love how they’ve stacked the books and used open shelving for decorating and storage.

But the main center of attention is the message board here.

It immediately draws the eye and doesn’t let you notice that it’s a small kitchen.


37. Added Mirrors To Make The Kitchen Larger


Added Mirrors To Make The Kitchen Larger


I love this gray kitchen.

I particularly love how they’ve combined gray with the textural countertops.

The vintage-looking lamp in the corner is also great.

But what really draws the eye is the mirror above the sink.

It just grabs your attention and doesn’t let you notice that you’re standing in a smaller space.


38. Painting With A Personal Touch


Something written on a small kitchen’s cabinets


The dark cabinets coordinate nicely with the otherwise white kitchen.

But what stands out is the personal touch of this tiny kitchen.

I love how they’ve personalized the small kitchen cabinets with different writings.

And then there’s different colorful jars to increase the personal touch.


39. Choose Space-Enhancing Flooring To Trick The Eye


Large tile in a small kitchen


This room combines gray with white in a great way.

But it tackles a common kitchen problem: flooring.

Normal kitchen flooring ideas will consider smaller tiles, but that can enclose the space and detract the eye from the tile.

Instead, go with a large tile that works in smaller as well as larger kitchens. You can extend this apartment decor idea to your living room as well.

Want an idea for stone flooring type and kitchen tile? Go with wood effect porcelain.


40. Love Bold Tiles? Keep Them To The Floor


Bold tiles on a kitchen floor


This white kitchen looks fresh overall.

But anyone who loves patterns can tell you that the center of attention is the floor.

Specifically, you want a pattern that creates lines: That’ll draw the eye across the kitchen and help make the space feel larger.

Also, you want to limit the color palette of the tile to increase this effect.


41. Create A Visual Trick When You Replace Wall Cabinets


Lights and photo gallery in a kitchen


This is not really a small kitchen per se.

But I mentioned it because it gives clever lighting ideas for small kitchens.

The lights with adjustable heads above the open shelves draw the eye towards them.

(The good thing about these lights is they double as task lamps.)

Then, there’s small kitchen designs photo gallery to echo the effect.

You can go with LED strips under cabinets or downlights.

But if you want to make a design statement, copy the linear trick kitchen decor ideas.


42. Try Fold-Away Shelving


Fold-away shelving in a kitchen


If you want ample open-air storage for everyday essentials, try fold-away shelves in your tiny kitchen.

Apart from being a great storage solution, they tuck with ease.

That means you’ll have an unrestricted workspace in your small room.


43. Purchase A Cabinet Depth Refrigerator


Cabinet depth refrigerator in a kitchen


If you haven’t got a fridge already, try a cabinet depth refrigerator: It’ll have a great impact on your small kitchen design.

I know they can be expensive, but you’ll get the most bang for your buck especially if you’re working with tight parameters.


44. Add Vertical Elements


Stripe placement in a kitchen


Another great way to add visual polish is by using strategic stripe placement in your kitchen.

The vertical shiplap planks visually raise the roof and add height to this narrow galley kitchen.

If you can’t find shiplap, millwork or wallpaper will do the same trick in your kitchen design.


45. Install A Statement-Making Light Fixture


A modern chandelier


Now, you don’t have to buy an expensive light fixture for this idea.

Instead, you can browse flea markets or online listings for a statement-making chandelier or oversized pendant that doesn’t break the bank.

If you want to earn plenty of compliments, a larger-than-life light fixture is the way.


46. Skip The Hardware


Kitchen cabinets without the hardware


Skip all the cabinet hardware: That’ll keep your modern kitchen free from visual clutter.

Without the knobs and pulls, the cabinets of this kitchen look amazing.

And the best part is you can do the same at home for free.


47. Install Floor-To-Ceiling Tile


White subway tile in a kitchen


Small spaces welcome statement-making features.

And a classic white subway tile that extends well beyond your backsplash fits the bill.

The floor-to-ceiling tile not only makes the kitchen a head-turner, but the horizontally laid tiles make the room wider as well.


48. Mirror The Walls


Kitchen with mirrored walls


When you mirror the walls, the view outside becomes the focal point.

If you have a similar sweeping view outside your kitchen walls, honestly no one would even notice how small the kitchen is.


Three Most Common Small-Kitchen Complaints


1. Clutter




Lots of dishes in a kitchen sink




Modern white kitchen clean interior design



If you think you always have more appliances, more cooking tools, and more dishes in your kitchen, you might be adding to the clutter.

The clutter might be due to a lack of storage space. But don’t think that a few more storage options will do the trick – you have to strategically simplify and declutter your kitchen.

  1. Sift through your cabinets and drawers and donate anything you don’t need.
  2. After clearing the drawers and cabinets, clear the counters to make a clutter-free kitchen.


2. Lack Of Counter Space




Different appliances, clean dishes and utensils on kitchen counter




A clean, clutter-free countertop


Using countertops as storage space is a common cause of clutter in small kitchens.

I know you want to leave your cereal and bread on the counter for easy access. But that overcrowds the kitchen.

So avoid placing too much stuff on the counters.


3. A Dark Kitchen




A dark kitchen that can make some people feel claustrophobic




A kitchen painted in light colors



In a few cases, dark colors or (a few hints of them like dark cabinets) can work in a kitchen. I’ll also admit that that above dark kitchen can look beautiful to some people. But overall, if you want to brighten up your small kitchen and make it feel bigger, prefer lighter shades.

White color is the ultimate option for small kitchens. But if it looks too basic, you can bring hints of gold, pink or black in an all-white kitchen. And if you have a vibrant personality, bring multi-colored cabinets, like bright and blue, to add a pop of color. But during all this, your small kitchen should have white as the base that will make it feel bigger.


Decorating Ideas For Small Kitchens: The Verdict


If you want to decorate your small kitchen, stick with lighter colors, specifically, white. You can bring in shades of gold, purple, or black. But white should be the canvass in a small kitchen.

Then, you can bring different types of lighting. For example, you may use under-cabinet lighting to brighten the work area.

If you’re starting your kitchen from scratch, go for a U-shape kitchen layout. Regarded as the best layout design for a small kitchen, the main idea here is to use every inch of space to your advantage.

You can distract the eye by choosing wallpaper, an area rug, or open windows.

And last but not least, you want to opt for open shelving and decorate it thoughtfully using plants, dishware, books, etc. (While avoiding clutter at all costs.)

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