How to make a small kitchen spacious: 12 simple tricks

20 идей хранения на кухне, где, кажется, совершенно нет места

If you got a small kitchen, start “stretching” it at the planning stage. What are you willing to sacrifice for the additional kitchen space? A wall? A full table? A pair of burners or a window sill for growing geraniums?

Here are a dozen working tricks that, if they add square meters to the kitchen, at least help you find a place for an extra plate. And at the same time – they transform your attitude to tight spaces.

Sergeeva Elena

1. Use an open floor plan whenever possible.
The wisdom is quite obvious, but we are not afraid to be banal: the same furniture, built in spaces of different sizes, will look completely different. The fashionable open space layout is good especially in small apartments, where literally every centimeter of space can be loaded with several functions. The absence of partitions between the kitchen and the room allows you to arrange more furniture in the same volume and find space for an additional area – for example, a dining room.

Blokhina Ksenia

2. Fight for space under the window
Ignoring a seat at the windowsill in a small kitchen is an impermissible luxury. A breakfast counter or even a part of the kitchen line will perfectly fit under the window (and we remember that a sink with a view of the city or courtyard is not only a way to save electricity using daylight, but also a chic tool for meditation). At worst, just make open shelves here.


Example from photo: L-shaped kitchen layout with a sink by the window made it possible to comfortably fit in a tiny kitchen


Maria Cherkasova

Idea from the photo: in some old buildings under the window, instead of a radiator, there is a cold box for storing vegetables. It is just reasonable to use it to organize a storage system with swing doors (here) or drawers (frame above)

Lagom architectes

3. Replace the table with a bar counter
If there is not enough space in the kitchen, give up the dining area, replacing it with a light bar counter. Such a structure can be a separate element of the setting, or it can continue the working area or be independent (as in this project).

Lagom architectes

Advice: For a compact kitchen, it is best to choose a bar counter with a light, airy design that will not visually burden the space. If you need storage space inside, use half the depth of the rack to place the drawers (example in the photo), otherwise the bar will seem bulky.


Pictured: Benefit from a visually light bar support


Idea from the photo: if you make the bar countertop movable, you can freely dispose of the work surface of the kitchen countertop

Chris Pardo Design – Elemental Architecture

4. There are never too many wardrobes
Since we decided to use every centimeter of space wisely, we should not neglect the opportunity to place an additional cabinet or shelf. Built-in shelving under the bar counter or cabinets with a height under the ceiling will help to hide a lot of things. There are even special basement drawers that allow you to use the space under kitchen cabinets, right next to the floor.


In the photo: pay attention to the drawer under the oven – it can be made to the full height from the floor, using the usable space

Official showroom Nolte Moscow

Basement drawer: Why do you need it


5. Hide the technique
Built-in appliances significantly optimize the kitchen space – for example, it allows you to spread the hob and oven to more convenient places, use a two-burner stove, hide the oven, dishwasher and refrigerator in a tall cabinet-case. Built-in appliances take up a little less space, but most importantly, they behave rather modestly: they do not violate the external integrity of the headset, they hide under the table top and behind cabinet doors, without interfering with the design.

Umbrella Factory (UMBRELLA)

6. Design narrow cabinets
Headsets with a typical section pitch are not always suitable for a small kitchen. In this case, you can act outside the box: design narrow cabinets.

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Between narrow appliances and narrow cabinets, it is wiser to choose a full-size appliance. The fact is that the range of narrow equipment is much smaller than the standard one. And the price is even higher than that of conventional devices. So if you decide to save space due to the width of the cabinets, first select the right “filling” for the kitchen. The width of typical narrow household appliances is 45 cm, but they are almost never built-in.

Yorktowne Cabinetry

7. Use custom doors
Unusual doors will also help save space in a small kitchen: sliding up, sideways (in the manner of a wardrobe) or folding like an accordion. Their cost is usually higher than that of swing doors, but they allow more efficient use of space and give more freedom in planning.

8. Engage blind spots
The most economical (in terms of space) layout is a corner kitchen, but only if you use the space in the corner wisely. We recommend taking a closer look at the pictures in the catalog of the kitchen program you like. Modern kitchens offer a wide range of technological solutions that make it easy to remove any item from a large corner drawer. Swing-out shelves can roll out by themselves when the door is opened, carousel shelves do not have “far corners”. And such drawers, as in the photo, generally use every centimeter of the allotted space.

Mazzie Design

9. Air shelves
Open shelves have a lot of advantages: they take up little space and can have any configuration. They are easy to fill in a non-standard opening or an empty corner. In addition, open shelves look lighter than wall cabinets and visually make the kitchen more spacious. The advantages of ergonomics are also obvious: just reach out to take what you need.

Lauren Rubin Architecture

It is convenient to store items that are constantly needed on the shelves: spices, dishes, cutlery. There is only one drawback of open shelves, but quite significant – they will have to be washed more often than ordinary cabinets. Items that stand on open shelves for a long time inevitably become greasy, so it is better to store rarely used items in cabinets.

Vicky Hellmann

10. Don’t forget about roof rails
Railing is another controversial element of kitchen furnishings. When we finally got used to using hooks for their intended purpose, designers completely stopped hanging kitchen utensils on the wall. While aesthetics are struggling with expediency, we recommend that you consider this option. In a small kitchen, where there is little space for cabinets and in cabinets, hanging some of the equipment on an apron is a very tempting move. Removing a ladle from the hook or detaching a knife from a magnet is much more convenient than climbing into boxes. The main thing is not to overdo it. Alas, a kitchen overly hung with objects and accessories will seem visually overloaded.

olga busorgina

11. Increase your visual volume
The space of the kitchen can be “stretched” not only physically, but also visually, making it lighter, lighter and more voluminous. Light colors of walls and furniture, glossy and reflective surfaces, a minimum of decorative details are preferred.

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The illumination of the most remote corners, any openings and niches is highly recommended – all this makes the kitchen more spacious in the eyes of visitors and gives it a modern, fashionable and beautiful look.

Question: Favorable color for the kitchen – what is it

Irina Krasheninnikova

12. Backlight – protector of little ones
In a small kitchen, lighting is as important as air: small individual lamps built into the elements of kitchen structures will make the room more spacious and cozy, and work in the kitchen will be more comfortable and safer. It can be spotlights, large chandeliers, LED lighting and even duralight.

Ideas for a small kitchen (30588 photos)

This is archival material. First published 2015, updated 2019.

About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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