50 Great Ideas for Small Kitchens

malaysia kitchen renovation

Top Design Tips for the Kitchen

What makes the kitchen such an important place of the home is mainly that this is the location where you want to have a good and comfortable meal at a certain time of the day.

Ambiance for the Kitchen

To say the least, the ambiance of the kitchen is extremely important. This means that you need to create an atmosphere which is conducive for a few main reasons which are:

  • Cooking
  • Dining
  • Hanging out

Those are the main reasons for the use of a kitchen in a home. The most time you spend in the kitchen would be to cook and to have a meal. At other times, you will sit around the kitchen whether it is with your family members or with a group of friends just chilling over a glass of wine or just having a normal conversation. As such, the design of the kitchen space must obviously be catered for such instances. Here are some top design tips.

Lighting and reflection

Bright lights might not work all the time but ample lighting would be good. According to Tom Sharjis, the award-winning interior designer from Croatia, a lot of people forget that lighting in the kitchen is not just about the dining area but the island and the cooking place too. There must be ample light so that you know what you are cooking and what you are presenting. The process is simple. You need proper lighting at the stove which is why this is always located near the window. After cooking, you want to do the dressing and presentation of the food. You will then do this at the island (usually behind the stove). Hanging lights will be fine but ensure that you are using white lights for this. And then there is the dining area. Yellow and warm lighting is great as you want to tone down the reflections a bit when you dine.

Ventilation and Air Control

You MUST NOT compromise on ventilation for the kitchen. Look at top brands like TEKA when you buy an air vent that will channel all the heat and smoke out of the kitchen. The reason is simple. You will only change this once every few years. As much as possible, look for one that can be concealed within your kitchen cabinet and that is not too protruding. If the design jives with your kitchen and it is a reputable brand, then it would be good enough.

Cooking Place

The same concept must be applied here. You want to use a built-in stove which is installed onto the kitchen table. If your cooking area uses marble, then find a brand with this type of motif. You would have no plans to change the stove every few months which means you must invest in a good one and use it for years. The cooking place should be near the window so that you can have natural light during the day.

Island and Utensils

The island in the middle of your kitchen will be the most eye-catching area. Besides being the place to dress your food, it is also used for dining (usually breakfast or short time snacks). Where possible, create a large space for this so that you can put items and then use it for meals even. Meanwhile, the utensils like knives, scoops and ladders can be placed here as well.

Overall Outlook

When designing your kitchen, you need to think of the big picture. Do you want a classical English-Home type of kitchen or a more modern, minimalistic design? Take note that you are looking to create your kitchen to be the place where you will normally sit together as a family or a group of friends. As such, your kitchen should:

  • Reflect the family’s identity – Everyone must come to an agreement to align with a certain design. If everyone likes a more classical outlook, then design it to be such. The last thing you need is to have someone who does not go with the flow here.
  • Furniture which is consistent – If you are using modern furniture, then your stove, air vents and such should all have the same design. If you are going for more Moorish and Classical outlook, the look for those with these motifs.
  • Ergonomic – Ensure that you got ample space to move about in your kitchen. Place the fridge in the right place so that you do not have to move very far when you need to get something while cooking. Nothing should be placed on its own (besides the island). The idea is to ensure that everyone can move around and get things down without much obstruction.
  • Safe – Besides the living room, the kitchen is one other place where you will feel safe. This applies to everyone in the home. You want to come here, sit around and just enjoy each other’s company without a care in the world and to wind down for the day.

The kitchen is an essential part of the home which brings out the best of what your house could be. The right ambiance and the outlook will give you all the best reasons to hang out at the kitchen for as long as you could. Whether you go abstract or simplistic, the most important factor is it must be welcoming enough for you as you spend a long time here, having a meal or just a chat with the people in the home. Here are some great ideas.

Squeaky Clean

In small kitchens, when you use acrylic in your furniture and fixtures, it makes the room look more spacious. It does not cut the line of sight here while white color expands the room as well.

Be creative with cabinets

Old and standard looking kitchen cabinets can be boring. Find a new look with creative designs. The walls are wasted if there no cabinets there. Find something interesting and mount them there. They can double-up as decoration too.

Go boxy

This is where you want to create an organized and neat environment space in the kitchen. Perfect for small spaces, it would be ideal to maximize the space including the island counter that can be a dining space too.

Move the island

This is meant to be done literally. The island is good but if you can move it away when you do not need it to free up space which improves efficiency too.

White Spaces

White color is a great move as it ‘enlarges’ the room and the surrounding space but it might not be the color for everyone. If that is the case, go for off-white fittings. You can use various shades of white not only for the walls but for your kitchen cabinets and furniture too.

Big Sized Items

With a small room, you do not want to create too much space. Use large fixtures where you can and you get a more elegant ambiance.

Passion colors

Perhaps you would like to break-away from the usual minimalist design and opt for something more abstract and contrasted. Don’t overdo this though. A black and red combination would be very nice.

Go Cottage

A gallery kitchen will work wonders for a small kitchen. Just post everything onto the wall and then clear up space for a walkway and that would just be charming enough.

Minimalist is Good

A popular choice among modern homes, you can easily go minimalism with your small kitchen. Use simple fixtures that work with pastel colors and sharp lines.

Heavy Metal

Observing the use of white (and off-white) motif in the small kitchen, combining it with lots of metal will disrupt the boredom. This does not only mean silver as you can use all types of metal colors like gold too.

Built-in Work Spaces

Not every kitchen utensil need to be standalone. Use built-in equipment as much as possible. The stove, the oven and even the chopping board can be built-in to the drawers. Other ideas include garbage cans and even chairs.

Open the Windows

You will always have a segment of the kitchen facing the window. Avoid heavy colored curtains and let the sunshine in. Besides making the room look bigger, it also has an elegance touch to it.

Functional and modern

Sometimes, a room for a single person should just be functional. But that does not mean you compromise on the style. While the cooking space is meant for cooking, you can create simple spaces for your own use.

Opening the Ground

If you can design the floor of the kitchen to join with some parts of the fixtures, it looks like one large room. It does not necessarily be the same material but color schemes would do just fine.

Storing Creatively

There are many ways to store your things in the kitchen and you need to be creative about this. One of the modern ways (in the modern and small kitchen) is to use vertical storage spaces. Besides saving space, it keeps your stuff organized as well.

Go Rustic

This is if you are a fan of the classic looks. It will surely make the room look bigger (classier for sure) as it disrupts the white spaces. Wooden outlook and items will be nice and everything looks neater and cleaner too.

Focus on the island

Some people felt that the island will take up space especially if your kitchen is small. But if you make it be functional and very efficient, things are at its place and it creates a much more elegant space than it is.

Get Organized

The easiest way to do this is to use built-in cabinets with proper drawers. When you have your utensils and equipment organized properly in the cabinets and drawers, they are no longer in plain sight and it makes your room so much bigger.

Mix the old and the new

You might not want to throw away some stuff that is nice when you design your kitchen. Combine the old stuff with some modern items and you get a whole new look. You need to be creative in this though.

Reduce the sizes

From the original outlook, reduce the size of the fixtures. If you had a large table then, change into something smaller. Downsizing works great if you know where to look and what to do. You are, after all, going for efficiency since space is limited.

Have fun with colors

White can always be your main background but that does not mean you have to go all white (or off-white). Seek out more chic combinations and seasonal ones. Enjoy the process and you will like what you see in the end.

Hang the Walls

The walls must always be used for storage but be careful not to overkill. Use hooks and racks and hang your utensils there. Install these racks in moderation and ensure you go for consistency.

Use a pantry

If you have some extra space, it would be nice to have a small pantry area where you can store things that you do not always use. In fact, it can be worth a lot of space there if you go for a minimalist design. Don’t just throw everything into the pantry though.

Maximize the sink

The modern kitchen sink can be multi or all-purpose. Some come with a built-in dishwasher and dryer too. If you can use the sink for this, there is no need to buy a portable or built-in one.

Large windows

If possible, have a large window that looks outside. Not all kitchens come with a window so you might want to be innovative here by opening a splashback (which can open up a lot of visuals too).

Ground Illusion

If the room is very narrow, then you can get the floor to divert the attention. Some tiling design is made to open up the room so that you do not focus so much on the narrow walkway.

Maximize your storage spaces

Built-in cabinets and drawers are a must in small kitchens. But that also means that you must maximize the spaces in within. Stacking, vertical dividers and door hooks are all part of this. Make sure you build as much as possible.

Splashback focus

If you have a splashback in your kitchen, give it some focus. Make it look like something that does not fit in the overall color scheme or outlook. That would give your space something to look forward to.

Colors and Posters

This is something that most singles will like. Go for strong and contrast colors or wall posters like quotes and that will shift the focus away from the limited kitchen size. These motifs will surely avoid the cramped look and people will be talking about it all the time.

Wall-mounted shelves

For small kitchens, mounted (and floating) shelves can be quite functional. Again, you need to go for consistency here or a specific color scheme and size. It looks very neat and truly modern as well.

Modular Components

Specifically made for those who like minimalist designs and fixtures, you can opt for the more modern freestanding modular kitchen designs. They are great for small kitchens and trendier too.

Go Industrial

A move away from the country home and modern design, you can opt for the industrial look with this one. Concrete walls and industrial appliances can be functional and pretty too.

Focus on the window

While a lot of natural light is good, you must put some focus on designing the window. Give it some life with curtains or a flower plant.

Go Purple

Specifically for those looking to go country or cottage, purple is a great color scheme. It is the color of Lavender which will always be a classic that will never go out of trend.

Eclectic and modern

No specific motif needed here. Do what your heart desires through mix and match of vintage and modern. The main idea is to maintain efficiency but design to your heart’s content.

Light up the boxes

If you use lighting, your creativity can go further. Use appropriate colors though and white or yellow would be great to start with. Use these lights on the cabinets and it would illuminate the room in its own wonderful ways.

Create a corner

Nothing beats having your own personal corner in the kitchen. Spread a table or a rug next to the window, personalize it with your own pillows and enjoy a coffee every morning.

Creative with drawers

This takes some planning where you need to be a bit more creative with where you install your drawers. Find space that can work for you and get better organized.

Get Artsy

Start with the splashback and work your way out. If you are the artsy type, then think of it as a blank canvas and try to be as artistic as you can.

Go Cool

This design is one that will always resonate with modern families (and singles too). Small kitchens need not be too cluttered. Go for a cool look which is elegant and simple. What you want are just functional things that are all in their respective spaces.

Transparent works

By putting in transparent items, it opens up space. However, if you can build a transparent wall (or even a door), then your kitchen surely looks a lot larger than it is.

Notice the corners

Corner cabinet shelves can be tricky but they are often overlooked. In fact, if you know how to maximize this space, it is a lot more efficient than common drawers.

Hide the island

This is not something new but many have forgotten how good it is. The island can be hidden or extended and this is great if you are using a small kitchen space.

Use Strong Colors

This might not work for everyone but if you go for a strong color tone, the entire space opens up. Orange is one color which works wonders if you know how to maximize its effect but this is meant for those who are bubbly and chic.

Be different

Not everything in your kitchen must be symmetrical. Even in a limited space, it does not mean you must have all in equal shapes, sizes and dimensions. Innovate your kitchen by combining simple with sophisticated, modern and classic or any way you choose.

Classic can be efficient

Old and rustic items do not mean they are slow and cumbersome. If you plan your space well, they can be highly efficient and functional too.

Go Country

This might cramp up space a bit but you can create a small country-home type of kitchen. Go for compact and space-efficient here and pack the walls up with essential decorative items (wood and brown items).

Double up décor and function

Use the walls to its max and put up items that have double functions. Chalkboards or an organizer can be very nice where it looks good and have purposes as well.

Add Texture

Use various types of texture to the walls. If you combine plain designs with certain prints, they will create a totally different atmosphere. The attention can be diverted from the space and people will be looking at those spaces more frequently.

Natural Light

Where possible, open up the room for some natural light. During the day, the sunlight will create the right ambiance and during the night, if you have street lights, the reflections will give your kitchen a night glow to die for. Natural lighting is somewhat the best lighting here.