6 Tips for Making the Most of Your Small Kitchen

Small kitchens are everywhere. In most cases, it’s simply a reality of living in an urban home. While there will always be a number of drawbacks, this situation should not hinder you from creating a room you can be proud of.

In fact, it can sometimes be the smaller kitchens that have the most character! It all comes down to how well you design the area and use each and every square inch to the fullest. If you are looking for some ways to adjust your space, or doing a full remodel, here are six tips to help you create your ideal kitchen within your given boundaries.

1.Minimize Appliances

When conserving space is the biggest factor in your kitchen, step one should be to reduce your appliances as much as possible. Regardless of whether you already have a bunch of appliances, or a looking to buy new ones, it’s important to know you most likely won’t need a deluxe setup. For instance, you can easily pass on the deep fat fryer or the toaster oven with a built-in hotdog cooker.

Try to downsize wherever possible. If you only use your waffle maker or food processor every once in a while, consider getting rid them. Or, opt for mini versions. The primary goal is to have as much storage and counter space as possible. These are things you can never have enough of, especially in a small kitchen.

2.Maximize Storage Space

Equally important to counter space, having the room to properly store your kitchen equipment can be quite a challenge when you are limited to a small room.

While there are many creative ways to add storage, one of the best things you can do is expand your cabinets all the way to the ceiling. This is a great way to house your essential equipment that doesn’t see frequent use – such as seasonal dishes or special occasion cookware.

The versatility of your cooking (and overall presentation) can be traced back to the tools you have and your ability to store them. For this reason, finding ways to add cabinet space wherever possible will benefit your operation the most.

3.Don’t Leave Walls Empty

In a small kitchen, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is not using the walls to your advantage. The walls are where you can really give the room character.

One of the elements that makes small kitchens so interesting is how people design and execute the backsplash. This is perhaps the area where you can highlight the room’s personality the most.

There is practically an endless amount of choices for this direction. Once you choose the unique style you want to present, the next step is to pick the material. While some are inevitably pricier than others, the good news is there are plenty of synthetic options that can provide the same effect and stay within your budgetary limitations.

On the other hand, is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the walls white. If you go this route, it looks great to reface your cabinets with accent colors. The white wall will highlight them and give off a bold, sleek look.
Take your time and decide which approach fits best with the rest of your home.

4.Consider Reflective Surfaces

This strategy is a little outside the box. However, if done correctly, it can make the room appear much more spacious. There are many materials that can give this illusion. For one, mirrors, which are not normally found in kitchens, can do a great job for this effect.
Some of the more commonly found choices include polished stone, stainless steel, and glass (ideal for cabinet doors).

Regardless of what materials you use for this purpose, they can be extremely effective in adding energy to a kitchen that doesn’t receive much natural light.

5.Don’t Skimp on Lighting

As many designers will attest, the lighting you use in a room is what ties all the elements together. In a small kitchen, lighting is your best friend and is an area that requires a great deal of planning and strategic placement. In addition to serving the overall presentation of your kitchen, lighting is essential for proper safety.

There are many factors to keep in mind when lighting a small kitchen. In general, there should always be adequate lighting above cooking surfaces, the sink, and countertops.
For the ceilings, using flushmount lighting is a great way to provide a sharp look that can make a smaller space look polished. Pendant lights are perfect for creating a clean, natural look.

Another good option to consider is recessed lighting. While this is a more traditional approach, it can do a great job in presenting a smooth ceiling profile with efficiency in mind.
Lighting a room can be a complicated process, especially with limited space. Unless you are well-versed in interior design, it’s recommended to leave this task to the professionals.

6.Design with Workflows in Mind

The main theme in a small kitchen is efficient functionality. As many cooks will agree, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to prepare meals in a small area with a poorly designed workflow. Each and every decision you make in terms of storage, placement, and lighting needs to be done with the actual cooking process in mind.

Prior to making changes, it’s incredibly helpful to write down your thoughts after each cooking operation.

What is working well?

Where are the bottlenecks?

What is something you find yourself wishing was better?

What are the small ways you can improve the current status quo?

Taking notes on the finer details of your small kitchen’s workflow is essentially the inspiration for how your remodel or adjustments will play out.


Designing a small kitchen will always take an interesting approach. If done well, it can be the most fascinating area of your home. San Diego Kitchen Pros are no stranger to small kitchens. The team has had decades of experience in making the most of tiny spaces. Regardless of your budget, preferences, or limitations, we will work with you to create a kitchen that is tailored to your exact needs and unique cooking habits.