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10 Top Small Kitchen Design Ideas

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 04/03/21

Do you want a spacious kitchen with plenty of natural light?

Do you fear that nothing creative can be done with your kitchen if it’s too small?

With the right space-conscious designs, a compact room won’t be a barrier to creating a sleek and creative kitchen.

Read the following 10 small kitchen design ideas to learn clever ways of making the most of the limited space in your kitchen.

Table of Contents

  1. Custom Cabinets
  2. Chic Carpeting
  3. Finishing With Style
  4. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
  5. Contrast Matters
  6. Streamline Your Kitchen Style
  7. Change The Door Handles
  8. Colour Coordination
  9. Lines Are Your Friend
  10. Install An Island
  11. Conclusion

Custom Cabinets

When space is limited, utilising all of it is a must.

Any disused space without purpose is a waste.

Properties with a small kitchen often have issues using all space efficiently because of the awkward shape of walls, ceiling heights & odd corners.

Custom fitted cabinets are the perfect answer for this dilemma, by building storage around the nooks and crannies to avoid leaving dead space.

You will be surprised at just how much more room your kitchen has after installing custom kitchen cabinets.

Chic Carpeting

Clever design choices lay right under your nose.

A sure-fire way of flooding a kitchen with warmth is by adding a rug.

A colourful patterned rug will give the room a rich splash of colour.

This is more apparent in narrow kitchens with long aisles which will greatly appreciate the colour and material contrast.

Finishing With Style

A lack of natural light will make your kitchen appear cramped and smaller than it actually is.

Managing the amount of light that enters your kitchen is a necessity if you want to make it feel more spacious.

Why not make life easier for yourself?

Spray finished cabinetry is a clever trick that is often used.

Lacquered cabinets reflect light and brighten the space, making it feel significantly bigger.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Your kitchen will appear cluttered and claustrophobic when surfaces are covered with cooking utensils or appliances.

Utilise the cabinets around your kitchen to store items that are not for everyday use.

Cabinets with adjustable shelving are excellent when following this design choice, especially when your tall smoothie maker needs just a little more room to fit.

Use these closed storage options to give your space room to breathe.

Contrast Matters

White is the go-to colour for making kitchens look brighter.

But don’t forget just how stylish you can get by introducing black.

Strategic uses of black and white in the kitchen creates complementary contrast.

But colour is not the only way contrast can be created in your kitchen.

You can finish surfaces with different materials to achieve this.

A white gloss and matt black finish from your cabinets will make a statement in your kitchen.

The stark colour contrast and subtle surface contrast will give it a modern look.

Matt surfaces come with the added benefit of scratch resistance and are easier to clean, making your kitchen look better for longer.

Streamline Your Kitchen Style

One of the first things you’ll notice when walking into a kitchen is the fridge.

Unless your fridge matches the design of your kitchen they might clash.

You don’t want the draw attention away from the showpieces in the room.

Covering your fridge will avoid this and streamline your kitchen.

A custom built unit can be made to match the cabinets, creating a sleek minimalist finish for your kitchen.

Change The Door Handles

Handles on cabinets and drawers eat into the streamlined look of a kitchen.

To maintain a sleek design, replace them with subtle alternatives.

Gola Profiles fit neatly with drawers to keep a low profile, which are built into the frame.

Another alternative to door handles are push to open drawers.

These are fitted mechanisms which allow you to open and close doors with a gentle push.

Couple these with Gola Profiles for even greater convenience.

The practicality of these design choices is ideal for small kitchens.

Open corner cabinets without the risk of damage from sharp edged handles.

Wall alongside your cabinets without the handles brushing or digging into your sides.

Not ready to say goodbye to all your handles?

You could consider just a partial change instead.

Visually, a cluttered appearance will be removed just by replacing the top cabinet handles.

Going with this kitchen design style will create a dramatic asymmetry.

Colour Coordination

A small kitchen can appear larger with excellent use of colour coordination.

You can craft this illusion by having the room adopt neutral colours.

Gorgeous colours to have for your walls and kitchen units are whites, greys, beiges, blues and creams.

This works by keeping the room bright and blending the walls and cabinetry together.

To further enhance this design, a stainless-steel splash-back or a white tiled splash-back works wonders to add a contemporary edge to your kitchen.

Lines Are Your Friend

Strategic use of tiles will improve the look of your kitchen.

Tile lines create a visual effect that draw the eye and have a positive effect on your kitchen’s perceived size.

Laying your tiles vertically will draw the eye lengthways, giving the impression that the space is taller.

For a narrow galley kitchen, horizontal lines are recommended.

This will draw the eye to the width of the kitchen, helping the space appear wider.

The colour of the lines should change depending on the effect you want.

Light shades for an especially small space is ideal.

Darker colours can be used to create thicker lines to make the widening effect more noticeable, though this could overpower the space.

Should you fear the tile patterns will overwhelm your kitchen, don’t be afraid to go small.

An accent wall will accomplish the attention focusing effect with dramatic flair, without overdoing it.

Install An Island

A kitchen island in the centre of the room is a top-notch addition to the space.

This focus on the island as the main workspace in the kitchen can be enhanced by adding an oven or sink.

With an inward facing oven or sink in the kitchen, it establishes it as the area for preparing food.

An island like this should use its space for a miniature fridge or freezer.

This will keep the requirements for cooking close by, making your kitchen seem larger by highlighting the practical floor space that surrounds it.


A small kitchen does not mean you cannot be creative with your designs.

Clever choices to work around its compact size must be taken to achieve a successful finish.

So why not try out some of the ideas listed above, and realise how easy it can be to enhance the space in your kitchen.