In a lot of ways, small kitchens are the worst because they limit us so much by not being able to accommodate full-sized appliances, large countertops or sufficient amounts of storage.
However, that doesn’t mean if you have a small kitchen layout you should just give up. In fact, that’s reason to get creative and to look for new ways to organize your kitchen and to make as functional and as practical as possible while at the same time maintaining a welcoming and pleasant look throughout the room.
How big is the standard average kitchen?
What someone refers to as a small kitchen might not seem that small to somebody else depending on each person’s experiences and interpretation of things. So how big is a small kitchen on average? Well, typically it measures 70 square feet or less (which is 6.5 square meters).
Compared to that, a mid-size kitchen is somewhere between 100 and 200 square feet (9-18 square meters) while a large kitchen is anything bigger than that.
You may think bigger is always better in terms of the size of your kitchen but that’s actually not always the case. Not everyone needs a large kitchen and sometimes it’s more practical to have a small or mid-size one instead.
When deciding how big your kitchen should be, if this is actually something within your control, make the decision based on a few things such as how many people are going to be using the kitchen at a given time, how many and what type of appliances you want to include, how often you actually cook at home and how you plant be using the kitchen in general.
Open vs closed kitchen layout design
A common dilemma when it comes to kitchen is whether you should opt for an open or for a closed design. Each type comes with its own pros and cons and there’s a lot of things to consider before making this important decision.
Open kitchens don’t have any walls or barriers that separate them from adjacent spaces like the living room or the dining area. This means the kitchen is open and visible at all times.
Open kitchen layout pros:
On one hand an open kitchen is suited for small homes because there’s no space being wasted with walls, dividers or doors. You can easily get in and out of the kitchen and the entire space as a whole looks more open and spacious.
Open kitchens are also more welcoming and casual as they make it easy for family members and guests to interact with each other when they’re in different parts of the house or doing different things. This also makes it easy to keep an eye on the kids when you’re cooking for example.
Open kitchen layout cons:
On the other hand, the fact that the kitchen is open and visible at all times also means that any mess is visible as well. An open kitchen needs to be clean and tidy in order to look good. At the same time, since there’s no wall separating the kitchen from the rest of the house all the noise and smells are dispersed throughout the home and this can be annoying at times.
Closed kitchens are often considered more traditional and this can make them seem dated. They’re separated from the rest of the house by walls, sliding doors or other types of dividers.
Closed kitchen pros:
A closed kitchen doesn’t have any of the disadvantages of an open one. For example, the noise and smell don’t travel outside the kitchen when the door is closed, all the mess is hidden away and there’s no pressure to always keep the kitchen clean when guests come over and since there’s more walls there’s also more space for storage.
Closed kitchen cons:
Similarly, a closed kitchen has disadvantages which you simply can’t get past like the fact that there’s no connection between it and the rest of the house. If you’re in the kitchen you can’t interact with your guests or the rest of the people in the living room. It’s also more cumbersome to bring the food from the kitchen into the dining room since you have to open doors and to travel more.
The best flooring options for the kitchen
One of the very first things you need to decide when designing or remodeling a kitchen is what type of flooring you should use for it. There’s quite a few different options to choose from and each one is good in its own way. The two most popular ones and the ones often considered the best are hardwood and tile.
This is your best option if you want a classic and timeless look for the kitchen. Hardwood floors are durable and water-resistant when given the proper treatment and they have an elegant look that suits a lot of different styles.
More importantly, hardwood floors have a unique warmth which can make your kitchen more inviting and welcoming and more comfortable to be in. They don’t become as cold as concrete or tile floors which means there’s really no need for an area rug in here.
There’s also a wide variety of wood types to choose from as well as the option to use reclaimed wood if you want to give your kitchen floor a worn and shabby chic or rustic look. There’s also all sorts of patterns that you can lay the boards in to make the floor stand out.
This is typically the go-to option for wet spaces like the bathroom, the kitchen or the mudroom for example. Tile floors are waterproof which is very important for a bathroom but not so much for the kitchen where there’s usually not as much moisture overall.
There’s several different materials and types of tiles that you can choose from. Ceramic tiles are by far the most popular and common ones but stone tiles are also wonderful if you want a more refined look or if you’re going for a particular style.
Tiles can be arranged in lots of different patterns and you can also combine different tiles with different colors and designs to create unique patterns.
Tile floors are also very durable and super easy to clean. They can handle pretty much any type of stain and as long as you have a mop there’s really nothing to worry about.
The best paint for kitchen cabinets
In case you didn’t know, you can paint kitchen cabinets to easily change their appearance. This allows you to completely change the look of your kitchen and to give it an update without having to replace the furniture and without making a big investment. But what type of paint should you look for if you decide to give this project a try?
This has been the go-to type of paint for cabinets and interiors in general for a very long time. It’s appreciated for the fact that it creates a uniform surface and has good coverage. It’s also durable which makes it great for surfaces that get a lot of wear and tear and kitchen cabinets sure fit in this category.
However, oil-based paints are not that popular anymore and it’s even difficult to find them anymore in stores. That’s because they contain a lot of Volatile Organic Compounds which are harmful to people and to the environment.
With oil-based paints it’s a case of love it or hate it. Yes, they’re durable and can give you a beautiful finish but they’re also quite messy, they dry very slowly, they make it super difficult to clean any spills or mistakes and they’re bad for the environment as well.
Latex paint (also referred to as water enamel paint) is pretty novel compared to the oil-based kind. It’s only been developed in the 1940s but its benefits allowed it to be continuously improved and developed over time. Latex paint is a lot safer and more environmentally-friendly compared to oil-based paint which caused many to prefer it and to switch to it entirely.
The finish you get with latex paint is very similar to that of oil-based paint in terms of durability and uniformity. However, it’s not as good and it doesn’t look as even and lustrous as oil-based paint. A big advantage is that it dries a lot faster and this is often enough to make people choose it.
Hybrid enamel paint
After latex paint was developed, researchers kept looking and trying to make improvements in the hope to create the perfect paint, the one that’s safe, environmentally friendly and that also gives perfect coverage as well. Hybrid enamel paint is a form of that. It gives you a beautiful and even finish just like oil-based paint but it’s easy to clean, durable and it dries fast just like water-based paint.
What is The Real Kitchen Remodel Cost
Some of the projects and ideas presented here might have inspired you to give your own kitchen a makeover. Before you make the final decision, it would be good to take some time to asses how much this whole adventure would cost you. The cost differs based on a lot of things. Here’s a few questions to as yourself:
Why are you remodeling your kitchen?
In order to get a clear idea of the direction that the project is going into you should be honest with yourself and know why you’re actually remodeling this space.
If you’re doing it because you absolutely have to then you probably need to invest in a lot of things like appliances, new flooring and so on.
If you’re doing it because you want to change the appearance of your kitchen then you might be able to keep the cost low by reusing a lot of things that you already have and only investing in the aesthetic details.
What are the main things that you absolutely need to buy?
In order to make a budget, at least a general one to start with, you should make a list of the main big things that you have to buy or invest in. For example, if you want to change the floor in the kitchen this should go on the list. If you want new cabinets or new countertops or if you need new appliances this goes on the list too.
At the end you can come up with average prices for each item and add it all up. Keep in mind that you’ll need a bigger than that to also account for miscellaneous things and any complications that you might not have thought of in the beginning.
Can you do it all yourself?
You can definitely save a lot of money by taking care of the kitchen remodel yourself. However, you might be prepared for that and you might posses the required knowledge or tools to do so. If you’re not confident you can pull it off you should then account for the cost of hiring a professional.
You could also hire a professional for some things and take care of others yourself and this can also save you a bit of money in the end.
Is it all worth it?
Once you have a general idea of how much the remodel would cost and what it would require from you, you should ask yourself whether or not this is worth it. Again, if you’re remodeling the kitchen because you have to then the answer is probably yes. If it’s only based on a desire to make it look pretty perhaps not or perhaps you should revisit the list and see what changes can be made to the plan.
These 25 small kitchen design ideas should give you a nice boost.
A stylish small black and white kitchen combo design
Squeezed inside a 29 square meter apartment from Wroclaw, Poland, this small kitchen designed byEwa Czerny shows that it’s not only possible to make tiny spaces look stylish but that it’s actually not that complicated. The minimalist palette of colors and materials helped a lot in this case.
A little nook kitchen with folding doors
This is the tiny kitchen of an apartment measuring only 33 square meters across, located in Moscow, Russia. It was designed byStudio Bazi and it appears to be seamlessly connected to a large storage unit. In fact, folding doors allow this kitchen to be completely hidden and disguised as a large closet space.
Modern open-open kitchen with space divider
A lot of modern homes have open floor plans where the kitchen, living room, dining area and sometimes other functions too share a single volume.
In some cases like that of this38 square meter apartment in Brazil, there’s not space to work with so the transition between the functions can be a bit abrupt. The divider between the small kitchen and the living area is a cool detail which makes the transition quite seamless. This is a design byEstúdio BRA.
Bright and airy kitchen with a tiny island
A simple and efficient way to make a small space appear larger and airy is to use light colors and finishes. A good example is this 30 square meter apartment in Paris designed by Richard Guilbault. We really like the small white kitchen and the tall island which doubles as a breakfast table and bar.
Clever kitchen and laundry room combo
When designing and furnishing a small kitchen, most often than not compromises have to be made. Take this 27 square meter apartment in Darlinghurst, Australia.
It was designed by architect Brad Swartz and its kitchen is too small for a full-sized fridge, hence the mini version. However, the washing machine fits in there so that’s definitely great. There are seems to be a good amount of storage which is also worth mentioning.
Cheerful little kitchen with red accents
Room dividers are very useful in small apartments because they allow one to organize the floor plan without the need for interior walls which take up valuable space. Take this tiny apartment from Paris for example. It has a 25 square meter floor plan and its small kitchen and living area are separated from the sleeping area by a shelving unit. It’s a rather cool idea designed by studio SWAN Architectes.
Open-plan social area with a linear kitchen
A lot of small kitchen ideas have to do with custom furniture. This apartment from Tokyo is a good example.
Instead of separate rooms with solid walls between them,Yuichi Yoshida & associates gave this apartment an open layout where the functions are delineated by furniture. The kitchen and bedroom unit combo is pretty cool and unusual.
A good use of the corner area
Speaking of custom furniture and small kitchen layouts, check out another inspiring space designed by Ruetemple and located in Moscow. Although the kitchen is tiny, it has plenty of storage as well as room for basic appliances, a large fridge, good lighting and even a small fold-down table.
All-white kitchen with an island
This apartment from Barcelona was designed by Eva Cotman and shows just how important the role of the kitchen island is, not just because it gives you extra counter space which is very useful for small kitchens but also because it can double as a divider, marking the line between the kitchen and the dining area or living room.
Minimalist design with a bright pop of color
This is a surprisingly big kitchen considering this apartment in Paris only measures 20 square meters in total. The curious thing here is that the apartment lacks a living room.
Instead, its social area is right here in the kitchen. A set of steps offer access to a small but cozy sleeping area and the counter actually serves as a stepping platform. This was a project by studioBETILLON / DORVAL‐BORY.
A good balance between open and closed storage
A well-organized kitchen saves space and time and can influence the overall decor and ambiance of the entire home, especially when it’s part of an open floor plan. This design created by llabb is a great source of inspiration in this sense.
With the sink on one side and the cooktop on the other, there’s just enough counter space in between for prepping simple meals and there’s even a little bit of space for fresh herb pots in front of the window.
Minimalist kitchen with an eye-catching backsplash
Since there’s not a lot of space to work with and not enough room for extra features, a small kitchen has to stand out through details such as a colorful and eye-catching backsplash, an unusual furniture color or custom features that look good and save space at the same time. This apartment designed by Studio Bazi is a good example in this sense.
Space-efficient pull-out kitchen table idea
A retractable wall like the one in this apartment designed byIR arquitecturaopens up the kitchen (and the rest of the floor plan) and offers extra floor space during the warm months. Even if you don’t actually use the extra floor space it’s still nice to have a more airy and spacious feel throughout the apartment.
A wooden storage unit that grounds the kitchen
The social areas and the kitchen are now facing the street facade, allowing the private zone to sit at the back. At the same time, the new interior design has a lot of character. Check out the kitchen and how welcoming it looks with that wooden storage unit and the white cabinets at the top.
A clever and simple way to expand a tiny kitchen
Although very small, this efficiency apartment in New York doesn’t seem to struggle when it comes to floor space or functionality.
Industrial-style kitchen with stainless steel countertops
If this kitchen looks unusual, that’s because this entire penthouse apartment is. It’s located inside a building that used to be a church, hence the unconventional layout.
The interior design was done byVORBILD Architecture and it’s modern with traditional and industrial hints. The kitchen features this unusually big island at the center which pretty much fills the room.
Eye-catching kitchen island with a brick base
The secret to maintaining a spacious and welcoming ambiance in this small one-room apartment is the Scandinavian design. A particularly eye-catching feature is the kitchen island which has this brick base and which contrasts with pretty much everything else in this small and modern kitchen.
Colorful wallpaper walls and tile floor
Some kitchens are small and some are really tiny, like this one for instance. This is a corner kitchen with barely enough room for the basic things like a stove and a sink. Still, it has plenty of storage space and a full-size fridge frames it nicely. Also, check out the pink floor tiles and that funky wallpaper.
Small kitchen with large windows and cute shades
A large window is usually a great interior design feature. That includes small kitchens such as this one. The windows let in sunlight and make this tiny room feel bright and airy. However, that also means that big section of the wall can’t be used for storage. This is yet another kind of compromise which has to be made when designing small spaces.
Dark wood kitchen with blue accents
Yes there’s barely enough room in this kitchen to make coffee in the morning but sometimes that’s all you need (that would be the case with small holiday cabins or college dorm rooms). In any case, it’s important in these cases to prioritize the elements that matter the most.
A big kitchen island that doubles as a bar
This would have to be one of out favorite small kitchens. We enjoy the simplicity of the design, the colors used throughout and the fact that the island doubles as a bar and as a space divider. This is a really great setup which can potentially inspire a lot of cool future projects.
Strategic use of white in a small kitchen
When you want to make a small kitchen appear larger and more spacious, one of your best options is to use white and the primary and possibly even the only color. It really brightens up the space.
In contrast you can rely on appliances or the floor tiles to contrast with everything else in the room. Let this kitchen interior by Spectra Design inspire you.
A sleek black kitchen with a white island
Surprisingly, black can also be a valid color option for small kitchens. Contrary to general belief, black doesn’t always makes spaces look dark and gloomy. In fact, it’s a perfect nuance to complement white walls with. That’s why the black and white combo is timeless. This kitchen right here was put together by Natura Design.
Glossy black with soothing beige accents
Black doesn’t only look elegant when combined with white. In fact, we actually like this kitchen even better. It has glossy black cabinets and a matching fridge but the walls have this lovely buttery color which looks wonderful in the context of the apartment as a whole.
A perfect excuse to use pastels in the kitchen
On the other hand, you can use bright colors and soft pastels to make a small kitchen appear larger and more airy. This would have to come in combination with a simple and breezy decor and could mean certain compromises have to be made. For instance, this lovely kitchen looks beautiful but lacks wall-mounted cabinetry.